Mental Health Legislation

The Mental Health Advocacy Project's legislative advocacy is primarily done on behalf of and in cooperation with the Mental Health America of Illinois (MHAI) and the Mental Health Summit. For more information about these organization, please see their websites: and

Summary of Changes Enacted in 2010

  1. Public Act 96-0951 (Harris/Steans) requires suicide prevention training in high schools (Effective 6/28/10)
  2. Public Act 96-1411 (Bradley/Forby) creates Psychiatric Practice Incentive Act to attract psychiatrists to under-served areas. (Effective 1/1/2011)
  3. Public Act 96-1472 (Leitch/Risinger) prohibits caps on payments for community services which are entitlements under Medicaid. (Effective 8/23/10)
  4. Public Act 96-0924 (Tryon/Athoff) creates Veterans Mental Health Courts (Effective 6/14/10)
  5. Public Acts 96-1453 and 96-1399 (Bellock/Righter) amends involuntary commitment standard in response to court decision declaring it unconstitutional. (Effective 8/20/10)
  6. Public Act 96-1321 (Bellock/Dillard) allows videoconferencing to be used in commitment hearings. (Effective 7/27/10)
  7.  Public Act 96-1501 (Currie/Steans) requires 50% of Medicaid recipients to be enrolled in managed care within 5 yers. (effective 1/25/11)
  8. Public Act 96-1372 (Steans/Currie) improves standards and oversight of nursing homes.  (Effective 7/29/10)
  9. Public Act 96-153 (Schoenberg/Feigenholtz) creates nursing home bed tax with 86% of increased Medicaid revenue to be devoted to nursing home rate increase (Effective 2/16/11)

Summary of Changes Enacted in 2009

  1. Public Act 96-0802 (Tracy/Golar)  stengthens the law requiring prompt payment for community services.  (Effective 1/1/10)
  2. Public Act 96-0657 (Osterman/Steans) strengthen the procedural protections in hearings to determine the appopriate education plan for handicapped children (Effective 8/25/09)
  3. Public Act 96-0660 (Feigenholtz/Koehler) requires that proceeds from the sale of state-operated mental health facilities be placed in the Medicaid Trust fund for use in the mental health system. (Effective:  8/25/09)
  4. Public Act 96-0672 (Coulson/Collins) Provides mental health graduate education  scholarships to increase the number of professionals working in the public sector  (Effective 8/25/09)
  5. (Public Act 96-0570) (Bellock/Steans) Allows petitioners to object to dismissal of commitment petitions and to obtain notice of the discharge from hospitalizaton of a respondent. (Effective 1/1/10)
  6. Public Act 96-0272  (Ryg/Steans) creates standards and procedures governing the sterilization of disabled adults. (Effective:  1/1/10)
  7. Public Act 96-0466 (Bellock/Dillard) permits record disclosures needed to pursue involuntary treatment under  Section 2-107.1 of MHDDCode.  (Effective 8/14/09)
  8. Public Act 96-0310 (LaVia/Demuzio) permits unfit criminal defendants to be kept in jail (rather than sent to state psychiatric hospital) if Department of Human Services assessment disagrees with court assessment of unfitness.  (Effective 8/11/09)
  9. Public Act 96-0117 (Milner/Ramey) permits crime victim impact statement to be admitted in commitment and release hearings for persons found not guilty by reason of insanity. (Effective 1/1/10)
  10. Public Act 96-0612 (Steans/Bellock) requires persons seeking voluntary admission to inpatient psychiatric care to  be competent to give such consent.  (Effective: 1/1/10)

Summary of Changes Enacted in 2008 

  1. Public Act 95-0973 adds anorexia and bulimia to the list of illnesses covered by the mental health insurance parity law.  Effective date: January 1, 2009.
  2. Public Act 95-0804 adds counselors to the list of mental health professionals whose certification may support admission of a minor to a mental health facility.  Effective date: August 12, 2008.
  3. Public Act 95-0842 requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to reimburse counties for medical expenses for indigent inmates in county jails.  Effective date:  August 15, 2008.
  4. Public Act 95-0904 expands notification procedures for victims of persons acquitted by reason of insanity of the impending discharge of such persons.  Effective date: January 1, 2009.

