Last night, June 9th, the Legislature and the Governor reached an agreement for the 2016-2017 California State Budget. The final Budget is expected to be passed by the Legislature by the 15th.
NAMI California advocated for several items over the last six months. The Budget agreement reflects new and continued investments in criminal justice diversion for individuals living with mental illness. It also contains new investment in mental health crisis services for children, a significant gap in California’s current community-based mental health delivery system. NAMI California commends the Legislature and Governor Brown on these investments.
However, there were also disappointments in the Budget agreement. Most importantly, SSI/SSP grant levels will only very modestly increase in 2017. The agreed upon increase will not raise grant levels to the Federal Poverty Line or above.
- No Place Like Home: Senate Pro Tempore de Leon’s proposal and $45 million in one-time funds to be administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development. This will provide grants for emergency homeless assistance. • Affordable Housing: $400 million for affordable housing, contingent upon discussions on the Governor’s “By Right” proposal, which will happen outside of the Budget process.
- Jail Construction: $270 million in lease revenue bonds for jail construction. Facilities funded through these grants must allow for in-person family visitation.
- Community Infrastructure Grants: $67.5 million to provide grants to counties for non-jail facilities and programs that support diversion efforts. The program will be administered by the California Health Facilities Finance Authority and details are still to come in trailer bill language.
- City Law Enforcement Grants: $20 million for municipal police departments to improve outcomes in encounters between law enforcement and individuals living with mental illness.
- Correctional Officer Training: Adopt trailer bill language requiring CPOST to consider additional training in the areas of mental health and rehabilitation and coursework on the theory and history of corrections for apprentices in the CDCR academy.
- Children’s Mental Health Crisis Services: $10 million General Fund one-time, $6 million reappropriated General Fund, $11 million Mental Health Services Act State Administration one-time to the California Health Facilities Financing Authority, and $3 million Mental Health Services Act State Administration one-time to the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. Details on the structure of the grant program are to be announced, but it is expected to mirror the SB 82 (2013) grant program.
- Suicide Hotlines: $4 million Mental Health Services Act State Administration one-time funds to be administered by the Department of Health Care Services.
- SSI/SSP Grant Increases: One-time Cost-of-Living-Adjustment to the State Supplement Payment portion of the SSI grant. This will amount to $4.63/month for individuals and $11.73/month for couples.
- SSI/SSP Outreach Program: $45 million General Fund one-time for SSI Disability Advocacy program. Details of this program to be determined, but the funds are expected to be distributed to counties, who would then be able to benefit from federal funds.
- Multi-Tiered Interventions: No one-time Proposition 63 State Administration funding to create a pilot program for schools to integrate mental health, special education, and school climate interventions following the MultiTiered Systems of Support (MTSS) framework.
- Early Mental Health Initiative: No funds provided for the Early Mental Health Initiative.