January 03, 2024
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy
The California Medical Association (CMA) is proud to announce its support for Proposition 1, which will appear on the March 2024 ballot and aims to expand mental health and addiction services for Californians, in part by securing funding for the training and education of more mental health professionals.
CMA—represented by Executive Committee member Jack Chou, M.D.—today joined Governor Gavin Newsom, Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, along with a coalition of health organizations and community groups in Los Angeles for a press conference in support of Prop. 1.
"As a family physician, there’s nothing I want more than to improve the health care and well-being of California’s children and families. I know too many of our young people are falling through the cracks in our health care system, and they aren’t getting the necessary, critical mental health support that they need," said Dr. Chou. "However, early diagnosis and wraparound programs that give kids the support that they need can help to get in front of these issues."
Proposition 1 will update California’s Mental Health Services Act by implementing the reforms contained in AB 531 (Irwin), The Behavioral Health Infrastructure Bond Act of 2023, and SB 326 (Eggman), The Behavioral Health Services Act, which were both passed by the Legislature last fall. CMA took a support position on both bills during the legislative process and later the CMA Board of Trustees voted to support Proposition 1.
Proposition 1 is on the 2024 primary ballot and aims to amend the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), which was approved through the passage of Proposition 63 in 2004.
If the voters approve Proposition 1, the MHSA will undergo a name change to the Behavioral Health Services Act (BHSA) and the use of BHSA funds will expand to include substance use disorder conditions. Additionally, Proposition 1 includes the Behavioral Health Infrastructure Bond Act of 2024. These funds will finance new treatment beds and create permanent supportive housing for veterans and individuals with severe behavioral health challenges experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless.