1007. (SA03RF0036). Mental Health Services Expansion and Funding. Tax on Incomes over $1 Million. Initiative Statute.
Proponents: Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg and Sherman Russell Selix, Jr., (916) 557-1166
Provides funds to counties to expand services and develop innovative programs and integrated service plans for mentally ill children, adults and seniors. Requires state to develop mental health service programs including prevention, early intervention, education and training programs. Creates new commission to approve certain county programs and expenditures. Imposes additional 1% tax on taxable income over $1 million to provide dedicated funding for expansion of mental health services and programs. Current funding for mental health programs may not be reduced because of funding from new tax. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Additional revenues of approximately $250 million in 2004-05, $680 million in 2005-06, $700 million in 2006-07, and increasing amounts annually thereafter, with comparable increases in expenditures by the state and counties for the expansion of mental health programs. Unknown savings to the state and local agencies potentially amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars annually on a statewide basis from reduced costs for state prison and county jail operations, medical care, homeless shelters, and social services programs that would partly offset the additional cost of this measure.
Say No to Prop 63!
NEGATIVE IMPACT OF THE INITIATIVE
The proposed Initiative attempts to turn fraudulent statistics into law. Listing percentages of people suffering from mental illness (based on estimates by mental health proponents) has no basis in fact. These statistics have never been proven.
The Initiative alludes to programs, as yet to be drawn up the California Department of Mental Health and County Departments of Mental Health, which will in fact increase the number of children on drugs. This is especially true for children from low-income areas. Targeted groups are those "of color", Blacks and Latinos.
The initiative alludes to programs, as yet to be drawn up by the Department of Mental Health and County Departments of Mental Health, which will target adults and seniors through Medicare and low-income groups through MediCal for "treatment."
The initiative sets up a 1% tax on personal incomes of over $1 million taxable income, for an estimated 1+ billion dollars in 2006. This tax money is to create a slush fund for the Department of Mental Health. The definition of a slush fund from Webster?s New World College Dictionary is "money used for... political pressure or other corrupt purposes."
The money raised by the special tax is not to be used by the legislature or any other agency. This money does not appear as such in the budget
There is no oversight committee to review the use of these funds or to determine if the money will be properly disbursed or pocketed by someone for an illegal purpose. Since the legislature does not have the right to see where the money went, nor does any citizens group, it goes into a black hole.
The supposed Oversight Committee is a rubberstamp group that only decides if a program is okay, not the amount of funding it gets.
The initiative is to be implemented regardless of whether or not it violates any laws. The Department of Mental health "shall have the authority to immediately make any necessary expenditures and to hire staff for that purpose".
The initiative sets up "emergency regulations" as yet to be drawn up and which bypass the one agency in the State that has the jurisdiction to determine if a regulation is legal and in the interest of the people. These "emergency regulations" can be immediately put into effect and must be funded by the State Treasury. The "emergency regulations" can not be repealed by the Office of Administrative Law, the agency set up to protect the public from unscrupulous agency regulations, thus putting the Department of Mental Health outside of the law..
The Mental Health Services Fund is to be funded without regard to other programs. If money is not available from the special tax, other non-mental health programs in the budget are to be cut to get the money for this Fund.
The initiative will set up a scene that mental health funding can never be cut in the future, no matter the budget scene in the State. The Department of Mental Health is to get the same amount of money allocated by the budget in 2003 - 2004 forever and other programs are to be cut to ensure this fact. The money from the proposed tax cannot ever be used in the general funds to balance the budget!
Matching funds from the Federal Government are to be sought for all monies collected in the State for the mental health industry. This in effect increases the tax burden of everyone who pays federal income tax. Thus, this is a tax on everyone under the guise of taxing only a few.
The probability exists that because the State must fund the mental health industry regardless of the amount of tax revenue, the burden will ultimately fall on all of us, as the State will have to increase taxes to meet the demand for services. This is the major fallacy of the idea that this is to tax a special group only.
The above "Libertarian Position" is exactly what the Church of Scientology is trying to use to discredit the Proposition. It is not a true Liberatarian viewpoint and is in fact really misleading. To read a truely independant analyisis of Prop 63 go to: http://www.cbp.org/2004/0409prop63.pdf