Steinberg Visits New York To Push for Mental Health Care Funding
This week, California Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) is visiting New York City to advocate for increased funding for mental health care services nationwide, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.
In the wake of a December 2012 shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, Steinberg announced plans to push for a $10 billion investment in preventing and treating mental health conditions across the U.S. (Van Oot, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 2/11).
He sent a letterÂ to Vice President Biden urging him to consider California's Mental Health Services Act as a template for national mental health initiatives.
In January, Steinberg traveled to Washington, D.C., for the presidential inauguration and met with Obama administration officials and congressional leaders -- including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) -- about increasing aid for national mental health programs.
Steinberg said that while he supports stricter gun control measures -- such as those described in proposals released by President Obama -- he believes that improving mental health services could do more to help prevent violent incidences.
He said, "It is about identifying people who might be prone to these awful acts, but it's about much more than that," adding, "It's about helping people who can lead good lives, productive lives, if we do the right thing and do the right thing early" (California Healthline, 1/17).
Details of New York Trip
Over two days in New York City, Steinberg is scheduled to attend meetings with finance and political leaders -- including formerÂ New YorkÂ Gov. George Pataki (R) -- and participate in media interviews.
Rhys Williams, a spokesperson for Steinberg, said the purpose of the trip -- which is partially funded by the state -- is to forge "new relationships" as Steinberg works to build a "national coalition of support" for increasing mental health care services funding.Williams said that Steinberg is "committed to pushing this idea of a national mental health care framework based on what's worked in California" ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 2/11). 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.