Proposition 1 on the March 5, 2024, election ballot changes The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), which was passed by voters in 2004. It would take the money generated by a special tax on incomes over $1 million and mandate new uses which will affect current mental health services provided by local agencies. Prop 1 adds a bond measure, which burdens the general fund with bond repayments that benefit the wealthy. It renames the MHSA the Behavioral Health Services Act (BHSA).
Disability Rights, CA opposes prop 1, stating, “What we see with Proposition 1 is an alarming expenditure of taxpayer dollars combined with an overhaul of a successful community treatment program, leading to reductions in services.”
The proponents of Proposition 1 claim that we need more housing for mentally ill homeless people, especially veterans. While this is certainly true, we think that the state should not take money from current mental health services to do so.
Advocates for the rights of disabled people point out that much of the proposed housing will be facilities which force treatment on those who do not want it. “This is a really tough time for our communities,” said Paul Simmons, executive director of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. “Our concern with [the proposition] is massive increases in involuntary and forced treatment.”
The Peace and Freedom Party opposes Proposition 1. We want to preserve the services provided by the original MHSA and keep the progressive funding mechanism without adding on a bond issue. While we advocate the building of more housing for homeless and all working-class people, we reject funding it through a bond measure that financially benefits wealthy investors at the expense of the general fund, which is currently facing a shortfall.
On March 5, 2024, Vote NO on Proposition 1!