For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Karen Klatt, MHSA Coordinator , (510) 981-5222

CITY OF BERKELEY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ACT RECOMMENDED ACTIONS

Berkeley, California (Thursday, May 27, 2010) - As part of the state Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) plan approval process, the City of Berkeley is holding a 30-Day public review and comment period on the recommended actions outlined below to add funds to the local Prudent Reserve.

Current Status
All Mental Health Departments receiving MHSA funds are required by law to establish and maintain a Prudent Reserve for two program components, Community Services and Supports (CSS) and Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI). The Prudent Reserve is necessary so that local districts can continue to provide services during years in which MHSA revenues have decreased or are insufficient. According to state guidelines, Prudent Reserve funding levels must be maintained at 50% of the most recently approved CSS and PEI plans, which presently for the City of Berkeley is $1,688,750.

The City of Berkeley MHSA Prudent Reserve was established in June 2008. Through stakeholder processes and plan updates, funds have been added on a continual basis to reach the current amount of $1,237,062. This proposal will add unspent PEI and CSS funds to the local Prudent Reserve. 

At present, the City of Berkeley has $207,595 of unspent MHSA PEI funds remaining from the 07-08 fiscal year. Pursuant to state guidelines, any 07-08 fiscal year funds must be expended by June 30, 2010 in order to avoid the risk of reversion to the State Department of Mental Health.  Additionally, the City of Berkeley has unspent CSS 09-10 fiscal year funds in the amount of $244,093. Allocating the unspent PEI and CSS funds in this manner will enable the City of Berkeley to both avoid the risk of reversion and to reach the required Prudent Reserve funding level.

Background
Voters approved the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63) in November 2004.  This Act places a 1% 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. Through subsequent updates the current approved plan is $2.6 million.  The second MHSA component to be funded by the state is Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI).  In April 2009, following a year-long stakeholder and plan development process the City of Berkeley received approval on the local PEI Plan for $750,400 annually. 

As with all MHSA plan updates, a local 30-Day Public Review and Comment period is required before funds can be approved. The 30-day Public Review and Comment period will run from May 28th to June 26th 2010. Detailed information on how to review and provide feedback on the proposed recommendations will be posted on the City of Berkeley MHSA website: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=15648

A copy of this proposal will also be available in the reference section of the Public Library located at 2090 Kittredge Street in downtown Berkeley.  Following the 30-Day Public Review period a final proposal will be submitted for approval to the State Department of Mental Health.

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