Tallahassee social services advocate Budd Bell, who spent nearly four decades lobbying the legislature for children and families, died this morning, the News Service of Florida reported.
She was 94.
For more than a generation, Bell was a familiar sight in the halls of the Capitol where she fiercely fought for services for poor children, the mentally ill and the disabled.
Bell pushed lawmakers to create the Baker Act, which allows mentally ill or suicidal individuals to be temporarily hospitalized instead of sent to jail.
Bell, a founding member of the National Association of Social Workers in 1955, was also instrumental in requiring child care centers to be licensed.