Gov. DeSantis signs measure updating Baker Act, investing $50M in mental health services
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mental health
'This is a huge win for Florida’s community behavioral health providers.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis approved legislation (HB 7021) to update the state’s Baker and Marchman Acts and invest millions to help with mental health and substance abuse.

Melanie Brown-Woofter, president and CEO of the Florida Behavioral Health Association (FBHA), praised the Governor for signing off on the measure.

“Through the Governor’s and First Lady Casey DeSantis’ unwavering commitment to Floridians struggling with mental health and substance use disorders, community providers can continue to enhance their crisis services in Florida’s communities, ultimately protecting individuals and families,” Brown-Woofter said.

Casey DeSantis has made improving mental health a focal point of her time as First Lady, launching multiple initiatives to help address those struggling throughout the state.

The FBHA and other health organizations praised the measure as it moved through the Legislature this past Session. After being signed Friday by DeSantis, the legislation will appropriate $50 million to the Department of Children and Families for services aiding those suffering from mental health or substance abuse issues.

The legislation also eases the ability to obtain involuntary services under the Baker Act and allows police to more easily push for involuntary exams when necessary. It also blocks courts from involuntarily placing developmentally disabled people into a state facility under the Marchman Act and more easily permits witnesses to appear virtually at hearings, along with other changes.

Rep. Patt Maney was the point person on the bill. Sen. Erin Grall worked on the Senate companion (SB 1784).

“This is a huge win for Florida’s community behavioral health providers,” Brown-Woofter added.

“On behalf of the nearly 70 community mental health and substance use disorder providers and over half a million Floridians FBHA represents, we thank Gov. DeSantis for signing HB 7021, which updates the Baker Act and invests $50 million for mental health and substance disorder services.”

The new provisions will take effect on July 1.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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  • Cindy

    June 17, 2024 at 8:29 pm

    Sorry to see because the two don’t mix without adverse health issues it is dangerous.
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    June 17, 2024 at 8:30 pm

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  • My Take

    June 19, 2024 at 12:10 pm

    Unhinged neo-Floridian Trump sure could use some of that mental health care.

Comments are closed.


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