Mental Health Advocates File Lawsuit Over Ballot Measure
Two mental health advocates have filed a lawsuit challenging the language of a May 19 special election ballot measure that seeks to divert mental health funding allocated under Proposition 63 to help balance the state budget, the Sacramento Bee reports (Furillo, Sacramento Bee, 3/4).
Proposition 1E would shift $226.7 million from mental health care programs that Proposition 63 funds to the existing Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program for low-income children for two years.
The measure is one of six financial measures up for vote in the May 19 election. The ballot initiatives would complete the budget Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed last month that uses tax increases, spending cuts and borrowing to cover California's projected budget deficit through fiscal year 2009-2010 (California Healthline, 3/3).
The lawsuit -- filed by Rusty Selix, executive director of the Mental Health Association in California and the California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies, and Richard Van Horn, a member of Proposition 63's oversight commission -- contends that the ballot label on Proposition 1E is "false and misleading."
It also takes issue with language in the proposition's title and summary that says the measure "ensures" and "guarantees" funding for mental health programs and does not clearly state that Proposition 1E would shift funding voters earmarked in 2004.
Selix and Van Horn have asked a judge to require the secretary of state's office to amend the ballot wording. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday (Sacramento Bee, 3/4).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.