Friday, June 25, 2010
Star-Advertiser: State sued over mental health cuts
by Larry Geller
Today’s article by reporter Helen Altonn describes further cuts in state mental health services—all, according to the lawsuit, illegal because the state’s administrative rules don’t allow the Department of Health to slash services:
Positions will be eliminated Wednesday for professionals statewide who advise the Health Department about the behavioral health needs of their communities, according to the center.
The center argues that the new eligibility rules are void because they were adopted without following requirements of the Hawaii Administrative Procedures Act for a formal process allowing interested people to comment. [Star-Advertiser, State sued over mental health cuts, 6/25/2010]
Unfortunately, it is likely that people have died as a result of the state’s decisions. Perhaps that will come out during the course of the case.
Should the plaintiffs prevail, this case could open the way to private suits against the state for damages and possibly loss of life suffered by those whose services were cut off.