Steinberg steps aside

Mental health advocate terms out after 14 years in the state Legislature

Longtime champion of mental health services and autism care Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) will soon term out office after 14 years in the California Legislature.

Steinberg (pictured) was elected to the Assembly in 1998 and the Senate in 2006, after a two-year hiatus, and became Senate president pro tem in 2008. In 2004, he wrote and backed the California Mental Health Services Act, which has raised $13.2 billion for mental health care over the past decade. Additionally, in 2011 Steinberg authored Senate Bill 946, which requires private health plans to cover autism therapy, and has recently fought for funding to reduce recidivism rates among mentally ill criminals.

Steinberg recently announced via Twitter that he will form a foundation to work on mental health policy issues after he leaves the Legislature.