ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Today, Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley commented on Governor Newsom signing SB 326 and AB 531 into law, which will place a statewide proposition on the March 2024 ballot to modernize the 2004 Mental Health Services Act.
“Our behavior health system must be modernized to address current realities and help people receive the care they need," said Supervisor Foley. “If adopted by the voters in March 2024 this reform adds accountability, metrics for success, and provides desperately needed funding for permanent supportive housing and acute psychiatric beds. Accountability and oversight over treatment facilities to protect patients and the public remains a concern and a top priority for my office.”
“Thank you to the Governor’s office, Assemblymembers Cottie Petrie-Norris and Diane Dixon, State Senator Tom Umberg, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Mark Ghaly, and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg for working with our office to listen to Orange County’s concerns and incorporating critical amendments into the final legislation,” added Foley.
At the August 22, 2023 meeting of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Foley directed the Legislative Affairs office to send a letter to the State Legislature outlining concerns and suggested amendments.
Key amendments were subsequently added to the final legislation.
- Ongoing flexibility to transfer funding between categories, as opposed to temporary flexibility that would sunset over three years.
- Added requirement that the State Department of Health Care Services collaborate with Counties and the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California on reasonable criteria for flexibility requests and a timely and efficient exemption process.
- Allows for the finance loans or grants for the acquisition of capital assets for the conversion, rehabilitation, or new construction of permanent supportive housing and residential treatment for veterans and others who are homeless within the $6.4 billion dollar bond.
The State committed to work with the County of Orange maintain our Full Service Partnership (FSP) programs currently funded by MHSA and streamline flexibility requests. The County Behavioral Health Director will serve as a member of the State’s FSP working group.
If passed, the changes will go into effect on July 1, 2026.
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2022 to represent the newly established District 5, which includes the cities of Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, a large portion of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Emerald Bay, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Stonecliffe and Wagon Wheel. This is her second term on the Board of Supervisors, where she previously served District 2.
Supervisor Foley’s Board appointments include the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), OCFA Legislation & Public Affairs Committee Chair, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA), TCA Joint Environmental Committee, Coastal Greenbelt Authority, Newport Bay and South Orange County Watershed Executive Committees, Ocean Institute, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) Community Engagement Panel, Spent Fuel Solutions Coalition Co-Chair, Law Library Board of Trustees, Orange County Housing Finance Trust Chair, Local Agency Formation Commission (alt), Orange County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, and OC Public Libraries Advisory Board.