CO Gov. wants $18.5M to expand mental health care

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DENVER (AP) -- Gov. John Hickenlooper is asking Colorado lawmakers for $18.5 million to expand mental health services in response to this summer's mass shooting at an Aurora theater.

The governor's office said Monday that the services Hickenlooper and state health officials are proposing include opening five 24-hour walk-in centers for mental health care in Colorado and establishing a statewide mental health crisis hotline. Those two initiatives alone are estimated to cost $10.2 million.

State officials planned to discuss the initiatives Tuesday morning. The Democratic governor will be joined by state Human Services Executive Director Reggie Bicha and members of Colorado's mental health and public safety communities.

Former neuroscience graduate student James Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding 70 others in the July movie theater shootings. His attorneys say he suffers from mental illness.

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