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Capitol Events: February 7, 2014

The Senate has advanced Senator Creigh Deeds bill to extend the time period from six to 24 hours that a person experiencing a mental health crisis may be held by Emergency Custody Order while a psychiatric bed is found. Deeds spoke against a proposed amendment for an 8-hour total, which addressed concerns about tying up scarce law enforcement resources. "Nobody has had experience with this issue like I have. Every one of these situations is life and death," Sen. Creigh Deeds speaking from the Virginia Senate floor. The bill also mandates that state hospitals must accept crisis patients if no other bed can be found. The House proposal extends the ECO window to 8 hours.