Los Angeles County Approves Plan for Proposition 63 Funds
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to approve a three-year spending plan for $280 million in funds from Proposition 63 for the county's mental health system, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Proposition 63, approved by voters in November 2004, increased the state income tax by 1% for state residents who earn more than $1 million annually to fund mental health programs.
Board members voted to allocate about half of the $90 million in annual funds to provide housing for 4,500 county residents with severe mental illnesses, many of whom currently are in jail or homeless. The other half will be used to provide mental health services to more than 52,000 residents, including foster children, youth in the county's probation system and juvenile halls and those who routinely seek care at county psychiatric emergency departments.
Funds also will be used to provide mental health care for 100,000 family members and other county residents with less severe mental conditions.
Marvin Southard, director of the county Mental Health Department, said he expects the state to release the funds in January pending approval of the county's plan (Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News, 11/15).