San Francisco Supervisors Criticize Mental Health, Social Services Cuts in Mayor’s Budget Proposal
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors yesterday criticized Mayor Willie Brown's (D) $4.8 billion budget proposal, specifically questioning his plan to cut funding for mental health programs and health services, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Brown's budget proposal addresses an estimated $347 million budget deficit. Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Gavin Newsom -- both of whom are running for mayor in November -- object to the mayor's plan to reduce by $2.7 million funding for mental health residential treatment services and daytime treatment centers citywide. Newsom said such cuts are "penny-wise and pound-foolish," adding that the cost of emergency room treatment for a patient who has a mental illness is greater than in a residential treatment program. Ammiano said, "The mayor's priorities aren't necessarily the board's or the community's. There will be high drama ahead." P.J. Johnston, Brown's press secretary, said he was not surprised to hear the supervisors' complaints, but added, "[T]he mayor's staff will make a very compelling case for the decisions that have been made." The board will hold its first meeting to discuss the mayor's budget proposal on Monday and is expected to take a final vote on the proposal in July (Lelchuk, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/3).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.