Passed proposition to help mental health, homelessness

By Raymond Nava

Voters voted yes on Proposition 1. Prop. 1 will expand mental health services and build more housing to combat the homelessness crisis in California.

The California primary gives voters the chance to decide on Prop. 1 through their ballot. Prop. 1, not to be confused with the abortion measure from 2022 under the same number, is the only proposition on the ballot.

Prop. 1 will do four main things. First, it would amend the 2004 Mental Health Services Act that created a comprehensive approach to provide community-based support and mental health services to California residents.

The MHSA was passed with the approval of Prop. 63 in 2004.

Prop. 1 would amend the act to include treatment for substance use disorders, something that is common in homeless individuals.

Secondly, the proposition will change how the revenue collected under the MHSA is spent.

Prop. 63 also enacted a 1% tax on income above $1 million that would be used to fund the

services the act created.

Prop. 1 would now require that 30% of the funding go toward housing intervention programs.

Then, $6.38 billion in bonds would be issued under the passage of Prop. 1 which would fund different programs.

The money would be divided with up to $4.4 billion going towards mental healthcare and drug and alcohol treatment facilities.

$2 billion would go towards funding permanent housing for homeless individuals and veterans.

The MHSA created the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission which was originally composed of 16 members, and will increase to 27.

The commission is tasked with reviewing county planning efforts and over sees the Department of Mental Health.

With the current homelessness crisis, the current legislation should be updated to take the current homelessness situation into consideration.

The changes Prop. 1 makes to include substance abuse is a necessary step to fight the homelessness crisis.

A number of homeless individuals suffer from substance abuse and can pose a threat to themselves as well as the public.

These changes will help create safer enviroments in public spaces.

Prop. 1 will serve as a much-needed update to legislation passed 20 years ago.

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