Arizona budget crisis could pause mental health suit

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX (AP) -- Fallout from Arizona's budget crisis continues to mount, with state officials and advocates for mentally ill people seeking court permission for a two-year pause in a decades-long battle over adequacy of the state's programs.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge held a hearing Friday on a joint submittal by Gov. Jan Brewer and lawyers for class-action plaintiffs in a lawsuit originally filed in 1981.

Both sides told the judge that they're trying to head off the possibility that the budget crisis could lead the Legislature to repeal the state law that mandates services for the seriously mentally ill.

That law is the basis for the suit originally filed in 1981.

© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.