NEW SERIES: California’s Prop. 1 Allows $6.38 Billion in Bonds for Mental Health Treatments | Doug Chaffee

The upcoming Proposition 1 on the California ballot aims to update the state’s approach to mental health and homelessness services. If passed, it would change the Mental Health Services Act into a Behavioral Health Services Act and realign over $160 million in county funding.
Supporters argue this is needed to help those with severe mental illness who are hardest to treat. The proposition would provide $6.38 billion in bonds for facilities like veterans housing and mental health inpatient care.
However, Orange County Supervisor Doug Chaffee has concerns about the impact on existing homelessness programs. As someone overseeing local services, he believes prevention should be prioritized over expensive end-of-spectrum treatment.
Mr. Chaffee notes Orange County already addresses substance abuse and mental health issues through its Be Well facility. But shifting funds could force cuts to effective prevention programs. He worries this may increase homelessness long-term rather than reducing it.
There are also questions about how the bond money will be allocated and how new facilities will be funded. Mr. Chaffee cites the need for flexibility to adjust to community needs, which may be reduced under the proposition.
While both sides aim to help the mentally ill and homeless, there is disagreement on the best strategy. Voters will soon decide whether Proposition 1’s proposed changes are the right approach. The debate highlights the complex challenges of addressing these issues at the state and local levels.
*Views expressed in this video/article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of California Insider.
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