Health department opposes group home restrictions

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A dispute in Allen Parish over the potential location of a group home for mentally ill youth is spilling into the Louisiana Legislature.

Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill is proposing to require parish governing authority approval of such group homes in Vernon, Allen and Beauregard parishes.

The bill awaits a vote on the House floor.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1pLJPFK ) that the state Department of Health and Hospitals is opposing the measure, fearful of its ramifications on state mental health needs.

Therapeutic residential group homes are part of care options state officials say they need for the treatment of the mentally ill.

DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert worries the Hill legislation could get other parishes added and create discrimination that conflicts with federal law.

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House Bill 1155 can be found at www.legis.la.gov

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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