Effects of New Mental Health Funding Limited
Rural counties in California are benefiting the least from funding for mental health services from Proposition 63, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Voters in 2004 approved Proposition 63 to raise the state income tax on high-income residents to fund mental health care.
However, rural counties receive significantly less funding than urban areas due to population size. Also, because the funds can only be used toward programs created after the measure passed, counties' core mental health services have been left with budget shortfalls, according to the Times (Romney/Gold, Los Angeles Times, 9/17).
Some counties have been forced to cut funding for core mental health services at a time when demand for services is on the rise.
Mental health advocates argue that Proposition 63 does nothing to improve a county's mental health system because of its limitations on which programs can receive funding (Romney/Gold, Los Angeles Times, 9/16).
Proposition 63's guidelines also have strained rural governments, requiring counties to hold community meetings to choose funding recipients, compile statistics on need and closely monitor results (Los Angeles Times, 9/17).