What They Say: Business and Labor Leaders Support Governor Newsom’s Modernization of Mental Health Services Act

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Sacramento – Prominent business and labor leaders voice support for Governor Newsom’s transformative effort to modernize the state’s behavioral health services system and build 10,000 new behavioral health beds and wards across California ing. This reform and construction effort will make mental health and substance use disorder care and support accessible to more Californians of all ages, while helping the state to improve its infrastructure and workforce for years to come. will be ready to meet the needs of

These testimonials are based on support from over 50 people Mayors and county leaders throughout California, Diverse coalitions of advocacy groups across the stateand Group of children react positively To the language added to the invoice package.

Here’s what they say…


  • Jennifer Barrera, Culchamber: “With California employers on the front lines of a social crisis of homelessness, severe untreated mental illness, and substance abuse, many employers are staying open and providing safe and welcoming facilities for workers and customers. The BHSA initiatives, AB 531 and SB 326, are ambitious responses to this crisis and measure the resources and accountability needed for a more effective response by service providers. will provide.”
  • Rachel Michelin, California Retailers Association: “The California Retailers Association is proud to support Governor Newsom’s MHSA modernization and bond proposals. Modernize our approach to serving Californians who most need the mental health care they deserve, especially those with, experiencing, or at risk of serious mental illness We know there’s been a long overdue need to do homelessness.Retailers care about our employees, our customers, and the communities in which we operate, and retailers, large and small, want a better life. We appreciate the Governor’s leadership in working with the Legislature on this important issue.”
  • Stuart Waldman, Valley Industry and Commerce Association: “The proposed measures aim to build, strengthen and innovate various state programs and initiatives while making significant investments in strengthening the behavioral health workforce. As a U.S. Army veteran, I know that 10,000 California veterans become homeless every night. Kudos to governors and legislatures for addressing the unfortunate reality that they are experiencing: 50% of these veterans struggle with mental health issues such as PTSD, and 70% have substance use disorders, so community Funds are set aside to meet these challenges and support those who have contributed to their communities through service.”
  • Jim Wunderman, Bay Area Council: “For too long, California has failed to adequately address the dire mental health and substance abuse crises occurring in our streets, parks, and other public places. We applaud Governor Newsom’s bold plan to provide aid, shelter, housing and hold them accountable for doing it right.”
  • Ahmad Thomas, Silicon Valley Leadership Group: “Together, SB 326 and AB 531 represent the transformative actions needed to improve conditions for Californians experiencing homelessness, health problems, and substance abuse disorders. By focusing on the reforms needed to ensure that critical behavioral health services are available to all, this comprehensive package of funding and policy updates will enable state leaders to engage in mental health services legislation at the time of enactment. It will allow us to fulfill the decades-old promise made by the FDA, which was approved in 2004.”
  • Tony Milenda, San Jose Chamber of Commerce: “I commend the governor’s leadership on such an important piece of legislation, which is direct support for the growing mental illness and homelessness problem in our area. Governor, County Commissioner. , it’s equally great to see all of our mayors rolling up their sleeves and helping our community address this critical problem in Silicon Valley. It’s the kind of collaborative governance that should be.”
  • Nicholas Adok, Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce: “Now, California must take bolder and more comprehensive action than ever before to address the convergence of the homelessness, behavioral health treatment and substance use disorder crises. Like most counties, there are significant limits on psychiatric inpatient beds: California lags behind with 1 bed per 5,856 inhabitants, while Riverside County has a higher 1 bed per 12,177 inhabitants. There is a noticeable shortage of beds, a problem that has persisted for years but has been significantly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic…This transformational package will help Californians access critical behavioral health services. We are focused on responsibility and innovation to access and help communities find the type of housing that meets their needs.”
  • Luis Portillo, San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership: “We cannot fully solve our homelessness problem unless we address the mental health and addiction issues that affect so many people. We applaud governors and legislative leaders for devoting much-needed resources to the 2010. Through this compassionate approach, we can address the root of the problem and help individuals get the help and resources they need. Masu.”
  • Tracy Hernandez, Los Angeles County Business Federation: “The governor is on the right track by promoting ties to secure resources for mental health. Ultimately, we cannot provide these critical services without BizFed, which actively supports a range of efforts to expand both caregiving and hospital beds, helping the most vulnerable We bring together business leaders from different sectors and communities across Los Angeles County to help our neighbors get the help they need.To scale our successful model built around behavioral therapy, supportive housing and compassion. let’s work on.”
  • Fred Tyco, San Diego Lodging Association: “These proposals represent a thoughtful and compassionate approach to addressing the behavioral health crises we witness on the streets. The hotel industry supports these reforms and will continue to do so. We will continue to be partners in our success.”


  • Matt Lege, SEIU California: California’s behavioral health crisis is a complex and multifaceted issue. And this proposal is an important step towards modernizing the system. A whole-person approach, robust planning processes, accountability, healthcare providers and workforce investments are essential to providing the care that every Californian is entitled to. For the above reasons, the SEIU supports this proposal. ”
  • Brian Rice, California Professional Firefighter: “For many Californians experiencing homelessness, firefighters, paramedics, and paramedics are their first and only resource in times of crisis. Individuals often have to call public safety providers for help, as they are insufficient to cover the truly wide-ranging needs that exist statewide.Although firefighters in California are always on call. , they too are not equipped to truly solve the problems they face every day on the streets.Targeted solutions require more resources and temporary solutions for those suffering from homelessness. Instead, we must prioritize housing as a permanent solution.”
  • Daniel Curtin, California Carpenters Conference: “The housing and homeless crises have exacerbated the problem of providing needed services to people with severe mental illness. To modernize our approach to mental health treatment, we need critical health services, but we also need the housing we need to provide a stable environment for those in need. Successful treatment depends on safe living conditions and on-site or neighborhood medical and mental health services for veterans, at-risk youth, and those driven into homelessness or despair by social or economic trauma. There is a compelling need for The associated complex mental health issues they suffer from. ”
  • David Green, SEIU Local 721: “SEIU members support the government’s proposed expansion of essential mental health services. This proposal puts us in the right direction.The inclusion of treatment for substance abuse disorders is especially important, and investment in our employees is essential.”

Recent MHSA reforms

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