California’s Assembly votes for ballot measure that would change how mental health care is funded

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Lawmakers in California’s state Assembly have voted to put a measure before voters next March that would overhaul the way counties are funding mental and behavioral health programs. The measure will need one more vote in the Senate if it is to make the ballot. The bills is backed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Counties in California rely on funding from a 1% tax on income above $1 million to subsidize mental health and substance use programs. The proposal would mandate that two-thirds of revenue from the tax go to housing and services for homeless people and those with unhealthy substance use and severe mental health issues. Counties fear it would take away funding of existing programs and reduce spending flexibility.