Wisconsin lawmakers are working on a plan to strip the Milwaukee County Board of its authority over the troubled mental health complex.
State Reps. Joe Sanfelippo, a Republican from West Allis, and Sandy Pasch, a Democrat from Whitefish Bay, are considering a proposal that would transfer the power from the board to either a regional authority or a commission of medical professionals, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"People need to wake up and understand that we have a horrible setting for care and an unsustainable model," Sanfelippo said of the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex. "I wouldn't send my dog there."
Pasch, a psychiatric nurse who co-chaired a state panel that last month recommended a series of other reforms, said small fixes will not work.
For more than 20 years, consultants have been recommending that the county reduce the inpatient population and enhance care in the community. Instead, the county has the most lopsided system in the country, with most money going to expensive inpatient care while the number of emergency cases is the same now as it was two decades ago, according to the newspaper.
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Supervisor Peggy Romo West, who chairs the board's Health and Human Needs Committee, said they are open to the idea of a commission or authority.
A spokesman for Gov. Scott Walker, a former Milwaukee County executive, declined to comment until there is a more specific proposal.