Editorial, Letter Recommend Support for Measure to Fund Mental Health Services
A recent editorial and letter to the editor address Proposition 63, a measure on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot to finance an expansion of mental health services by a 1% increase in the state personal income tax for individuals whose annual incomes exceed $1 million. The increase would generate an estimated $275 million in additional revenue in fiscal year 2004-2005, rising to $750 million the next year and $800 million in subsequent years, according to an estimate by the Legislative Analyst's Office (California Healthline, 9/27). Summaries of the pieces appear below.
Fresno Bee: It is time for California to "adequately fund the treatment of mental illness" by "committing a new funding stream to a single purpose in perpetuity no matter what," and the "imperfect Proposition 63 [is] the only alternative on the horizon," a Bee editorial states. The Bee concludes that "funding for mental illness treatments should be no different than that of physical illness. Voters can send that message to Sacramento by voting 'yes' on Proposition 63" (Fresno Bee, 10/5).
- Jim Raphael, San Jose Mercury News: The cost of "the lack of mental health treatment for a large segment of [California's] youth ... can be measured in the number of adolescent lives lost to suicide and the number of untreated mentally ill children who drop out of school and drift into crime or substance abuse," Raphael, senior patients' rights advocate at the Mental Health Advocacy Project, writes in a Mercury News letter to the editor. Voting "yes" on Proposition 63 "would be a good start to funding a meaningful solution to this tragedy," he adds (Raphael, San Jose Mercury News, 10/5).
In related news, KPCC's "Talk of the City" on Friday included a debate between Assembly members Ray Haynes (R-Temecula), who opposes Proposition 63, and Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), who supports the measure (Felde, "Talk of the City," KPCC, 10/1). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
More information of Proposition 63 is available online.
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