The Andrew Loyd Bill seeks to prevent the kind of tragedy that took the life of its namesake, the 11-year-old Farmington boy who was shot and killed by his father shortly before his father fatally turned the gun on himself.
Loyd’s father had a history of mental health issues and had been treated at local mental health facilities before the October 2012 shooting.
Bain said the bill will be a collaborative effort, the product of his talks with a range of people with expertise on the subject or connections to the Andrew Loyd tragedy.
“Working on the bill, I’ve talked with mental health people here and in Jackson, law enforcement in Farmington and, most importantly, the family about how to do this,” Bain said. “We want to honor Andrew and make sure he didn’t die in vain.”
Here’s how the proposed bill will work. If a parent with sole custody of a child is admitted to a mental health facility, the bill will require the Department of Human Services to conduct a home study within a specified amount of time to determine if the child is in need of protection.
“We want to do everything possible to protect the children,” said Bain. “Our overall goal is to try to protect the children in these situations without intruding on the personal privacy of adults or costing the DHS or taxpayers money.”
The bill is currently in the drafting stage. It will go through a vetting process with mental health and law enforcement officials, as well as the family of Andrew Loyd before it will be introduced in the House.
Bain plans to file the bill before the deadline in mid-January 2014. Between now and then he plans to continue talking to individuals about what the bill should be and to talk to special interest groups that focus on protecting children to drum up some extra support for the bill.
“Basically, we want to honor Andrew and make sure he didn’t die in vain,” said Bain.