Fresno County Faces Cuts, New Funds for Mental Health
Fresno County officials estimate that they will need to cut about $10 million in mental health programs from the fiscal year 2007-2008 budget, the Fresno Bee reports.
Giang Nguyen, county mental health director, said she is proposing to eliminate several programs in next year's budget that assist inmates with mental illnesses and the homeless. Funding for these programs is based on sales tax and vehicle license fees.
Other potential cuts include a program that helps county residents with mental illnesses pay for apartments. The county needs $100,000 to sustain the program.
Karen Markland, the county's Mental Health Services Act coordinator, said the funding cuts will occur as the county expects to receive about $8.6 million in annual funding for new mental health programs. Markland said the county could apply for more funds and increase its allotment to $11.2 million.
The funds will come from Proposition 63, a 2004 ballot initiative that provides funds for mental health care services targeted at new clients who have not been enrolled in previous programs. The measure prohibits using the funding for existing programs (Ginis, Fresno Bee, 4/1).