Mental health tax advocates speaking at Our Lady of the Lake
BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) - Local officials are highlighting mental health at a Wednesday morning gathering in the Capital City.
According to Emergent Method, a group of officials including District Attorney Hillar Moore, III are showing their "unified support for a mental health tax to fund operations of a mental health crisis stabilization center in East Baton Rouge Parish."
Joining DA Moore at today's event are these individuals:
Former head of the Department of Health and Hospitals and Bridge Center for Hope Board Chair Kathy Kliebert
Sheriff Sid J. Gautreaux, III
Coroner William “Beau” Clark, M.D.
Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy J. Paul
Suzy Sonnier, Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Health District
Organizers said, "the tax, on ballots December 8, will represent a 1.5 millage property tax, estimated to cost $1.50 per month for the average homeowner with a home valued at $200,000."
The event is scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.
According to Emergent Method, "the tax would generate $6 million annually for ten years to fund the stabilization center, but is estimated to save the Baton Rouge community $55 million over the life of the tax."
“Mental illness is not a crime, and what we are doing today is not creating the outcomes we
need,” said Moore. “Our police officers are spending exorbitant amounts of time responding to
mental health crisis-related calls. Then the burden is on them to de-escalate the situation, taxi
individuals to the ER, and oftentimes wait with them until they are admitted. This can take
anywhere from four to 12 hours – time that should be spent fighting real crime.”
Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center is located at 5000 Hennessy Blvd.