Prop 63 to Fund Homeless Mental Health Treatment
Taxing the wealthy to pay for mental health treatment in California is the subject of Proposition 63 on the November ballot.
Monday, August 23, 2004
At the Turning Point Homeless Intervention Program in Sacramento, counselors walk through alleys seeking out the homeless who need treatment. This 39-year-old says she was taken off the streets, given medicine to treat her mental illness, and ultimately a job with the program. Cut: Fee1 (:10) “I just was so exhausted mentally and physically… then the medication kicked in, I started getting really well, I stopped hearing voices.” Proposition 63 addresses funding such programs around the state. It would impose an additional one-percent tax on personal income above a million dollars. The money would be distributed to local governments to set up or enhance mental health services. Proponent Darrell Steinberg, a Democratic Assemblyman, modeled the initiative after his legislation that offered a range of services to the homeless mentally ill. Cut: Stein63 (:12) “The number of people we can serve with the limited dollars I’ve been able to gain through that legislation is barely the tip of the iceberg.” The President of the National Tax Limitation Committee, and initiative opponent Lew Uhler (YOO-ler) says the measure will damage the economy by driving out the wealthy. Cut:Lew1 (:16) “We will lose their resources, the jobs they help create, all the things we need to keep the vitality and rebuild the vitality of California’s business and industry sector.” The Campaign for Mental Health estimates that roughly 300-thousand Californians who need mental health services aren’t getting them— and that the initiative, if approved, would raise between 600-and-800 million dollars annually SOC