County Officials Work To Create Plans for Allocation of Proposition 63 Funds
The Contra Costa Times on Monday examined how task forces around the state have been meeting throughout the summer to decide how to allocate funds expected from Proposition 63.
Money from Proposition 63 -- a measure that increased the state personal income tax for residents whose annual incomes exceed $1 million to fund mental health services -- will be appropriated to counties statewide based on a formula that represents population and need.
Alameda and Contra Costa counties, for instance, expect to receive $11 million and $7.1 million, respectively.
According to the Times, the primary goal for the spending is to find ways to reduce the "fallout of untreated mental illness," including incarceration, homelessness and frequent hospitalization. Task forces are considering:
- Reserving beds in substance abuse treatment centers for those who have both mental illnesses and substance abuse problems;
- Hiring outreach workers to assist mentally ill offenders transition back into the community;
- Staffing courthouses with mental health professionals able to advise judges and lawyers;
- Improving translation services in jails and courts, so that mental health issues will not be ignored in non-English speakers; and
- Providing liaisons to explain criminal justice procedures to families of people with mental illnesses (Steffens, Contra Costa Times, 7/11).
Proposition 63 "gives our state an opportunity to create a strong support system for the mentally ill and their families built on long-term goals, rather than a fragmented model that lurches from budget crisis to budget crisis," the Fresno Bee editorial states (Fresno Bee, 7/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.