Mental Health Legislation Headed To Kaine's Desk

March 4, 2008

(AP) Legislation tightening Virginia's safety net for the mentally ill offered in response to the Virginia Tech massacre has substantially won passage.

The reforms were unanimously enacted Tuesday in the House and the Senate, and now are bound for the desk of Gov. Tim Kaine, who supports the changes.

A profoundly disturbed Virginia Tech student slipped easily through gaps in the state's mental health system and shot 32 people dead before killing himself on April 16th.

The bills passed Tuesday clarify the criteria for identifying, detaining and ordering treatment for mentally ill people who are a threat to themselves and others.

When the legislation won a final, decisive House vote, the entire chamber cheered.

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