• Legislators Pivot From HB 520 Given Broad-based Public Concerns

    By Staff
    March 17, 2023

    Legislators are reportedly preparing a substitute Bill in place of the widely opposed HB 520 Bill introduced in mid-February. Citizens, members of the medical community and legal experts point out substantial gaps in the Bills approach along with many risks of misuse.

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    Even members of the medical community are now questioning the logic behind HB 520.  

    Sponsors of the bill claim it's a necessary extension of Georgia's current medical health laws, but medical professionals familiar with current practices in the area of mental health are asking why It would be necessary to provide broad criminal and civil immunities to practitioners firms, organizations and associations acting under the proposed bill.

    They also question the numerous studies defined inside the bill noting that much of the information which would be produced through these studies is already available in current Georgia systems. Practitioners say the number, type and location of mental health bed and the type and locations of licensed practitioners is easily access today.

    As for the now infamous provision allowing any person to be confined against their will for evaluation based on two affidavits (with the names of the accusers redacted,) they say this appears to violate the right to "Due Process" and a violation of a person's freedoms.

    Notably the Bill is silent on the "Right to Due Process" currently covered in Georgia law. OCGA 37-4-5.1

    In the last few days, in conference with a group of citizens, one of the Bills sponsors, Rep. Todd Jones spoke of a DOJ settlement which requires that a Bill like HB 520 be put into place     Citizen investigators found the DOJ settlement which occurred in 2011 and reports completed as part of the Bill's requirements. In contrast to Rep. Jones explanation, a 2020 report actually speaks positively of Georgia's efforts to improve mental health and does not mention the need for any sweeping changes like those build into HB 520.

    Excerpt from September 21, 2020 report required by DOJ settlement:

    With citizens, medical professionals, and now written reports all casting questions on HP 520, legislators have chosen to create a substitute bill which may emerge today.

    Opponents urge citizens to remain vigilant and be ready to again raise their voices should any of the existing concerns be found in any subsequent Bill.

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    Apryl Dukes-McDaniel

    Thank goodness for citizen researchers & The Georgia Record protecting our freedoms!

    Elizabeth Cahill Campbell

    Please update this information! Patriots all over are trying to come to grips about HB 520, but we need more info! Our Sole Commissioner in Union County just signed it, Kemp just signed it by Executive Order. We are in serious trouble and need your help!

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