What is Prop 1?

What is Prop 1?

Published on

July 1, 2024



Min Reading

General Policy

By Rachel Bluth, POLITICO California | 05/14/24

In March 2024, California voters agreed to rewrite the state’s decades-old mental health law and borrow $6.4 billion for new facilities to house and treat the most severe cases — a top priority for Gov. Gavin Newsom. Proposition 1 squeaked by with 50.2 percent of the vote two weeks after the March 5 election.

The first $3.3 billion of Newsom’s mental health and homelessness bond will start going toward new facilities in July, months ahead of initial plans.

“We will quickly approve those plans,” Newsom announced in May, during a press conference at a newly constructed psychiatric facility in San Mateo County, which he touted as the kind of project the money will support.

“Let's go and let's move forward, get ready, get those applications going, and let's move these projects forward.”

Newsom is facing pressure to start showing results on homelessness, a top concern for voters frustrated by the lack of progress and accountability on what’s already been spent. The speedy timeline on this new money gives Newsom time to tout his success before he’s termed out in 2026.

Counties, cities, nonprofits, tribal entities and other groups will be able to start applying for Prop 1 funding this summer, with the initial $3.3 billion available for “launch ready” behavioral health treatment projects. The rest of the $6.4 billion bond will be made available later.

With this round of funds ready to go out the door, Newsom argued counties have no more excuses not to implement SB 43, which changed the definition of who can be considered “gravely disabled” and therefore eligible for an involuntary mental health hold.

“It’s time to do your job,” Newsom said. “It’s time to get things done. You asked for these reforms, we’ve provided them.”

The governor has used similarly tough rhetoric about local accountability and responsibility since the bond officially passed, doubling down on efforts to get local governments to address the housing shortfall.

The state will also be launching mentalhealth.ca.gov to share resources and track county mental health spending.