Senate passes gun safety legislation with Stabenow’s mental health program

Washington — A gun safety law passed by the Senate late Thursday will expand eligibility for a mental health program prepared by Michigan Senator Debbie Stabeno to all states.

The vote was 65 to 33, as 15 Republican senators voted with Democrats to support the package, hailed as the most important firearms legislation in 30 years. The House of Representatives is expected to adopt the legislation early Friday.

The Stabenow measure, co-written by Senator Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, compensates states through Medicaid for mental health and addiction services provided at federally qualified community health clinics that must provide 24-hour crisis services, among other elements.

Senate passes gun safety legislation with Stabenow’s mental health program

“We know that more than half of all firearm deaths are suicides and that people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrate it,” Stabeno said in a statement after the vote.

“This act builds on my transformative behavioral health care initiative to provide high-quality mental health and addiction services to communities across the country to provide people with the care they need as part of the health care system.”

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