“BRITNEY SPEARS CAN BE CONSERVED, AND MARK RIPPEE CANNOT?”
The memorial of Mark Rippee, a blind, mentally ill homeless man, was held last week in Solano County. Mark died homeless in his hometown on November 29. It was noted by a Sacramento Bee reporter that Senator Eggman was the one state official who attended the memorial service. She had met Mark after an article was published on him over the summer. The Senator said, “At one time, we thought they were solving a problem,” but then we “created a whole other world of problems. We’ve turned a blind eye, and said no, they have rights. And Mark, like so many others, died with his rights on.” “Let us have Mark’s living and dying be one more step” toward fixing the laws that let him die… “You have my commitment” to make sure that happens. Read more here.
So, What Can Be Done?
Last night, CSAP’s Government Affairs Committee (GAC) recommended that the Board sponsor, along with other entities, Senator Eggman’s newest package of conservatorship / LPS related legislation. At a minimum, Senator Eggman will introduce legislation regarding hearsay, changing the definition of grave disability, and to require a real-time database of available beds statewide. These bills as introduced, will most likely look a lot like SB 965, SB 1154, and SB 1416 from the last legislative session. Please note that the starting point this year for the proposal to change the definition of grave disability will be modeled on what is already in law for persons in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). It is the view of the GAC and the Board that this definition will need wordsmithing to be most acceptable from CSAP’s perspective. Thus, CSAP will convene a subcommittee with representatives from each of the five District Branches to convene with Senator Eggman and her staff to discuss further.