Groups Prepare To Seek Funds From Ballot Measure To Expand Mental Health Services
Groups including the California Mental Health Directors Association have begun planning how to win funding under Proposition 63, a state ballot measure approved Nov. 2 that raises the state's personal income tax by 1% on annual incomes that exceed $1 million to fund mental health services, the Sacramento Bee reports. The Legislative Analyst's Office estimates Proposition 63 will generate $275 million in fiscal year 2004-2005, $750 million in 2006 and $800 million annually thereafter.
Under the proposition, most of the money will be allocated to programs providing services for children and adults with severe mental illnesses, while 20% of funds will be available for prevention and early intervention. Through 2008, $300 million will be allocated for capital facilities and technology, and an additional $300 million will be allocated for human resources programs. The funds will be allocated directly to counties and local organizations, the Bee reports.
Jim Hunt, director of Sacramento County Health and Human Services, said competition among counties for funds has created a "feeding frenzy," adding that the measure will not generate sufficient revenue to fund all requests.
Carol Hood, deputy director of the Department of Mental Health, said the state will distribute $12 million to counties in early 2005, but "the actual (money for) services won't start getting out until September or October."
According to the Bee, the department will meet Dec. 17 to review funding requests (Rojas, Sacramento Bee, 11/25).