BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                       AB 745

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          745 (Chau)

          As Amended  April 6, 2015

          2/3 vote

          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                    |Noes               |
          |Health          |18-0  |Bonta, Maienschein,     |                   |
          |                |      |Bonilla, Burke, Chávez, |                   |
          |                |      |Chiu, Gomez, Gonzalez,  |                   |
          |                |      |Roger Hernández,        |                   |
          |                |      |Lackey, Nazarian,       |                   |
          |                |      |Patterson, Rodriguez,   |                   |
          |                |      |Santiago, Steinorth,    |                   |
          |                |      |Thurmond, Waldron, Wood |                   |
          |                |      |                        |                   |
          |Appropriations  |17-0  |Gomez, Bigelow, Bloom,  |                   |
          |                |      |Bonta, Calderon, Chang, |                   |
          |                |      |Daly, Eggman,           |                   |
          |                |      |Gallagher, Eduardo      |                   |
          |                |      |Garcia, Holden, Jones,  |                   |
          |                |      |Quirk, Rendon, Wagner,  |                   |
          |                |      |Weber, Wood             |                   |
          |                |      |                        |                   |
          |                |      |                        |                   |

          SUMMARY:  Requires the Governor to appoint an additional member to  


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          the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission  
          (Commission) who has experience providing supportive housing to  
          persons with a severe mental illness.  

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, this bill has minor and absorbable costs to reimburse  
          for travel and lodgings for Commission meetings (Mental Health  
          Services Act (MHSA) administration account).

          COMMENTS:  According to the author, supportive housing has proven  
          to be an effective strategy for reducing homelessness among people  
          with mental illness.  At any given moment more than 133,000  
          Californians are homeless.  The author states that of these  
          Californians, roughly 33,800 - or 25% - are considered chronically  
          homeless.  According to researchers, at least one-third of  
          chronically homeless people are mentally ill.  The Commission  
          oversees the implementation of the MHSA and may advise the  
          Governor or the Legislature on mental health policy.  However,  
          existing law does not require the Commission to include any  
          members with experience providing supportive housing to persons  
          with severe mental illness.

          BACKGROUND:  MHSA requires each county mental health department to  
          prepare and submit a three-year plan to the Department of Health  
          Care Services (DHCS) that must be updated each year and approved  
          by DHCS after review and comment by the Commission.  The  
          Commission consists of 16 individuals, 12 of which are appointed  
          by the Governor.  DHCS is required to provide guidelines to  
          counties related to each component of the MHSA, including, among  
          other things, community services and support content to provide  
          integrated mental health and other support services to those whose  
          needs are not currently met through other funding sources;  
          prevention and early intervention content to provide services to  
          avert mental health crises; and, innovative program content to  
          improve access to mental health care.  In their three-year plans,  
          counties are required to include a list of all programs for which  


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          MHSA funding is being requested and that identifies how the funds  
          will be spent and which populations will be served.

          At the time it was created, the Commission acted as a division  
          within the Department Mental Health (DMH); however, legislative  
          changes, effective March 2009 specified that the Commission is to  
          administer its operations separately and apart from DMH.   
          Currently, counties must submit their plans for approval to the  
          Commission before the counties may spend certain categories of  

          Support.  The California Primary Care Association writes in  
          support of this bill that research has clearly demonstrated the  
          positive effects that supportive housing can have on an  
          individual's employment, mental health, physical health, and  
          school attendance, leading to decreased use of hospitals,  
          emergency rooms, jails, and prisons.  Stable housing is a critical  
          component of engaging their patients in physical and behavioral  
          health care management.  The requirement to include a voting  
          member on Commission with experience with supportive housing  
          services ensures that programs and funding targeting individuals  
          with behavioral health conditions takes the unique needs of those  
          individuals experiencing homelessness into consideration. 

          According to the National Association of Social Workers -  
          California Chapter (NASW), Proposition 63 of 2004 established the  
          Commission for the purposes of overseeing the implementation of  
          the MHSA.  The NASW states in support that providing a person with  
          experience in supportive housing to the Commission is also  
          consistent with improving the delivery of mental health services  
          to those in need.

          There is no opposition on file.


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          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          Paula Villescaz / HEALTH / (916) 319-2097  FN: