Editorial: More Mental Health Funding Needed
Cutbacks in state funding for mental health services have caused San Luis Obispo County to struggle to "provide basic programs vital to the well-being" of an estimated 2,000 to 4,000 residents served by mental health programs annually, a San Luis Obispo Tribune editorial states.
However, the county will receive new annual revenue from a 2004 ballot measure approved by voters that will award the county a share of a 1% tax on residents with annual incomes that exceed $1 million, according to the Tribune.
The annual share to the county is estimated at $2.3 million. However, the editorial notes that revenue can only be used to fund new programs, not existing programs that are struggling financially.
The editorial concludes, "We can't depend on a millionaires' tax to pay all the bills for mental health services; we must continue to hold officials accountable when they overlook the needs of this vulnerable population" (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 12/20).