By: Dave Thompson

BISMARCK, N.D. (Prairie Public) – A new state hospital will likely be proposed to the 2021 Legislature.

That’s from Hospital superintendent Dr. Rosalie Etherington.

Etherington says the results of that bed study will be given to the Legislature’s interim Human Services Committee.

Governor Burgum had proposed building a new state hospital in his 2019 executive budget. It was a part of a major change in corrections facilities. The James River Correctional Center is on the same campus as the state hospital.

An interim Legislative committee is also studying North Dakota’s mental health commitment statute  and procedures  to see if it should be changed.

But the superintendent of the State Hospital in Jamestown says it’s a good law. Dr. Rosalie Etherington says it has been consistently recognized as good law. She says she hopes the study will look at how that law is being carried out as designed.

Etherington says the education will help make sure people aren’t going without care. And she says in some instances, that’s been the case.

The study is in front of the interim judiciary Committee.