Gov. Newsom Jumps the Gun on Proposition 1

Opponents Warn Gov’s March 5 Ballot Measure is ‘Not Going to Be a Layup’

SACRAMENTO, Dec. 30, 2023 – Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday issued a list of laws going into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, but bizarrely chose to include Proposition 1.

Proposition 1 faces the voters on the March 5, 2024, ballot. The governor merely signed legislation to put it on the ballot. No part of it would go into effect without a majority vote of Californians in March.

Opponents criticized the governor for claiming the measure as an accomplishment in a statement issued today:

It is premature for Gov. Newsom to claim Proposition 1 as some kind of victory already. His only accomplishment is getting it on the ballot.

Does the governor believe Prop. 1 is some kind of automatic win? No ballot measure is ever in the bag, and this campaign is not going to be a layup.

The reality is that Prop. 1 is a nightmare for taxpayers, cities and counties, and for people with mental illness. The measure is huge, expensive, and destructive.

A bipartisan coalition is rising against Prop. 1. Voters are already worried about its costs, more than $9 billion in new expenses. Even more voters will recoil when they learn that Prop. 1 deeply cuts mental health services now provided by counties. Prop. 1 would break promises made to people with mental illness and their families.

The governor and his allies love to portray Prop. 1 as some kind of magic, new multi-billion-dollar program without costs or consequences. It’s not magic. It relies heavily on new borrowing and raiding funds from current mental health programs. California will be better off when Prop. 1 is defeated.



The ballot pamphlet arguments against Prop. 1 were signed by:

Sen. Brian Jones (R-San Diego)

Assembly Member Diane Dixon (R-Newport Beach)

Heidi Strunk, CEO of Mental Health America in California (MHAC)

Andrea Wagner, Executive Director, California Association of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations

Paul Simmons, Executive Director, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of California


Other opponents noted in the official ballot pamphlet:

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Cal Voices (California’s oldest mental health advocacy organization)


Californians Against Proposition 1 is a broad, nonpartisan coalition of people, including those who provide and receive local and statewide mental health services. We are concerned with the many issues raised by the proposition, from the bond itself to the many complex changes to the state’s system of delivery of services to vulnerable, and often marginalized, populations.