CHA News

Passage of Proposition 1 Will Change California’s Behavioral Health Spending Priorities

What’s happening: The passage of Proposition 1 in March renamed a major part of California’s mental health laws and changed state and county spending priorities that have been in place for 20 years. What used to be the “Mental Health Services Act” is now renamed the “Behavioral Health Services Act.”  

What else to know: CHA will provide members with additional details over the coming months, including advice on ensuring hospitals’ voices are heard in county-level decisions about funding. 

Starting in 2026, all but the smallest of counties (those with populations less than 200,000) will be required to shift their estimated $3 billion per year in tax revenues to focus on housing, a full-service model of treatment and support, and addiction treatment for people with mental illness or substance use disorders.  

Some organizations are concerned current programs would be reduced to meet these new requirements. Every county will be provided an opportunity to re-examine its behavioral health care spending to determine how best to sustain the most effective programs, while meeting the new requirements of Proposition 1.