Initiative To Fund Mental Health Services Qualifies for November Ballot
An initiative that would institute a 1% tax on adjusted personal incomes exceeding $1 million annually to fund mental health services has qualified for the November statewide ballot, Secretary of State Kevin Shelley announced Monday, the Sacramento Bee reports. The measure would raise about $600 million in its first year to pay for mental health services for children and homeless adults, as well as fund new treatment facilities and transitional housing. According to the Bee, "after decades of failing to persuade the Legislature and governors to fully fund community-based services," mental health advocates moved to address the issue with the ballot initiative. However, advocates said that they do not think the ballot measure will change Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) opposition to levying more taxes to fund mental health programs. Rusty Selix, executive director of the California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies, said, "It's our hope that people want to take a different approach." Some critics of the initiative say that it would "unfairly singl[e] out the rich," the Bee reports (Rojas, Sacramento Bee, 5/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.