The so-called "Millionaire's Tax,"-- Prop 63, passed in 2004 -- has generated some $7 billion, all spent on mental healthcare. Then came the recession. Are needy patients now getting the care they require? Are voters getting what they were promised? Also, are massive pensions funds for teachers and other public employees invested in companies that make guns like those used in the Newtown massacre? State Treasurer Bill Lockyer wants to know. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, a national perspective on mental illness: are sick people being allowed to fall through the cracks?
FROM THIS EPISODE
America's two biggest pension funds are the California Teachers' and Public Employees' Retirement Systems — abbreviated as CalSTRS and CalPERS. Have they invested in companies that make military-style assault weapons like the one used to kill so many children last week in Newtown Connecticut? California's State Treasurer, Bill Lockyer, wants to know.
Bill Lockyer, California State Treasurer
In 2004, voters passed Proposition 63, a one percent tax on Californians who earn more than a million dollars a year. The so-called “Millionaire's Tax,” has now raised some $7 billion — all designated for mental healthcare. Since Governor Brown eliminated the State Department of Mental Health, prevention, treatment — and possible cure -- are now in the hands of California's 58 counties.
Nobody will ever know what led Adam Lanza to slaughter twenty 6- and 7-year-olds last Friday at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut. But what has been reported strongly suggests that he was a young man who needed help. Is it ever possible to know what a killer is thinking? In 1999, as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Rick Meyer interviewed 17-year-old Jamie Rouse for more than 30 hours over several days. Using a semiautomatic rifle, Rouse had killed a teacher and a 14-year-old student at the Richland High School in Lynnwood, Tennessee.
Richard Meyer, journalist
Jennifer Hoff, health educator and advocate
Linda Rosenberg, National Council for Behavioral Health (@linda_rosenberg)
Joel Dvoskin, University of Arizona Medical School