Mental health awareness response & community understanding serv. (Marcus) alert syst.; establishes. (HB5043)

Introduced By

Del. Jeff Bourne (D-Richmond) with support from co-patron Del. Dawn Adams (D-Richmond)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Mental health awareness response and community understanding services (Marcus) alert system. Provides that the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) shall support the development and establishment of a mental health awareness response and community understanding services (Marcus) alert system throughout the Commonwealth. The bill provides that, by July 1, 2021, DBHDS shall establish five Marcus alert programs and community care teams, one located in each of the five agency regions. By July 1, 2023, DBHDS shall establish five additional Marcus alert system programs and community care teams in such regions. Additional systems and teams are to be established in subsequent years and by July 1, 2026, all community services board or behavioral health geographical areas shall have established a Marcus alert system that uses community care teams. A "community care team" is defined in the bill as a group of mental health service providers working with registered peer recovery specialists and law-enforcement officers as a team, with the mental health service providers leading such team, to help stabilize individuals in crisis situations. A "mental health awareness response and community understanding services (Marcus) alert system" or "Marcus alert system" is defined in the bill as a process in which a call for service or other communication to an emergency 911 system or that is communicated with any other equivalent reporting system is routed for the appropriate services, including calls for service being directed to a community care team. The bill directs DBHDS and DCJS to submit a detailed plan for the establishment of a Marcus alert system that uses community care teams in community service boards or behavioral health authority geographical areas throughout the Commonwealth to the Joint Commission on Health Care no later than June 1, 2021 Read the Bill »


09/16/2020: passed committee


08/17/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 08/18/20 20200715D
08/17/2020Referred to Committee on Public Safety
08/25/2020Reported from Public Safety with substitute (13-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
08/25/2020Referred to Committee on Appropriations
08/25/2020Committee substitute printed 20201023D-H1
08/31/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB5043H1)
09/02/2020Impact statement from DHCD/CLG (HB5043)
09/04/2020House committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
09/04/2020Reported from Appropriations with substitute (21-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
09/04/2020Committee substitute printed 20201114D-H2
09/08/2020Read first time
09/09/2020Read second time
09/09/2020Public Safety Committee substitute rejected 20201023D-H1
09/09/2020Appropriations Committee substitute agreed to 20201114D-H2
09/09/2020Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB5043H2
09/10/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB5043H2)
09/10/2020Passed by until after Resolutions Regular Calendar
09/10/2020Read third time and passed House (57-Y 39-N)
09/10/2020VOTE: Passage (57-Y 39-N) (see vote tally)
09/15/2020Constitutional reading dispensed
09/15/2020Referred to Committee on the Judiciary
09/16/2020Reported from Judiciary with substitute (8-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
09/16/2020Rereferred to Finance and Appropriations
09/16/2020Committee substitute printed 20201198D-S1
09/17/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB5043S1)


AV Milstein writes:

I support this bill. A mental health crisis should be responded to by a mental health response team. Police officers are not trained to deal with this situation and the presence of them never makes people feel at ease.

Richard Ashley writes:

This bill represents important progress on a issue vitally affecting a substantial number of citizens' lives. I wholeheartedly support it.

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