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Spin Control

Mon., March 11, 2013, 2:52 p.m.

House passes 4 mental health bills

OLYMPIA -- The House gave overwhelming support this afternoon to four bills designed to tighten up mental health laws involving violent people.

It gave unanimous support expanded the ability of victims of stalking and "cyberstalking" to seek protective orders from a court, in a bill that also allows a judge to require the person named in the protective order to surrenter his or her firearms and concealed weapons permit.

Another bill that received a 98-0 vote would move up by one year, to July 1, 2014, the enactment of changes to the Involuntary treatment law which require faster competency evaluations for defendants facing charges involving violent crimes.

Another bill tightens rules so that a person judged incompetent to stand trial for a violent crime is required to receive inpatient treatment and law enforcement officials are notified when that person is released. The fourth sets up a system for a court to order competency evaluations of a potential defendant if the overburdened state hospital system fails to do so within a set timeline.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981. He is currently the political reporter and state government reporter in the newspaper's Olympia bureau office.

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