SACRAMENTO -- California's auditor says the state has failed to properly monitor nearly $7.4 billion in voter-approved money for mental health programs and cannot reassure the public that it is going to help those most in need.
State Auditor Elaine Howle says in the report that the agencies in charge met their minimal legal requirements, but had no effective review system to assess how counties spent the money.
Howle's audit came in response to an Associated Press investigation last year that found tens of millions of dollars raised under 2004's Proposition 63 have gone to programs for people who have not been diagnosed with any mental illness.
Those programs include yoga, gardening, art classes and horseback riding. The audit recommends the new agency overseeing mental health spending rigorously review the county programs.