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California Opens First Round of Prop. 1 Funding

California Opens First Round of Prop. 1 Funding

California Governor Gavin Newsom meets with delegates from Norway in Larkspur, Calif., on April 17, 2024. (Travis Gillmore/The Epoch Times)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

5/16/2024

Updated: 5/20/2024

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California is ahead of schedule for making billions in bond funds available to construct mental and behavioral health treatment centers—authorized by voters through the recently approved Prop. 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced May 15.
Now $3.3 billion of $6.4 billion in funding for the proposition—which calls for investing in housing for those with mental health issues, or who are suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction, or who are homeless—will be made available by July.
“California is moving full steam ahead, getting funding out faster, and implementing key reforms sooner to better help Californians,” Mr. Newsom said.
The governor made the announcement while visiting a new behavioral health facility in Redwood City, in San Mateo County.
The newly announced funds, which were initially expected to be made available by the fall, will help other such facilities be built across the state, according to the announcement.
An online timeline tracking the progress of Prop. 1 estimates bond applications for opening treatment sites will start this summer followed by those for supportive housing by the end of the year. Awards are expected by the spring or summer of 2025, according to the governor’s announcement.
The proposition also redirects funds from the 2004 Mental Health Services Act—a 1 percent wealth tax on personal income over $1 million—and authorizes $6.4 billion in bonds.
The wealth tax currently generates around $2 billion to $3 billion annually, with 95 percent going directly to county programs. But under Prop. 1, 5 percent of the collected taxes will now go to the state for mental health, drug, and alcohol treatment.
Under Prop. 1, counties must also adopt a three-year plan for spending funding from the act on housing and services for those with mental health and substance abuse issues by the summer of 2026.
“The state cannot do it alone—it is time for local officials to step up and begin to use the tools available to them to make our communities healthier and safer for all,” Mr. Newsom said.
Mr. Newsom additionally urged counties to sign up early for CARE Court, which requires counties, by the end of the year, to open special courts that offer mental health treatment services, to help those with untreated schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders.
San Mateo County is the ninth county to set up its CARE Court program.
“San Mateo has stepped up. Now it’s time for other counties to do the same,” Mr. Newsom said.
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Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

Author

Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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