HB1318C-MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY EMPLOYEES
Summary of the Committee Version of the Bill

HB 1318 -- EMPLOYEES OF CERTAIN MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES

SPONSOR:  Riddle

COMMITTEE ACTION:  Voted "do pass" by the Committee on General
Laws by a vote of 9 to 0.

This bill specifies that no state employee working in a maximum
or medium security mental health facility or any portion of a
mental health facility with maximum or medium security can be
required to work more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period unless
it is under a state of emergency declared by the Governor.

FISCAL NOTE:  Estimated Net Cost on General Revenue Fund of
$651,000 in FY 2013, FY 2014, and FY 2015.  No impact on Other
State Funds in FY 2013, FY 2014, and FY 2015.

PROPONENTS:  Supporters say that the current working environment
for employees of these mental health facilities is dangerous.
They are forced to work long shifts in stressful situations with
little time off in between shifts.  Many of these employees are
injured on a frequent basis and the patients in these facilities
do not receive as high a quality of care.  The bill doesn't
prevent employees from choosing to work additional hours, but
keeps them from being forced to do so.

Testifying for the bill were Representative Riddle; American
Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 72;
Dawn Freemyer, CWA-Missouri Employers Workers Union; Curtis
Jacobs; Tom Martin; and Service Employees International Union,
MO/KS State Council.

OPPONENTS:  There was no opposition voiced to the committee.

OTHERS:  Others testifying on the bill say it is difficult to
maintain adequate staffing at these facilities.  The turnover
rate is high and they are significantly understaffed due to
budget reductions.  The ability to limit employees' working hours
is restricted because the facility cannot function without proper
staffing.

Others testifying on the bill were Division of Comprehensive
Psychiatric Services, Department of Mental Health; and Missouri
Corrections Officers Association.

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Missouri House of Representatives
Last Updated February 16, 2012 at 10:42 am