Friday, May 29, 2009

Sacramento Mental Health Center Closes: More Candidates for California Assembly?

The steady increase of mentally ill residents combined with Sacramento County's budget woes forced the county's main psychiatric hospital late Friday to close its doors to new patients...The doors remained closed through Tuesday – and might stay closed for several more days, officials said, until its caseload falls...Officials said the scene could repeat itself throughout the year as local and state funding continue their decline...The situation, officials and advocates say, suggests the state is at the brink of a mental health catastrophe.Mental Health Center Closes, Robert Lewis, Sacramento Bee, 5/28/2009

This kind of story is usually presented, sometimes tearfully, in the California Legislature as a prelude to demanding more spending and more taxes. This time, however, it appears that, the voters having told the Governator and the Legislature to stick it on fifteen billion in more taxes, it's just a story of how a program outran its budget.

All's well that ends well, one supposes. It is possible that in California those judged to be in need of mental health services are conservatives who want to restrain spending and taxes. This closing might prove salutary indeed.



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