BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 174

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          AB 174 (Bonta)
          As Amended September 3, 2013
          2/3 vote
          |ASSEMBLY:  |52-24|(May 29, 2013)  |SENATE: |29-10|(September 9,  |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2013)          |
          |ASSEMBLY:  |53-24|(September 10,  |        |     |               |
          |           |     |2013)           |        |     |               |

          Original Committee Reference:    HEALTH  

           SUMMARY  :  Requires the Department of Public Health (DPH) to  
          establish a pilot program in Alameda County, to the extent that  
          funding is made available, to provide grants to eligible  
          applicants for activities and services that directly address the  
          mental health and related needs of students impacted by trauma.

           The Senate amendments  delete the local mandate and clarify that  
          Alameda County has the authority to decide the extent to which  
          it will participate in the pilot program.  Clarify that funding  
          is limited to non-state funds only and that DPH may work with  
          private entities to facilitate the granting of funds to grantees  
          in the pilot program.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, unknown costs to provide grants (federal funds or  
          private funds).  This bill specifies that the program would be  
          limited to a one-year pilot project in Alameda County at up to  
          10 facilities.  However, this bill does not specify the total  
          amount of funding or the potential fund source.  Unknown costs  
          to administer the program (federal funds or private funds).   
          Typically, the cost to administer a grant program is about 5% of  
          total grant spending.  


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           COMMENTS  :  The author states that it is well documented that  
          appropriate mental health services can have a positive and  
          lasting impact on short- and long-term outcomes for children and  
          adolescents impacted by trauma.  However, the author notes that  
          many children and youth in California lack access to the health  
          and mental health services they need and California's 200 school  
          health centers (SHCs) address this gap by putting medical,  
          mental health, and/or dental care on school grounds.  

          Approximately 75% of SHCs have mental health providers on staff  
          to offer mental health assessments, crisis intervention, brief  
          and long-term therapy, and other services.  The National  
          Assembly on School-Based Care (NASBC) states that Congress  
          recognized the importance of SHCs as a key link in the nation's  
          health care safety net by providing $50 million a year for four  
          years in one-time funding for construction, renovation, and  
          equipment for SHCs in the federal Patient Protection and  
          Affordable Care Act (ACA) and more than 350 applicants from  
          around the nation are seeking funding through the first round of  
          competitive grants created under the ACA.  

          According to the California School Health Centers Association  
          (CSHCA) there are currently 200 SHCs in California.  Forty-four  
          percent of SHCs are in high schools; 31% are in elementary  
          schools; 13% are in middle schools; and, 12% are "school-linked"  
          or are mobile medical vans.  CSHCA points out that many SHCs are  
          located in schools serving some of the state's most vulnerable  
          children and on campuses with SHCs about 70% of students receive  
          free or reduced price meals.  

               Assembly Bill 174 aims to establish a pilot program in  
               Alameda County, using non-state funds to provide  
               school-based mental health services for students  
               impacted by trauma. 

               I support the efforts of the bill but am returning it  
               without my signature, as Alameda County can establish  
               such a program without state intervention and may even  


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               be able to use Mental Health Services Act funding to  
               do so.

               Waiting for the state to act may cause unnecessary  
               delays in delivering valuable mental health services  
               to students.  All counties-not just Alameda-should  
               explore all potential funding options, including  
               Mental Health Services Act funds, to tailor programs  
               that best meet local needs. 

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Lara Flynn / HEALTH / (916) 319-2097 

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