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State mental health policy: Proposition 63: Should other states follow California’s lead?

On November 2, 2004, Californians passed a ballot initiative to increase funding for mental health care. This plan, known as Proposition 63, created the Mental Health Services Act, which dedicates funds to mental health services by imposing a 1 percent tax on personal income over $1 million (1). Why did Proposition 63 generate such broad support? Was it a good idea? This column examines the popularity of Proposition 63 and evaluates whether it should serve as a model for other states.