Mayor Breed Issues Executive Directive to Implement New State Conservatorship Law
San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed today issued an Executive Directive to City Departments to implement the new state conservatorship law signed by Governor Newsom yesterday. Senate Bill 43 (SB 43), authored by State Senator Susan Eggman, changes the state laws around conservatorship and goes into effect on January 1, 2024. Mayor Breed’s Executive Directive ensures that the City is working collaboratively and efficiently to operationalize the new expanded scope of Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS) conservatorships.
The previously outdated LPS conservatorship laws failed to include certain people who are at great risk of harm due to their inability to live safely in the community. By expanding the definition of grave disability to include those who live with severe substance use disorder and those who are unable to provide for their own personal safety or necessary medical care, SB 43 offers a way to stabilize individuals who are most at risk of fatal overdoses and who are repeatedly harming themselves by providing compulsory wraparound care and treatment.
“Over the last two years, we’ve advocated for these changes to state law to help people who cannot help themselves get the care and services they need,” said Mayor London Breed. “Now that the law has been signed, we are working immediately to implement these changes at a local level. I am directing all of our departments to work closely with the City Attorney’s Office to ensure that there are no barriers to us getting this program into place and that we pursue all cases as aggressively as possible. There are too many people who are unwilling or unable to accept the help they need, and we need to get them into care immediately.”
The Mayor’s Executive Directive forms an Executive Steering Committee co-chaired by the heads of the Department of Public Health and the Director of Aging and Adult Services. The Committee will lead implementation, which the Directive focused in three main areas:
- Immediately devise policies and procedures that reflect and implement the expanded criteria for LPS conservatorship, including addressing infrastructure needs and an expedited plan of action.
- Remove barriers and avoid delays in submitting referrals to the conservatorship process, including promoting information sharing and minimizing procedural bottlenecks to filing and pursuing conservatorship cases.
- Require data reporting to provide insight into the progress of meeting these directives and will support the Committee in ensuring that San Francisco is utilizing LPS conservatorships as needed to address the health and safety of our City.
The Mayor’s Executive Directive also requests critical support from the City Attorney’s Office to pursue all appropriate conservatorship cases referred by appropriate City Departments.
“The modernization of the LPS act is long overdue,” said San Francisco Health Director, Dr. Grant Colfax. “While there is still more work needed to meet the needs of adults unable to care for their own basic needs due to serious mental illness or a severe substance use disorder, this is a major step forward in supporting this vulnerable population. Working with our city partners, we will move forward to improve the health of individuals who can benefit from conservatorship and receive needed services.”
“We look forward to getting to work quickly with our city partners so we can implement this new law and connect vulnerable adults to the services and treatment they need,” said Kelly Dearman, executive director of the Department of Disability and Aging Services (DAS).
To build out the resources San Francisco and cities across the state need to support this work, the Mayor also worked to support two key state funding measures: AB 531, which is Governor Newsom’s proposed $6.4 billion mental health bond, and SB 326, which reforms the state’s Mental Health Services Act to provide more treatment resources. Together, these changes would create thousands of new behavioral health beds and housing units across the state. Mayor Breed also advocated during the legislative process to include locked facilities as an eligible use in the Bond, which was accepted and made into the final version.
The Executive Directive is available to read here.