Mental Health Funding at Risk in Governor’s Proposed Budget Cuts
The Assembly Budget Committee on Monday was scheduled to debate whether to maintain funding for a state program that provides services to homeless adults with mental illnesses, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in his budget proposal for next fiscal year has proposed eliminating the $55 million program.
The program's supporters cite its effectiveness and its ability to provide counties with funding that can be used at the discretion of each county in support of a client.
According to a legislative analysis, the program's clients:
- Were hospitalized about half as often as they were before enrollment;
- Were incarcerated 72% less than before enrollment; and
- Increased the number of days of employment by 65%.
The program provides services to about 5,000 people statewide, according to Patricia Ryan, executive director of the California Mental Health Directors Association.
Bill Maile, deputy press secretary for Schwarzenegger, said the combination of new mental health programs funded by Proposition 63 and a proposed increase in Medi-Cal spending would help provide services for homeless people with mental illnesses.
California voters in 2004 approved Proposition 63 to provide funds for mental health care services (Chorneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/7). 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.