“State and county officials cannot show how billions of dollars collected through a voter-approved tax on millionaires are being spent or whether the related programs have helped people with mental illness as voters intended,” reported CBS Los Angeles, in the wake of an investigation by an independent state oversight commission.
“The Little Hoover Commission report is the latest review to find that the state has little evidence to show that $13 billion in Proposition 63 funds have been effectively spent,” said CBS.
According to the Proposition 63 website, the Mental Health Services Act was a successful proposition put before California voters in 2004 to tax people who earned over $1 million, “with the intention of expanding services while improving the quality of life for Californians living with or at risk of serious mental illness.”
The recent Commission investigation found that its not clear what most of the money has been put towards, or if there have been positive outcomes, as result of “weak oversight,” “poor transparency” and lack of fiscal accountability throughout the program. “In a report to Governor Brown and the Legislature, the Commission cited anecdotal stories of significant successes and improvements in California’s mental health system, but found the state still cannot definitively quantify who has been helped by Proposition 63 spending and how,” stated a Commission press release.
State Fails To Track Billions In Mental Health Funds (CBS Los Angeles, January 27, 2015)
Promises Still to Keep: A Decade of the Mental Health Services Act (Little Hoover Commission, January 2015)