CFRW Capitol Update December 8, 2023

California Federation of Republican Women
Officially Chartered by the National Federation of Republican Women
and the California Republican Party

From the Desk of Mary Ervin, CFRW President
Submitted by Jeanne Solnordal, CFRW Legislative Analyst
December 7, 2023


March 5, 2024, Statewide Ballot Measures

Proposition 1

AB 531 (Chapter 789, Statutes of 2023), Irwin. The Behavioral Health Infrastructure Bond Act of 2023. (PDF)

Full text:

*Note: Portions of AB 531 and SB 326 will appear on the ballot as Proposition 1.

A “yes” vote supports:

renaming the Mental Health Services Act (2004) to the Behavioral Health Services Act and expanding its purpose to include substance use disorders;
changing how revenue from the 1% tax on income above $1 million is spent under the law, including requiring 30% of the Behavioral Health Services Fund be allocated to housing intervention programs; 

increasing the size of the oversight commission from 16 to 27 voting members; and issuing $6.380 billion in bonds to fund housing for homeless individuals and veterans with mental health or substance use disorders.

A “no” vote opposes changing the Mental Health Services Act and issuing $6.4 billion in bonds for homeless individuals and veterans.

How would Proposition 1 change mental health services in California?
Proposition 1 amends the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), which was adopted with the approval of Proposition 63 in 2004. Proposition 63 enacted an additional 1% tax on income above $1 million and dedicated the revenue to counties to fund mental health services and programs. Senate Bill 326 would rename the MHSA to the Behavioral Health Services Act (BHSA). Proposition 1 would also expand the act to include treatment for substance use disorders. It would change how county mental health plans are required to spend revenue from the 1% tax and increase the number of members on the oversight commission of the act.[3]

What would the bond measure proceeds fund?
Proposition 1 would issue $6.380 billion in bonds alongside the statutory changes to the Mental Health Services Act. The proceeds from the bond issue would be allocated as follows:[4]

  • $1.05 billion for permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans who have mental health or substance abuse disorders,
  • $922 million to fund permanent supportive housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have behavioral health needs; and
  • $4.393 billion for grants for behavioral health treatment and housing eligible under the Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure Program.


How did Proposition 1 get on the ballot?
Proposition 1 is the product of two laws passed during the 2023 legislative session—Senate Bill 326 and Assembly Bill 531. Both bills contained provisions requiring the bills to appear jointly on the March 5, 2024 ballot as Proposition 1. Senate Bill 326 (SB 326) passed the Senate on May 24, 2023, by a vote of 39-0 with one absent. An amended version of SB 326 passed the state Assembly on September 12, 2023, by a vote of 68-7. The Senate concurred with the amendments by a vote of 40-0 on September 14, 2023.[1]

The bond measure was introduced as Assembly Bill 531 (AB 531) on February 8, 2023. It passed the Assembly on May 30, 2023, by a vote of 80-0. An amended version was passed in the state Senate on September 14, 2023, by a vote of 35-2. The Assembly concurred with the amendments on the same day and passed the amended version by a vote of 66-8.[2]

Measure design

Proposition 1 is the product of two laws passed during the 2023 legislative session—Senate Bill 326 and Assembly Bill 531. Click on the arrows below to read about the details of both bills.[3][4]

Behavioral Health Services Act and Fund: Renames the Mental Health Services Act and changes fund structure

Behavioral Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission: Renames and expands the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission

Housing interventions, early intervention programs, and full service partnership programs: Require county behavioral health plans to include the following programs

California State Auditor Reports: Auditing and report requirements

Behavioral Health Infrastructure Bond Act: Issues $6.380 billion in bonds

Gavin Newsom

Advocates for Proposition 1 – Treatment not Tents


About Proposition 1

For the first time in decades, Californians will have the ability to transform the state’s mental health system – modernizing to meet the needs of all Californians.

Proposition 1 – Treatment not Tents – will refocus billions of dollars in existing funds to prioritize Californians with the deepest mental health needs, living in encampments, or suffering the worst substance use issues.

It will expand mental health and addiction services for tens of thousands of Californians each year, create housing settings where over 11,000 Californians with the severest mental health needs can live, recover, stabilize and thrive, and provide $1 billion to ensure our veterans experiencing homelessness, mental health and substance abuse issues are given the care they deserve.

“These reforms will help California make good on promises made decades ago. We see the signs of our broken system every day – too many Californians suffering from mental health needs or substance use disorders and unable to get the support or care they need. This will prioritize getting people off the streets, out of tents and into treatment.”


Mental Health Advocates and Supporters Declare Opposition to Proposition 1

Group Fears Return to the ‘Bad Old Days’ of Broken Promises and Forced Institutionalization

Vanguard Newsletter

Sacramento, CA – A coalition has formed to oppose Proposition 1 on the March 5, 2024, ballot, created by two bills (SB 326 and AB 531) signed Thursday by Governor Gavin Newsom.

Californians Against Proposition 1 is a broad, nonpartisan coalition of people, including those who provide and receive local and statewide mental health services. We are concerned with the many issues raised by the proposition, from the bond itself to the many complex changes to the state’s system of delivery of services to vulnerable, and often marginalized, populations.

Opposition Statement to Proposition 1

Financial support for a wide array of effective, voluntary, evidence-based, community-based, accessible, service options will be dramatically cut. Also on the chopping block is one of the only funding sources for peer support and culturally responsive mental health services for racial and ethnic minority communities.

In their place, Proposition 1 would massively expand involuntary treatment options. There is no evidence base of effectiveness for these forced treatment proposals, and a multitude of reports show how these attempts at care primarily result in further distress and harm to the service user.

More to come….

November 5, 2024, Statewide Ballot Measures

*Note: SCA 2, ACA 1, and ACA 5 were originally scheduled to appear on the March 5, 2024, Presidential Primary Election ballot. However, Senate Bill 789, Chapter 787, Statutes of 2023, provides that each will appear on the November 5, 2024, General Election ballot instead.

As new initiatives enter circulation, fail, become eligible for, or qualify for an election ballot, the Secretary of State’s office will issue initiative status updates. The updates can be found on our Initiative and Referendum Qualification Status page.