Budget Policy Group Warns of Prop. 1's 'Key Flaw'

Prop. 1 Requires Counties to Do More with the Same Money, Forcing Mental Health Cuts

SACRAMENTO, Jan. 18 – A new report by the California Budget & Policy Center tries to walk a line in describing Proposition 1 evenhandedly, but doesn't miss the basic problems that the measure presents. Some highlights (see full report online here):

"[I]t would cost the state approximately $9.3 billion to repay the total bond debt, not including the cost of inflation."

"A key flaw of this initiative is that it expands the scope of the MHSA and prioritizes funding for people who are or at risk of experiencing homelessness without increasing the tax or providing new revenue to support existing county behavioral health programs. This approach is concerning, as it redirects funds originally allocated for a specific purpose to address a different need."

Prop. 1 "would increase housing supports but might adversely impact counties’ ability to provide behavioral health services."

"[C]ounty leaders have expressed that this initiative could result in less funding for core [mental health] services... Prop. 1 could negatively impact services for Californians of color and LGBTQ+ communities that are currently supported by MHSA funding."

"[T]he MHSA restructuring could result in significantly less funding for core services, which could lead to counties:

  • Canceling contracts with community-based organizations.
  • Closing programs that are currently serving Californians.
  • Reducing county staffing."