Arizona lawmaker planning bill to mandate tracking of veteran suicides

Rep. Jay Lawrence at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on July 23, 2018. / KTAR Photo/ Kathy Cline

 

Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents the family of Antouine Castaneda

By Kathy Cline | KTAR

A bill that would require the compilation of veteran suicide statistics could be introduced next session in the Arizona Legislature.

State Rep. Jay Lawrence — a Republican who chairs the House Military, Veterans and Regulatory Affairs Committee — hasn’t written the bill yet. In fact, he’s only submitted suggestions to the Arizona Legislative Council.

He does plan to have something ready for the coming legislative session.

As Lawrence envisions it: “[The bill would] require the state of Arizona to compile a report on veteran suicide and provide that report to the Legislature and the Department of Veterans Affairs beginning Jan. 1, 2020.”

“This will come before the committee,” he said during a news conference at the Capitol on Monday. “I guarantee you: It will be voted for, or I will eat some heads.”

“Before you can solve a problem, you’ve got to realize the extent of the problem,” said Mike Scerbo, spokesman for the family of Antouine Castaneda.

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