Wash. lawmakers may restrict mental patient trips - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wash. lawmakers may restrict mental patient trips

Phillip Paul is taken into custody in Goldendale after nearly 4 days on the run Phillip Paul is taken into custody in Goldendale after nearly 4 days on the run
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OLYMPIA, Wash. - The state House has approved a bill that would restrict outings for patients at state mental hospitals.

House Bill 2717, prime-sponsored by Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, would restrict outings of certain institutionalized mentally-ill patients.
     
Under the bill, people committed to state institutions could leave only for medical or legal proceedings, visits with seriously ill immediate family members, or funerals of immediate family. It was endorsed unanimously by the House on Wednesday and now goes to the state Senate for debate.
     
The bill was spurred by the case of Phillip Paul, a mental patient who briefly escaped while on a field trip to a Spokane fair in September. He was captured three days later.
     
Paul had been committed to Eastern State Hospital after being found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1987 death of a Yakima Valley woman.

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