Statement by Mr. Philip Battaglia, Executive Secretary to Governor Ronald Reagan, to the Senate Standing Committee on Business and Professions [re: Mental Hospitals]

March 28, 1967

 

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to testify before this committee and to assure you that the Governor’s Office is always willing to assist legislative committees in seeking out the truth.  All you have to do is ask us.  Subpoenas are not necessary.

 

I would like to point out, however, that some of the testimony given this morning did not appear to be concerned with the facts, but was, unfortunately, based on a certain amount of emotionalism.

 

Any statement – whether it is here in this committee or elsewhere – that directly or indirectly implies that there is a lack of concern for human needs by this administration is not only false but is the type of emotional outcry that disregards the facts.

 

As you have heard from Spencer Williams, this administration’s proposals in regard to the Department of Mental Hygiene are based on the premise that present levels of care will be maintained.  Comments to the contrary are not true.

 

For example, a statement this morning was said to have been based on facts but admittedly contained rumors.  From these false rumors, predictions were made on what would occur in the future – predictions that cannot be based on facts.  Such presentations do a disservice to this committee, to the State of California and to the mentally ill.

 

In addition, I would like to point out that irresponsible statements concerning the alleged “shattering of employee morale” are geared to cause such a shattering.  They accomplish absolutely no positive effect.

 

I also would like to note that this administration intends to proceed with a positive program aimed at effecting economies for the taxpayers of California while at the same time maintaining a high quality of service for the people who need it.  To do otherwise would, indeed, be foolhardy.

 

We urgently request that this committee consider the facts – facts minus rumors, innuendoes, and emotionalism.  We are confident that when the facts are known, the administration’s program for the Department of Mental Hygiene will be agreeable to the Legislature and the people of California.  Thank you.