Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1126 Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:
(a) Mental health problems that are not addressed early in life can have severe consequences, including increased difficulties at home, with peers, and in school, and youths with mental health problems are at a higher risk of dropping out of school and engaging in illegal substance use, criminal behavior, and other risk-taking behaviors.
(b) Early diagnoses and appropriate services for children and their families can make a difference in the lives of children with mental disorders.

SEC. 2.

 Section 5830.1 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

5830.1.
 (a) Subject to the availability of funds, the commission shall, by January 1, 2021, establish an innovation incubator to support implementation of innovative programs as described in Section 5830.
(b) The innovation incubator shall provide all of the following:
(1) Strategic guidance to facilitate the provision of mental health services to students through partnerships between counties and school districts, county offices of education, charter schools, and other entities.
(2) Strategic guidance to facilitate multicounty innovation investment in high-priority needs.
(3) Technical assistance and training to successfully plan, design, and implement innovations to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of county innovation component processes.
(4) Support for the design of evaluations to ensure that counties and other stakeholders understand the impact of individual innovations and of the broader innovation program.
(5) Assistance in disseminating information on the lessons learned from innovative programs to encourage replication and continuous improvement and translating that information into systemic change necessary for statewide impact.
(6) Any other support and assistance deemed necessary by the commission.

SEC. 3.

 Section 5845.2 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

5845.2.
 Subject to the availability of funds, the commission shall, by January 1, 2021, establish technical assistance centers and one or more clearinghouses to support counties in addressing mental health issues of statewide concern, including youth mental health, with a focus on school mental health and reducing unemployment and criminal justice involvement due to untreated mental health issues the commission identifies as being of statewide concern.

SEC. 4.

 Section 5845.3 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

5845.3.
 (a) The commission shall develop a fiscal transparency and accountability strategy to support public understanding of how mental health services are funded, revenue and expenditure trends, and the availability of mental health funds to support the needs of mental health consumers and California’s communities. The commission shall include sufficient information to allow for public awareness and monitoring of current and historical statewide local government mental health spending, aggregated by county, counties acting jointly, county-school partnerships, or by another type of jurisdiction, as determined by the commission. This fiscal transparency and accountability strategy shall also include information on revenues, expenditures, and unspent funds available for state administration of mental health services. To support this strategy, the commission shall include information on both of the following:
(1) Total mental health revenues, expenditures, and unspent funds from all sources, including, but not limited to, the Mental Health Services Fund, the Local Revenue Fund, the Local Revenue Fund 2011, and federal financial participation for the Medi-Cal program.
(2) Additional information the commission determines will support this strategy.
(b) The commission shall develop a program transparency and accountability strategy for local government mental health programs to support public understanding of how people are accessing services and care and how local governments and schools are spending mental health funds. This strategy shall allow for public awareness and monitoring of publicly funded or supported mental health programs statewide, aggregated by county, counties acting jointly, county-school partnerships, or by another type of jurisdiction, as determined by the commission. To support this strategy, the commission shall include information on both of the following:
(1) The nature of services available, the geographic location where services are provided, the intended population to be served, and if the services are available through the county, school-based or school-linked entities, other public entities, or private contracts.
(2) The number of persons served and information on demographic characteristics, including, but not limited to, age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language spoken, veteran status, and other characteristics intended to improve public understanding of who is served by mental health programs.
(c) (1) The commission shall develop an outcome transparency and accountability strategy for local government mental health programs to support public awareness and monitoring of outcomes achieved statewide by publicly funded or supported mental health programs, aggregated by county, counties acting jointly, county-school partnerships, or by another type of jurisdiction, as determined by the commission. To the extent information is available, historical information on mental health outcomes and information on mental health outcomes for the most recently completed fiscal year shall be available.
(2) The commission shall, as it deems necessary, identify or develop the outcomes and measures to be addressed in the strategy required pursuant to paragraph (1), which may include, but are not limited to, the outcomes identified in subdivision (d) of Section 5840, including school failure or dropout, reductions in homelessness, unemployment, removal of children from their homes, suicide, incarcerations, and prolonged suffering, and other measures associated with access to mental health services and supports, the quality of those services and supports, and the outcomes that result from accessing those services and supports. For purposes of this strategy, “removal of children from their homes,” means involvement with the child welfare system, the juvenile justice system, or other out-of-home placement, as determined by the commission.
(d) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, the commission shall have access to data, information, policies, procedures, and practices held or maintained by the departments within the California Health and Human Services Agency, the Department of Justice, the State Department of Education, and the Employment Development Department, and other state and local agencies, as necessary to comply with the requirements of this section. In accessing data pursuant to this subdivision, the commission shall comply with all applicable federal and state privacy and confidentiality laws.
(2) The departments within the California Health and Human Services Agency, and the Department of Justice, the State Department of Education, the Employment Development Department, and other state and local agencies shall cooperate and share data with the commission to accomplish the intent of this section.
(e) The commission shall consider whether existing regulatory reporting requirements are adequate to develop the strategies described in subdivisions (a), (b), and (c), and shall revise those regulatory reporting requirements that are under the commission’s jurisdiction, and recommend revisions of the requirements that are not under the regulatory jurisdiction of the commission, if the commission determines it is necessary, to support enhanced reporting, transparency, and accountability.
(f) Consistent with subdivision (b) of Section 5846, the State Department of Health Care Services shall issue, and periodically update, regulations regarding demographic reporting or other requirements that are consistent with regulations adopted by the commission and support the transparency and accountability strategy developed by the commission.
SEC. 5.
 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
SEC. 6.
 The Legislature finds and declares that this act is consistent with and furthers the intent of the Mental Health Services Act within the meaning of Section 18 of the Mental Health Services Act.