Governor Vetoes CSAC-Opposed SB 1302
Bill Would Have Diverted $250 Million in Mental Health Services Act Funding
Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed SB 1302 (Portantino), which would have appropriated $250 million from the Mental Health Services Fund to support school-based health centers through grants issued by the Superintendent of Public Instruction (veto request).
Although the intent of establishing and improving the provision of behavioral health services to students at school-based health centers is meritorious, counties oppose any effort to redirect Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding to other services instead of the local services for which it was originally intended. As reported in a prior CSAC bulletin article, CSAC and county partners opposed the late August amendments to this measure.
The Governor’s veto message also echoed the counties’ concerns, “…appropriating $250 million from the MHSF to fund grants for school-based health centers circumvents the MHSA’s local planning process and inappropriately establishes MHSA-funded grant programs outside of the budget process. Directing MHSA funding to activities which address a specific set of statutorily defined goals, rather than local needs which have been identified by counties and community stakeholders, would be contrary to the intent of the MHSA.”