Summary of Changes Enacted in 2007

  1. Public Act 95-0281 requires the Department of Human Services to identify persons admitted to its facilities who need alcoholism or substance abuse treatment and make arrangements for that treatment.
  2. Public Act 95-0022 requires (subject to appropriation) two state medical schools to expand their programs providing forensic psychiatry training.
  3. Public Act 95-0172 changes the statute governing court hearings regarding the administration of psychotropic medications and electro-convulsive therapy to clarify that these treatments may be ordered for persons who lack decisional capacity irrespective of whether they are actually refusing the treatments.
  4. Public Act 95-0016 requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to cover tele-psychiatry services under the Medicaid program.
  5. Public Act 95-0469 creates programs to prevent post-partum mood disorders.
  6. Public Act 95-0230 prohibits health insurance policies from denying coverage for emergency or other medical care solely based upon the fact that the patient was injured while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
  7. Public Act 95-0602 substantially lowers the standard for involuntary commitment to mental hospitals.
  8. Public Act 95-0561 adds fetal alcohol syndrome to those conditions which can form the basis for a legal finding that someone is a disabled adult and in need of a guardian of the person or estate.
  9. Public Act 95-0606 creates the Mental Health Court Treatment Act to encourage circuit courts to create programs to divert persons with mental illness to community treatment rather than incarceration.
  10. Public Act 95-0564 provides that the community treatment providers must report to the State Police persons who are a clear and present danger to others due to mental illness so that such persons will be denied a Firearm Owners Identification card and, therefore, denied the right to lawfully possess a firearm.

Summary of Changes Enacted in 2006

  1. Public Act 94-0906 extends the protections of the mental health insurance parity law to health maintenance organizations (HMOs). The parity law limits the ability of health insurance companies to provide less coverage for mental health services than for other illnesses. The Act also adds coverage for persons with autism.
  2. Public Act 94-0921 amends the mental health insurance parity law to increase the limit on outpatient visits which must be available to persons with mental illnesses.
  3. Public Act 94-1066 requires state psychiatric hospitals to review whether persons being treated in these facilities need psychotropic medications and whether they meet the criteria for a court-ordered medications and to document these finding in the medical record. It also requirs the Department of Human Services to collect date on the use of psychotropic medications in its facilities.
  4. Publuc Act 94-0965 requires creation of a comprehensive housing plan, including in the plan details about the housing to be provided for persons with mental and other disabilities.

Summary of Changes Enacted in 2005

  1. Public Act 94-0402 repealedthe "sunset" provision in the mental health insurance parity law. The parity law limits the ability of health insurance companies to discriminate against persons with mental illnesses by providing less coverage for mental health services than for other illesses. The law was scheduled to expire on January 1, 2006.
  2. Public Act 94-034 requires improved mental health services for wards of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
  3. Public Act 94-0182 permits record sharing between the Department of Corrections and the Department of Human Services.
  4. Public Act 94-0498 requires that cost savings occassioned by the closure or downsizing of a state mental hospital be retained in the mental health system.
  5. Public Act 94-0584 adds post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of illnesses covered by the mental health insurance parity law.
  6. Public Act 94-0521 permits persons facing involuntary commitment to a mental hospital to agree to an outpatient treatment order. The act also requires that only someone determined to possess decisional capacity may agree to admission as voluntary inpatient in lieu of involuntary commitment.
  7. Public Act 94-0118 imposes a tax on the recording of deeds to fund housing for indigent persons including disabled persons.
  8. Public Act 94-0202 permits peace officers to transport someone to a mental health facility without personal observation of the conduct which is the basis for involuntary commitment.

Summary of Changes Enacted in 2004

  1. Public Act 93-0770 (effective 1/1/05). Requires the Department of Human Services to take over from law enforcement (sheriffs) the responsibility for transporting persons facing involuntary civil commitment. Cook County is expected from this change.
  2. Public Act 93-0992 (effective 1/1/05). Imposes a supplement court fee to fund the creation of mental health courts (criminal court diversion for persons with mental illnesses modelled after drug courts.)
  3. Public Act 93-1034 (effective 9/3/04). Places $1.2 million from sale of the former Zeller Mental Health Center in a fund to support the transportation of persons with mental illnesses facing commitment (See Public Act 93-0770 above.)
  4. Public Act 93-0773 (effective 7/21/04). Requires annual report on the treatment of persons with autism.
  5. Public Act 93-0907 (effectie 8/11/04). Requires state suicide prevention plan.
  6. Public Act 93-0839 (effective 7/30/04). Creates public process to review the closure of any state mental health facility.
  7. Public 93-0751 (effective 7/15/04). Amends Confidentiality Act to permit disclosures during investigation of abuse of disabled adults.