On May 30, Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera signed a spate of bills into law that are focused on increasing access to high-quality, affordable health care, travelling across Northern Colorado to do so.
“We are making sure that all Coloradans have access to high-quality, affordable health care, and I was proud to visit Larimer and Weld Counties to sign important legislation to save people money on health care and make sure every Coloradan can thrive,” Lt. Governor Primavera and Director of the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care said in a statement released by her office.
SummitStone was pleased and proud to be one of her stops, and we took the opportunity to show off the progress of our partnership with Larimer County and the Behavioral Health Service’s Acute Care Facility at Longview.
Here the Lt. Governor signed into law HB23-1153 Pathways To Behavioral Health Care, sponsored by Representatives Ryan Armagost and Judy Amabile, Senators Byron Pelton and Robert Rodriguez and SB23-064 Continue Office Of Public Guardianship, sponsored by Representatives Marc Snyder and Ryan Armagost, Senators Bob Gardner and Joann Ginal. Reps. Amabile and Cathy Kipp were able to attend, as was Larimer County Commissioner John Kefalas.
HB23-1153: Pathways To Behavioral Health Care will establish an independent third party to conduct a feasibility study on the viability of a system to support individuals with serious mental illness through a collaboration between Colorado’s behavioral health and judicial systems. It requires the state department to work with the behavioral health administration, department of local affairs, department of public safety, department of health care policy and financing, judicial department, and other state agencies to determine the eligibility requirements and application process for selecting the independent third party. This step forward aims to pave the path leading to increased collaboration and solution generation across state and local agencies. We should expect the findings from the study March 2024.
SB23-064 extends the Office of Public Guardianship, which currently serves indigent and incapacitated adults in three judicial districts and is scheduled to repeal on June 30, 2024. The bill extends the office indefinitely and requires the office to begin operating in additional judicial districts in 2025 and operate in every judicial district in the state by December 31, 2030. This also establishes a board of directors to oversee the office and repeals the current guardianship commission effective August 31, 2023.
We are so fortunate here in Larimer County and across the state to have elected officials, as well as the general populace, who understand the importance of a robust behavioral health system and are willing to put the effort behind it to make great advancements in our continuum of care. These bills, and many other pieces of legislation passed this year, will continue to improve access to and support for behavioral health resources in our communities.