Kids Affected by Violence Could Get Mental Health Care Under California Bill
A bill (AB 2809) before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) would provide up to $5,000 in mental health services to children who witness violent crimes, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Funding for the services would come from the Victim Compensation Program, which collects money through traffic offenses, restitution fines and other penalties imposed on people convicted of crimes.
Last year, the fund collected $145 million in revenue but paid out $75 million in medical and mental health care and funeral expenses.
A legislative analysis estimates that about 40 children would apply for funds through the program annually, but Assembly member Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), who carried the bill, said far more children would qualify for benefits under the bill (Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/22).