RICHMOND (WRIC) - One by one, colleagues welcomed State Senator Creigh Deeds back to the General Assembly. The Senator returned to work after being attacked by his son in November.
"We're like a family down here, the 140 members," says Del. David Toscano of Charlottesville. "[We're] deeply concerned about what happened to Senator Deeds and I think it's gotten our attention in terms of what we need to do to improve the system."
The Senator did not speak out publicly but some proposals are already out there including extending the amount of time a person can be held under an emergency custody order and allowing temporary detention orders for patients while hospitals work to find a psychiatric bed. Governor McDonnell has also proposed an additional $38 million for mental health.
"There's some additional money in this Governor's budget for mental health funding and I think there are a number of us who are going to look very carefully to see if it's enough to do what we need to do," Toscano says.
"What we want to do is make sure that we pass legislation that is going to A) identify what shortcomings exist in the system, but B) find ways to fill those short comings," says Del. Tag Greason of Loudon County.
Since the tragedy senator deeds has said that he will dedicate himself to improving mental health, also introducing a number of proposals to address the issue.
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