San Francisco Mayor Announces Proposition 63 Task Force
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) on Monday announced the formation of a task force to monitor the city's receipt of about $50 million a year in funding through Proposition 63, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/21).
Groups recently have begun planning how to win funding under Proposition 63, a state ballot measure approved Nov. 2 that raises the state's personal income tax by 1% on annual incomes that exceed $1 million to fund mental health services. The Legislative Analyst's Office estimates Proposition 63 will generate $275 million in fiscal year 2004-2005, $750 million in 2006 and $800 million annually thereafter.
Under the proposition, most of the money will be allocated to programs providing services for children and adults with severe mental illnesses, while 20% of funds will be available for prevention and early intervention. Through 2008, $300 million will be allocated for capital facilities and technology, and an additional $300 million will be allocated for human resources programs. The funds will be allocated directly to counties and local organizations (California Healthline, 11/29).
Newsom said the city should spend much of the funds on supportive housing for people who are chronically homeless, adding, "I feel very strongly that we need to end chronic homelessness, and the only way we can do that is to address their behavioral health issues."
Newsom added that the 40-member task force will consider proposals "from all over the city" on how Proposition 63 funds should be allocated, according to the Chronicle. Barbara Garcia, director of community programs for the Department of Public Health, will head the task force, and she and Newsom will select residents and publicand private agency personnel as members.
"It's a huge amount of cash, and we haven't made any decisions on who will get what yet," Carol Hood, deputy director of the state Department of Mental Health, which will oversee the funding, said (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/21).