State Rep. Dan Brady has been appointed to a state task force to study the use of psychotropic drugs. (WJBC file photo)
By Eric Stock
BLOOMINGTON - State Rep. Dan Brady says the issue of mental illness has been on the backburner in Illinois for too long.
Brady, R-Bloomington, says the state has delayed appointing mental health professionals to a task force that was created to look into how some potentially dangerous drugs are prescribed. Brady says it's a way to find solutions when mental health funding has been cut.
"On one hand, we have those that want to focus on mental illness health prevention and treatment, on the other hand, we have a budget ax that is cuttig out funding for a lot of ths. It's a very difficult balance to try to find," Brady said.
Brady says the task force on psychotropic drugs was originally going to have a report done by the end of this year, but the panel hasn't even met yet. Brady is among one of six state lawmakers who will serve on the commission, but the Illinois Department of Public Health has not appointed two mental health professionals as prescribed in the legislation.
Brady says the recent Connecticut school shooting should bring the issue of mental illness back to the forefront.
Lame duck session
Brady says he's not sure how much lawmakers will get done during an abbreviated lame duck session. Brady says pension reform, gambling expansion, gay marriage and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants are all on the agenda.
"Some of those topics we might not deal with. We may be waiting until the Jan. 9 spring session. So, that's a little bit of a curve ball to many (lawmakers) for what we were gearing ourselves up for," Brady said.
Both the Senate and House have cancelled days. The Senate will meet January 2nd through the 4th and might return on the 8th. The House will be in session January 6th through the 8th.
Eric Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.