Today’s guest post is from one of our own HAMO contributors, Ms. Alicia. Alicia works as a mental health professional in the San Diego area, so we asked her to research Props 1D and 1E to share with all of you. Remember, California’s special election is tomorrow, Tuesday,May 19, 2009. Help A Mother Out and VOTE TOMORROW!
As a Mental Health Clinician, I have had the priviledge to work with so many diverse populations throughout our communities. Two of the most vulnerable and voiceless populations I have had the honor of working with throughout the years are children and the mentally-ill. Hmmm? Both have measure on the May 19th ballot that may, no, will cut funding. Coincidence? Ah, let me stop myself before I begin my “voiceless populations as scapegoats” rant and complete my task at hand.
There is a very low expected voter turn-out for the special election tomorrow so here is my PSA reminder to go out and give a voice to the voiceless.
I found this easy explanation of propositions 1D and 1E at (as well as the other props on the ballot) for those of you that like information about propositions “jargon-free”, like me.
Prop. 1D: Children and families trust fund
By Ellen Noyes
The measure would take $268 million each year for five years away from First 5 (Prop. 10) programs—plus $340 million in unspent funds—to pay for children’s programs now funded by the state budget. Other changes would include using First 5 funds only for “direct services.” First 5-funded programs include early care and education, health, parent education, and family support.
A yes vote would cut First 5 funding
A no vote would keep First 5 funding
SUPPORTERS SAY: The measure would “temporarily provide greater flexibility in funding to preserve services for young children while helping balance the state budget,” according to the California Taxpayers Association website.
- The state needs to make cuts in tough economic times.
- First 5 is sitting on unspent dollars.
Supporters: CA Budget Reform Now (www.cabudgetreformnow.com), Association of CA School Administrators, CA Latino Child Development Association, CA State Conference of the NAACP, CA Chamber of Commerce
OPPONENTS SAY: The measure would “reduce funding for crucial children’s programs and cut children’s services,” says Anthony Wright, executive directorof Health Access. The measure would
- Take away up to 60-70% of First 5 funds—868,000 children now receive First 5-funded services each year.
- Cut California’s investment in children—though these programs save money in the long run because children do better in school, get better paying jobs, and are less likely to use welfare, foster care, or go to prison.
- Eliminate important First 5 programs that “aren’t ‘direct service’—training teachers, building preschools, children’s health initiatives. Almost no other resources (fund) this,” says Sherry Novick, executive director of the First 5 Association of CA.
- First 5 has unspent money because it budgets for multi-year programs.
Opponents: No on 1D (www.noonproposition1d.com), Health Access, First 5 Association of CA, CAEYC, CA Federation of Teachers, CA Nurses Association, CA League of Women Voters, AFSCME (state council)
Prop. 1E: Mental health services
By Elyce Petker
This measure would take $225-$230 million each year for two years away from programs funded by the Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63). Instead, the funds would go to the existing state Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program (a child health program). Prop. 63 now funds almost a quarter of mental health services in the state.
A yes vote would cut mental health (Prop. 63) funding
A no vote would keep mental health (Prop. 63) funding
SUPPORTERS SAY: “We believe the financial crisis is going to grow and more children’s programs will be cut. (This measure would) fund programs at risk of being cut,” says Jose Plascencia, president of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The measure would
- Save the state money in the long run
- Help balance the budget and avoid tax increases.
Supporters: California Budget Reform Now (www.cabudgetreformnow.com), Association of CA School Administrators, CA State Conference of the NAACP, CA Chamber of Commerce
OPPONENTS SAY: “This (would) take money away from programs that help low-income families and children. It’s a temporary solution at the expense of our mental health programs,” says CA League of Women Voters senior program director Trudy Schafer. The measure would
- Cost the state more in the long run because of the consequences of untreated mental illness—200,000 previously untreated people are now served by Prop. 63-funded programs.
- Cut mental health programs to backfill a tiny portion of the state budget—and jeopardize federal matching funds
- Be the first step to taking away all Prop. 63 mental health funds.
Opponents: No on Prop. 1E (www.noprop1e.com), Health Access California, CA Federation of Teachers, CA Nurses Association, AFSCME (state council)
Other proposition explanations can be found here.