Bill would restrict outings for some mentally-ill patients - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Bill would restrict outings for some mentally-ill patients

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - A new bill aims at restricting outings for certain mentally-ill people in state custody. Representative Shea along with Representative Johnson met with the House Human Services Committee.

The Republican lawmakers testified in Olympia in favor of House Bill 2717. The bill would restrict outings for certain mentally-ill patients. This comes after criminally insane killer Phillip Paul walked away from an Eastern State Hospital field trip last September. If passed, people who are committed to a state facility will not be able to leave the state institution but Rep. Shea says there are some exceptions. "There are several exceptions, including legal proceedings, medical treatment, the immanent death of a loved one and attending a funeral. Then also the situation where there is specific authorization from a court to go on an outing," said Shea. Rep.

Both Shea and Johnson told the Committee the bill is needed for the protection of the
public.  As of now the committee has not taken any action on the bill but sponsors are hopeful the measure will be considered within the next several days.