Officials head back to drawing board on fate of Taunton State Hospital 07/25/2012

Earlier this month, Gov. Deval Patrick vetoed a $5 million budget item to keep 45 beds at Taunton State Hospital. Then the state’s Senate and House of Representatives voted unanimously to override Patrick’s veto, throwing a wrench into the administration’s plan to shut down the Taunton facility.

State Senator Marc Pacheco helped lead an effort on Beacon Hill to order a study of the state’s mental health system. Pacheco said he predicts the study will show the need for more than the 626 beds currently maintained in the state. Pacheco said the study, which will be overseen by a independent commission, is set to be completed by December. At this point, he said, a commission must still be appointed to select a consultant to conduct the study.

“I really don’t think they have this fully thought out, shutting down Taunton State, in terms of the impact that we are going to continue to have,” Pacheco said. “That’s why I can’t wait for the study to begin