Steinberg Institute

Legislative Priorities 2016

Our 2016 Legislation Signed into Law

AB 168 – (Maienschein): Mental Health: Community-Based Services
This bill requires the Department of Health Care Services to give the Legislature a detailed update on funding and outcomes if California were selected to participate in a special federal program designed to improve access to community mental health and substance abuse treatment services.

AB 847 – (Mullin): Community Behavioral Health Clinics
This bill requires the Department of Health Care Services to submit a proposal to the federal government seeking selection to participate in a special program designed to improve access to community mental health and substance use treatment services.

AB 1299 (Ridley-Thomas) – Transfer of Care: Foster Youth
This bill closes a 20-year gap in care for tens of thousands of foster youth in California. It requires the Department of Health Care Services to ensure that mental health services follow foster children when they move between counties.

AB 1618 – (Committee on Budget) – No Place Like Home
AB 1618 marks an historic effort to create permanent supportive housing for people living with serious mental illness who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  This measure draws on a small percentage of funds from the 2004 Mental Health Services Act to leverage a $2 billion revenue bond and billions of additional dollars from other local, state, and federal funds.

AB 2246 – (O’Donnell): Student Suicide-Prevention Policies
This bill requires local school districts that serve students in grades 7 to 12 to adopt suicide-prevention policies that address the needs of high-risk groups.

SB 884 – (Beall): Student Mental Health Reporting Standards
This bill requires creation of audit procedures to determine whether funds that local school districts receive to provide mental health services to students with individualized education programs (IEPs) are being used for the intended purpose.

Legislative Efforts We Continue to Push

The Steinberg Institute sponsored or supported multiple other measures in 2016 that it continues to press through legislation and policy efforts. This includes:

  • Ensures student access to mental health services on all public college campuses in California. We’re pursuing a similar policy in 2017 through a budget action inspired by the bill’s provisions.
  • Requires the state Department of Health Care Services to compile and make public detailed data and analysis of how counties are spending funds received through the 2004 Mental Health Services Act. Another state agency, the MHSA Oversight and Accountability Commission, stepped up to create a similar fiscal transparency tool in 2017.
  • Expands programs for early detection, prevention and intervention of mental illness in children and youth.
  • Promotes an integrated approach to health care that encompasses both brain and body health.
  • Promotes outreach and education to increase understanding of mental health issues and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.
  • Reforms sentencing laws to give judges more discretion for appropriate sentencing of offenders living with mental illness.
  • Streamlines procedures to locate available psychiatric beds for treatment of people in severe mental health crisis.
  • Increases funding available for crisis stabilization and treatment services.

Find our 2017 Legislative Package here.

Find our 2015 Legislative Package here.

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