Senate leader in DC pushing mental health programs


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State Senate leader Darrell Steinberg is meeting this week with administration and congressional officials in Washington, D.C., to promote California's approach to dealing with mental illness as a model for the nation.

California's Mental Health Services Act, approved by voters eight years ago, raises $1 billion a year for early intervention and treatment through a special tax on millionaires.

Steinberg is urging the federal government to devote $10 billion to help states establish additional mental health programs, perhaps by making treatment a priority under Medicaid and the federal Affordable Care Act.

The Senate leader, a Democrat from Sacramento, met Tuesday with aides to Vice President Joe Biden, who headed President Barack Obama's review of gun control and mental health efforts after the Newton, Conn., school shooting.

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