Douglas County asking Legislature to exempt mental health spending from tax lid, revisit mandatory sentencing

Douglas County government is asking the Kansas Legislature to be a partner in the county’s ongoing efforts to improve community mental health and to reform its criminal justice system.

The requests are included in Douglas County’s 2017 legislative report, which Douglas County commissioners developed with input for county department heads and the county administrator. The report, which was written before Michelle Derusseau was sworn in Monday to the County Commission, makes a number of requests for increased state funding for such things as local health departments and the expansion of Medicaid and calls for the Legislature to forego meddling in local control manners like easement management. But it also makes multiple requests for additional mental health funding and for measures that would help reduce the incarceration rate at the Douglas County Jail.

(Read more: LJWorld.com / Lawrence, Kansas)