Multiple Funding Issues Emerge at End of Session

Realignment Funding at Risk?

AB 1951 (Grayson) would expand an existing partial tax break for manufacturing in California. Why should you care? Because such an expansion could come at the expense of programs that are funded through county Realignment. Incredibly complex, borderline arcane, but nevertheless the way a lot of funding flows to public mental health programs in California. Any hit to Realignment revenues would be exceptionally problematic given the workload expectations associated with the CARE Act. SYASL is leading the charge in an effort to have the Governor veto AB 1951, which was supposed to be held in the Senate Appropriations Committee but passed out after a renewed lobbying barrage by California’s manufacturing community. 

Redirection of MHSA Monies?

Late amendments to SB 1302, by Senator Anthony Portantino, propose to divert $250 million “of the surplus funds available as of January 1, 2023” in Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding to support school-based health centers through grants issued by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. SB 1302 is headed to the Governor.

Broader Interpretation of the MHSA – Involuntary Treatment Costs?

AB 2242 (Santiago) provides that a person cannot be denied access to services funded by the Mental Health Services Fund based solely on the person’s voluntary or involuntary legal status. It would also require that any person detained under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS Act) for a 72-hour, 14-day, 30-day or a conservatorship receive a care coordination plan prior to release and require the care coordination plan to include a first follow-up appointment with an appropriate behavioral health professional. This bill also specifies that under no circumstances may the individual be involuntarily held beyond when they would otherwise qualify for release and that, on or before July 1, 2023, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) shall convene a stakeholder group to create a model care coordination plan to be followed when discharging those held under temporary holds or conservatorships. SYASL discovered that the author of this bill asked for and received from the Office of  Legislative Counsel, a written opinion stating, “Funding under the Mental Health Services Act may generally be used to provide services pursuant to the act to a person who is receiving mental health and related services on an involuntary basis if the use of funds is otherwise consistent with the Mental Health Services Act.” Wish we could provide a copy of the complete opinion here but SYASL was asked to not do so yet. Again, another interesting development with respect to CARE Court but certainly also with respect to legislation we know will be forthcoming in 2023 (from Senator Eggman and possibly others) regarding the expansion of LPS criteria.

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