History of HB520 — 15 years ago. The Department of Justice sued the state of GA over the treatment of the people in hospital in Milledgeville GA. Sally Yates was the attorney that brought the case, and the state of GA settled this case and there were responsibilities the state of GA in that settlement. The agreement expanded mental health services in GA. The agreement was to release the patients and to monitor them in the communities where they were released.
There is a patent involved in this bill and the owner of the patent happens to be the sponsor of the bill. Mr Todd Jones is the owner of the patent, he developed a product that could be used as the monitor system that is described in the bill. Now there are other monitoring systems that could be used, but Mr. Jones has the inside legislation and the inside connections for his company to be the front runner in getting the contract should this bill be signed into law. The concern is the lawmaker that writes legislation that incorporates the need for his product in the legislation, the perfect example of conflict of interest.
The specific lines of the bill for the need of the monitoring and the funding for this system. They removed the housing tie to the bill. The immunity is not for the health care workers despite what they want you to believe, it is for the monitoring company to be immune from liability.
We are left with a bill that is open for interpretation and terms that have not been defined and will not be defined until a later point in time by the federal government. Who’s to say that it wouldn’t be the World Health Organization? There is an avenue to put the World Health Organization into this bill by the federal government. Last year the HB1013 (Mental Health Parity Bill) referenced the World Health Organization. This bill is filling in the blank of what was stripped out of HB1013.
Jones and Gravely has marketed the monitoring program in TN and has sold it to several counties in GA.
Define the terms 100% — they go to great lengths to define “entity” but don’t define serious mental illness. If the bill is needed for the studies then that is fine but the remainder of the bill needs to be scrapped. This bill is how they are creating a new bureaucracy that will cost millions of dollars for mental health in this state. It is so heavily tainted, the bill just needs to be scrapped.