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Prop. 1 is huge, expensive and destructive. Learn more, and please vote no!

  • It’s huge. The bill runs over 180 pages, amending dozens of statutes and creating new law. Much of it was drafted in a rush in a secretive, exclusionary legislative process. The potential for unintended consequences and litigation is enormous.
  • It’s expensive. Prop. 1’s bonds will cost at least $9.3 billion to pay back, according to the Legislative Analyst. That means a new annual charge of $310 million out of every state budget for 30 years, reducing the money available for other priorities. Prop. 1 also reduces current funding for local mental health services, requiring counties to spend more money if they want to keep programs that they have. And Prop. 1 doubles state administrative costs for the Mental Health Services Act to an estimated $280 million per year.
  • It’s destructive. Prop. 1 cuts services for people with mental illness. It’s a terrible irony, but an unavoidable reality. First, Prop. 1 chops 35% out of annual Mental Health Services Act money and dedicates it to other purposes. Then, Prop. 1 rigorously prescribes how counties must spend about half the remaining money, leaving less for voluntary mental health services. (Prop. 1 seems to favor questionable forced-treatment concepts.) Finally, the balance of funds left over is put up for competition among mental health and other chronically under-funded services, such as substance abuse treatment.

The promise of Prop. 1 is supposed to be to do new, big things to help solve homelessness. It is promoted as if it costs nothing, and has no downside.

In truth, Prop. 1 breaks promises made by the voters when they first passed the Mental Health Services Act in 2004. The idea then was to create permanent, dedicated funding for long-neglected mental health services, including prevention, early intervention, programs for youth, programs for struggling and under-served populations (including racially and ethnically diverse groups and LGBTQ people). The MHSA is a proven model, offering “anything it takes” to help individuals who need a range of services.

Now, Prop. 1 would sharply reduce that funding, end its dedication to mental health programs and take a hatchet to dozens of programs across the state that cannot survive without MHSA funding. It orders counties to do more with less.

Supporters of Prop. 1 act proud to have created a multi-billion-dollar program without new taxes. It wasn’t magic. They did it with pricey bonds and by raiding existing programs. The true costs are incalculable: There is no way to tally all that would be lost if Prop. 1 wins.

Human Costs of Prop. 1's Cuts

Costs of Prop. 1

Rebutting Prop. 1 Claims


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