California lawmakers file piles of bills regarding homelessness crisis

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) Friday marked the final day for state lawmakers to file any new proposed state laws this year.

California’s homelessness problem is now being met with piles and piles of proposals.

Search the word “homeless” in the California legislative database for this session and more than 250 results come up. Search “housing” and more than 600 results show. 

Lawmakers appear to be in sync with the governor, making it a top legislative priority across party lines.

Some Democrats this week proposing to make way for more homeless shelters in California by eliminating land zoning loopholes cities sometimes use to avoid building them.

The senator who wrote the law, Scott Wiener, said of the 151,000 homeless Californians — 72-percent of them don’t have shelter.

Another bill aims to analyze all of California’s homelessness programs to then put together a state-wide homelessness plan. Other proposals include a homelessness data center and creating a special government branch —the office to end homelessness. 

Some Republicans say the Democrat majority’s way of managing the problem is no longer working.

Senator Brian Jones filed five bills this week to provide grant funding to agencies or organizations for extra mental health services, expand job skill training programs and money to local law enforcement groups that want to expand homeless outreach teams.

These bills all come after Governor Gavin Newsom dedicated his entire state of the state speech to California’s homelessness crisis. 

But really before any of these measures have hearings, next week the joint audit committee will decide whether the state should do a formal audit of its homelessness spending.

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