Gov. Walker signs bill creating oversight board for Mental Health Complex

MADISON (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a bill that takes control of the troubled Milwaukee Mental Health Complex away from the County Board.

Democratic state Rep. Sandy Pasch announced the signing of the bill on Tuesday.

Gov. Walker signed the measure privately and his office had no immediate comment.

The bill passed with nearly unanimous support. It will transfer control of the Mental Health Complex from the County Board to a group of medical professionals, patients and family members.

The changes were pursued following the deaths of six patients at the facility in 2012.

The new law also requires an extensive audit by Dec. 1 that looks into whether the state should take over operations.

Gov. Walker previously signed 13 bills designed to improve mental health services statewide.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele issued the following statement after this bill was signed on Tuesday:

“We are committed to ensuring the strongest Board possible and to providing them with the best support we can. This is going to be a positive change for the consumers and patients across Milwaukee County. The bill that made this a reality received near unanimous support in the Legislature and strong support from Governor Walker. I want to especially thank Representatives Joe Sanfelippo and Sandy Pasch and Senators Leah Vukmir, Lena Taylor and Tim Carpenter for their leadership on this issue."

Milwaukee County Health and Human Services Director Hector Colon released this statement:

“I want to commend Governor Walker on his efforts to improve the mental health care systems across the state and in Milwaukee County. I look forward to working with the new board to further develop a behavioral health system that takes a person-centered, recovery-oriented, trauma-informed, and culturally-competent approach to the people we serve. Together, we can continue to move toward creating a community-based system that will deliver better outcomes.”