Saturday, October 06, 2018


California can trace its homeless problem back to the 1970's, when Ronald Reagan, as Governor, dismantled the state's mental health system. Interestingly, one of the provisions he eliminated, conservatorship, was recently reinstated in CA. This is the policy allowing the state to detain people with serious, chronic mental health problems.

In 2004, voters passed Prop 63, an initiative that added a 1% tax to incomes over $1 Million, to establish the Mental Health Services Act. This program has since raised an enormous amount of money, much of which is unspent, partly because funds are not allowed to be used for construction of mental health housing, only services.

In 2016, the legislature passed the No Place Like Home Program to build housing for those with mental illness who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. However, the state is required to seek court approval before it can sell bonds to pay the $2 Billion price tag. Prop 2 would, instead, ratify the program and allow up to $140 Million annually to be transferred from the Mental Health Services Act to pay for the bonds.

In other words, these funds, which are sitting unspent, will be put to use building housing for those who are homeless due to chronic mental illness. And it will not add to our taxes or deficit.

Your Political Friend is voting YES.

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