Lawmakers seek audit of mental health initiative

From UT San Diego:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two lawmakers on Wednesday requested a detailed audit to determine whether the state has spent mental health funding from a 2004 ballot initiative the way voters intended.

The request came in response to an investigation by The Associated Press last month that found tens of millions of dollars raised under Proposition 63 have gone to programs designed to help those who have not been diagnosed with any mental illness. Those programs include yoga, gardening, art classes and horseback riding.

Assemblymen Dan Logue and Brian Nestande, both Republicans, asked the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to examine the spending.

The committee was meeting Wednesday, but it was not clear whether it would take up the request. Logue, a Republican from Linda, acknowledged his request was last-minute but said he would not let up and would bring it back next year if necessary.

“We’re going to stay with it,” he said.

Last week, the same lawmakers asked the Assembly Health Committee to hold oversight hearings examining the wellness programs. A number of Democratic and Republican lawmakers from both houses have since endorsed that request.

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Photo courtesy of RambergMediaImages, flickr