Bill Package for 2024 Ballot includes Infrastructure Bond and Modernization of MHSA Details
AB 531 passed the Senate on Sept. 14. The Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee and then the full Assembly agreed to Senate amendments, also on Sept. 14. Pending governor's action. SB 326 passed the Assembly on Sept. 12, and the Senate Health Committee agreed to Assembly amendments on Sept. 13. The full Senate unanimously agreed to Assembly amendments on Sept. 14. Pending governor's action.
Gov. Newsom and legislative leaders announced a $6.38 billion bond and transformation of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) for the March 2024 ballot. The bills, SB 326 (Eggman, D-Stockton) and AB 531 (Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks), focus on five solutions to transform California’s behavioral health system:
- Reforming the MHSA, which brings in over $3 billion per year, to allow funding for substance use disorder treatment
- Building a workforce that reflects the state’s diversity
- Focusing on outcomes, accountability, and equity
- Supporting housing and treatment in community-based settings
- Assisting with housing for veterans experiencing behavioral health challenges
The bill package aims to build 10,000 new beds within community treatment facilities to support Californians with serious mental illness and substance use disorders. The outcome of these investments could reduce hospital emergency department visits, improve access to behavioral health care, support housing needs, and create additional jobs within California.