Regarding the Special Election Proposition 1E: Why would we want to balance the budget on the backs of the people who can least afford it? The mental health system in California is seriously under-funded, creating a lack of staffing, reduced hours of operation, and clinic closures. Persons with mental illness need access to care and frequent visits to psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. Stability and consistency are crucial so they don’t fall through the cracks and end up on the street, warehoused in jails, or even worse, harming themselves or others.
Proposition 1E would redirect money to our State General Fund and make less money available for mental health programs. State and local government would need to make up for the shortfall. Proposition 63 funds are also used to bring matching funds through Medi-Cal, which would then decrease. We need to leave Proposition 63 money where it is so that it can be used by the Department of Mental Health to help our most vulnerable citizens.
-- Pamela Barrett - Shandon