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Prop 1: A much-needed change for California mental health system or $6M money pit?

One of the most controversial – and one the most outspokenly supported plans by top California and Los Angeles officials – is Proposition 1, which promises to build more mental health treatment facilities across the state and further address the homeless crisis.

But it comes give a huge price tag, which critics believe would balloon even more down the road.

What would Prop 1 do?

If voters approve the measure, they would authorize the state government to borrow and spend $6.4 billion in bonds to expand the state’s homeless housing and mental health infrastructure.

This is Governor Newsom’s marquee health and housing measure, which promises to “fix our broken mental health system and move people permanently off the streets, out of tents and into treatment.”

  • Expanding mental health, addiction services
  • Building supportive housing for those suffering from mental health illnesses
  • Setting aside some of the funding specifically for homeless veterans with mental health and addiction issues
  • Hire more mental health workers

Who is supporting Prop 1

  • LA Mayor Karen Bass
  • LA County Sheriff Robert Luna
  • California Medical Association
  • California Hospital Association

What do opponents say?

Those against Prop 1 point out the plan would be too costly for California taxpayers. They argue the final bill for the state would far exceed the $6 billion mark. With interest costs, critics estimate the measure would end up costly Californians more than $12 billion, which would take decades for the state to pay back, especially when the state is already face budget deficits. They also claim the new measure would take away funding that’s supposed to go toward Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) that voters passed in 2004,

Who’s against Prop 1

  • Mental Health America in California
  • Cal Voices
  • ACLU California
  • Disability Rights California

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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