BARRY’S BLOG TUESDAY 8-20-13
I salute Pro-Tem Darrell Stienberg for his reaction to the Grand Jury’s report pointing out what we have been saying for months….there is no overview on the funds that are allocated to Counties to provide mental health services to the mentally ill residents in the county. In studying this issue which I started last year, this was the first discovery we made. The funding for mentally ill that have no insurance or income has gone through major change since the end of WW II. What started out as a national program was turned over to the states. California then shut the mental hospitals throwing the sick on the streets to fend for themselves. Stienberg introduced Prop 63 in November 2004 which set funding in place but assigned the responsibility to the Counties. The mistake made was not to provide proper oversight on several billion dollars worth of taxpayer funds and the Grand Jury has found widespread abuse of this money. The legislator has been slow to react, and in the meantime there has been major abuse and neglect of the very people that need the help. The current path they are taking makes sense and I hope they succeed in causing a full audit each year on the spending of the funds. I hope they have the foresight to fund this with state money and not syphon already scarce funds from the existing program.
Have a great day and be kind to yourself!