CSAC Bulletin Article

Mental Health Services Act Issue Resolved in Budget

June 29, 2017

Earlier this week, the Legislature passed a budget trailer bill that included a solution for the reversion of unused Prevention and Early Intervention and Innovation funds under the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA, or Proposition 63 of 2004). It will now move to the Governor’s desk for his signature or veto.

The trailer bill, AB 114 (Committee on Budget), includes language that will ensure that MHSA funds are being used to provide critical community mental health services. CSAC’s letter on AB 114 is available here. The resolution in the trailer bill would:

  • Forgive counties for retroactive unspent funds, but require them to submit a plan for expending the funding consistent with the MHSA by July 1, 2018, or risk reversion;
  • Assist small counties (those with under 200,000 residents) with expending funds by lengthening the reversion period for these counties from three to five years;
  • Clarify when the reversion period begins, which will also help ensure better tracking of funds subject to reversion;
  • Clarify how reverted funds are returned to all counties and ensuring that the original purpose for the funding is preserved, i.e. if a county’s prevention and early intervention funding reverts, the state would reallocate that funding across all counties but specify that it can only be used for prevention and early intervention activities.
  • Improve data sharing and reporting by requiring the Department of Health Care Services to more closely monitor MHSA funding subject to reversion and provide regular updates to the Legislature and the public.

AB 114 also includes language that appropriates $100,000 from the state Mental Health Services Fund to the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission to develop a statewide suicide prevention plan.

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