Orange County Register: Letters: How is Prop. 63 money being spent?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Re: “Where has $17 billion in California mental-health funds gone?” [Opinion, Sept. 18]: I share the desire of the Register’s editorial board in ensuring that the $17 billion generated by California’s Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63) is spent effectively.

Last month, the Legislature overwhelmingly passed Assembly Bill 2279, which would have required the state Department of Health Care Services to collect and publicly report revenue and expenses related to Prop. 63.

Unfortunately, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed this simple measure. He wrote that the state is doing much of what AB2279 would require. The Legislature would not have approved AB2279 had the relevant data already been provided. It has been 12 years since the voters approved Prop. 63, giving the state more than enough time to account for how existing tax dollars are spent on mental health services.

I look forward to seeing the promised data from the Brown administration. $17 billion is a lot of money. The voters deserve to know how that money is being spent and whether it is actually helping those who need it most.

Pat Bates
Laguna Niguel
State Senator, 36th District

Published by the Orange County Register.