Passing with bipartisan support and moving on to the State Senate this past Wednesday, AB 1971 is designed to revise the state’s guidelines on being “gravely disabled,” according to a news release. In doing so, the bill will specify medical treatment as an inherent human right, along with food, clothing and shelter, particularly to people suffering from mental illness. The bill passed unanimously. “It’s time for California to join 37 other states who consider medical treatment a basic human need for those suffering from a serious mental illness,” said the bill’s co-author and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. The bill was also authored by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Assemblymembers Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, and Phillip Chen, R-Brea. “Thirty-nine percent of the nation’s chronic homeless population, which is defined as those individuals that have lived on the streets for over a year and are suffering from mental illness, reside in California,” Chen said. Sponsors for the bill included Los Angeles County, the Steinberg Institute and the California Psychiatric Association. The proposal will be observed by a State Senate committee hearing. To read AB 1971, click here. The above information was obtained by The Signal via a news release provided by Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office.