Media Release
Media Release
Press Contact: Karen Klatt, MSHA Coordinator, (510) 981-7698

THIRTY-DAY PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ON CITY OF BERKELEY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ACT FUNDS

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, May 26, 2009) - The City of Berkeley is holding a 30-day public comment period on a proposed increase to the City’s Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Prudent Reserve. State law requires that cities and counties receiving Mental Health Services Act funds establish a prudent reserve in order to maintain services during times of reduced state income tax revenues. The required level for the local prudent reserve is 50 percent of the most recent MHSA Community Services and Supports (CSS) funding estimate. The most recent CSS funding estimate is $2,687,100, resulting in a required local prudent reserve of $1,343,550. This standard must be met by June 30, 2011.

State guidelines require that any unspent MHSA funds from fiscal year 2006-07 be expended or added to the Prudent Reserve by June 30, 2009 to avoid reversion to the State Department of Mental Health. Currently, Berkeley has $73,863 of unexpended MHSA funds remaining from FY 2006-07. To that end, the City of Berkeley is recommending that these funds be approved by the state for allocation to the local Prudent Reserve. The balance of required funds will be added to the Prudent Reserve over the next two years.

Background
Voters approved the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63) in November 2004. This Act places a 1 percet tax on every dollar of personal income over $1 million. The State allocates these revenues to public mental health departments for the purpose of transforming and expanding mental health services. There are five MHSA funding components. Community Services and Supports (CSS) is the largest and first component funded by the state.  Following MHSA regulations, in 2005 the City of Berkeley conducted an extensive planning process involving staff and community stakeholders to develop its CSS Plan. The Plan was approved in September 2006. Currently the City of Berkeley receives $1.2 million annually in CSS funds.  Additional funding estimates for FY08-09 & FY09-10 include an increase of $1.4 million for a total annual base of $2.6 million.

The 30-day review period will run from May 26 to June 25, 2009.  In order to respond to this proposal or if you have further questions, please email, call or send comments by June 25 to:

Karen Klatt, MHSA Coordinator
Email: MHSA@ci.berkeley.ca.us
Phone: (510) 981-7698
Address: Mental Health Administration
    1947 Center St., 3rd Floor
    Berkeley, CA  94704

Additional information on Berkeley’s Mental Health Services Act Program can be found on the City of Berkeley website at: www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/mentalhealth.

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