Washington, D.C. — A bipartisan bill co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff to improve public safety and reduce violence passed a key Senate Committee today.
In a Senate Judiciary Committee markup today, Sen. Ossoff pushed his colleagues to advance the bipartisan Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Reauthorization Act of 2022, legislation he co-sponsored to help law enforcement officials better respond to calls involving individuals suffering from mental health crises.
“Public safety is essential. Investments in mental health are essential. And so I urge that we come together and move this legislation forward as a bipartisan Committee,” Sen. Ossoff said in the markup.
The bill would improve collaboration between law enforcement agencies and mental health professionals to develop and implement initiatives that enhance mental health and substance abuse services, such as:
- Integrating the new 988 mental health crisis line into emergency call centers
- Deploying co-responder teams of mental health professionals with 24/7, 365 response capability
- Improving access to case management services and suicide prevention programs
The bill passed the Committee with bipartisan support.
Please find a transcript of the remarks below:
SEN. OSSOFF: “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank Senators Cornyn and Klobuchar for their leadership, putting forward this legislation, which I’ve co-sponsored and urged that the Committee come together in a bipartisan way today to strengthen this program that is essential for public safety and mental health services in Georgia. There is ongoing work under this authority in Sylvania, Atlanta, Decatur, Savannah, Athens, Cumming, Macon, Conyers, and Douglasville in Georgia. And I know well that we need these resources as well in the Columbus area, in the Rome area, and in every corner of the state of Georgia. Public safety is essential. Investments in mental health are essential. And so I urge that we come together and move this legislation forward as a bipartisan Committee. Thank you.”