Supervisors assault Newsom, advise on psychological well being funding proposal

Supervisors attack Newsom, advise on mental health funding proposal

FAIRFIELD Supervisor Monica Brown this week launched a uncommon assault on Democratic management towards Gov. Gavin Newsom and “these whispering in his ear” over a proposal to “reduce out” psychological well being funding from the county.

“Once I noticed that the governor was working to cope with the cash, with the MHSA, who’s advising him?” mentioned Brown, his voice rising from his pent up frustration.

“Does not he perceive that we do not cheat with cash like this? We do what we will do. Does not he perceive that?” Brown mentioned, directing his feedback, albeit rhetorically, to the county’s state lobbyist, Karen Lange, who’s with Shaw Yoder Antwih Schmelzer & Lange. His response was a distinctly uncomfortable snigger.

Directed by Monica Brown. (Robinson Kuntz/Day by day Republic)

“So that you’re watching TV, proper? And he is doing one thing and it is simply, the place are you?” Brown added of the governor on this matter. “So he is doing one thing down south, doing what he desires; That is advantageous, however do not come again and smash what we’re engaged on.”

Brown has often been focused by Republicans, however not by Democrats, nor by the governor, whom he has usually referred to solely by his first title. The director is a member of the Solano County Democratic Central Committee and has usually attended celebration conferences.

The dangerous information was attributable to an announcement Newsom made throughout his latest state tour, during which he proposed taking as much as one-third of California counties’ Proposition 63 funds. Voters handed the Psychological Well being Providers Act in 2004. It launched a 1 p.c earnings tax on these incomes $1 million or extra to enhance psychological well being providers.

Taking a 3rd of these funds would imply an estimated $1 billion statewide.

“None of those funds are being taken away from native individuals,” Alex Stack, deputy director of communications for the governor’s workplace, mentioned in a phone interview.

Nonetheless, shifting priorities must be made since Proposition 63 was handed almost 20 years in the past.

Stack mentioned 30 per cent of the funding must be used to help individuals with psychological well being issues, however “that does not change who shares the cash”. The county would retain management of the purse.

The proposal additionally expands using funding. Proper now, an individual with a substance abuse drawback should even have a psychological sickness to qualify for a program funded by the MHSA. The change would permit anybody with a substance abuse drawback to be handled in a program funded by the MHSA.

Emery Cowan, government secretary of the County Behavioral Well being Division, mentioned the county already makes use of a few of its MHSA funds for housing, however not 30 p.c.

Emery Cowan. (Courtesy picture)

Within the e-mail, he additionally famous that the Newsom administration’s proposed MHSA modifications would remove prevention and early intervention and remove the next elements of this system: innovation; Capital sources and technological wants; workforce coaching; and group providers and help.

That may require spending 30 p.c on full-service partnerships, concentrate on probably the most significantly ailing, and require counties to invoice Medi-Cal first for lined providers earlier than utilizing MHSA funds.

Presently, the county spends 50% of its group service and help funding on full service partnerships., so Cowan is not certain how issues will shake out.

He informed the board of supervisors Tuesday that “shedding” the funding would imply the county must finish or reduce help for 47 wellness facilities in colleges and prevention and early intervention applications, together with initiatives for First 5 children.

“Principally, all of our prevention funding could be gone: all the applications that assist children at school and attempt to maintain them out of our providers and our system,” Cowan mentioned, including in an interview Wednesday. danger.”

Cowan additionally famous that suicides and unintended overdoses are on the rise within the county, and applications targeted on bettering the state of affairs would additionally lose funding cuts.

Based mostly on the Sheriff-Coroner’s figures, the county has seen 13 suicides in 2023, an 8% improve over the identical interval in 2022, when the county recorded 61 suicides. There have been 54 in 2021 and 49 in 2020. This development follows a brand new rise: 44 suicides in 2016, 45 in 2017, then 63 in 2018 and 65 in 2019. The figures apply to each kids and adults, the province studies.

Thus far, in fiscal yr 2022-23, Solano County has obtained $16.87 million in MHSA funding. It obtained about $27.08 million in 2020-21 and $30.22 million in 2021-22, the county reported.

Supervisors Mitch Mashburn in contrast the tone of this dialogue to the board’s recognition earlier on the Kids’s Month assembly and all of the accompanying presentation actions.

Supervisor Mitch Mashburn

He threw a couple of barbs at Newsom whereas he was doing it.

“We spent all morning (Tuesday) speaking about defending children, and now his Gavin guilt desires to take all of it away,” mentioned Mashburn, who additionally referred to Newsom as his “governor.”

Once more, the governor’s workplace insisted that the county wouldn’t lose funding and argued that housing individuals with psychological sickness is an pressing problem within the state.

Lange prompt the proposal would possibly hinge on which jurisdictions ought to management these {dollars} and rising frustration from some cities and others that counties aren’t doing what they’re purported to do with the funds.

“Counties like yours which can be truly spending cash are most likely in a distinct state of affairs,” Lange mentioned.

“There are counties which have lots of of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in reserves, and I feel jurisdictions which have numerous … mentally ailing homeless that even have gigantic reserves, there’s frustration there,” Lange added. “And I feel possibly that is a part of the choice to do it.”

Stack prompt in any other case, saying counties would retain management of the funds below the governor’s proposal.

Board President John Vasquez mentioned Proposition 63 was handed to complement and broaden psychological well being providers and was by no means supposed to redirect voter-approved {dollars}.

“Typically you are able to do small issues for initiatives accredited by the voters, so long as it promotes the legislation. However should you erase a 3rd of it, that is probably not selling the motion. So that they need to take this again to the voters,” Lange mentioned. “As a result of it has to return to the voters, there are completely different timelines, so I can not say that (the proposal) must be heard by the tip of April, like a standard invoice must be handled. “

The truth is, Lange added, the precise language of the proposal hasn’t been launched, which is why organizations just like the California State Affiliation of Counties have taken a wait-and-see stance. He proposed exempting some counties, comparable to Solano and rural counties, from the tax.

Throughout his tour, Newsom additionally mentioned a $5 billion mortgage to construct psychological well being amenities. Lange mentioned there’s little argument that California wants extra therapy amenities for these with psychological sickness.

If the aim of all that is to get on the 2024 poll, Supervisor Wanda Williams mentioned the county has time.

“It feels like it should give us a chance to bend (Newsom’s) ear and the members of his group who’re serving to draft legislative modifications,” Williams mentioned.

That is the newest battleground Solano County has entered towards the Newsom administration.

The opposite is about psychological well being protection for some Medicaid sufferers and contains Sacramento County. The state desires the 2 counties to fall according to the opposite 56 counties in offering specialised psychological well being care to the hundreds of Medi-Cal sufferers at present enrolled in Kaiser Permanente plans.

Solano officers have mentioned the care of as much as 8,000 sufferers could possibly be disrupted.

The excellent news up to now is that the July 1 deadline seems to have been missed, Lange informed the board.

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