California clearly has a homeless problem. It's not like this is news to anyone - especially to the clowns in the legislature. But that's not stopping State Sen. Kevin De Leon from trying yet another plan to spend $2 billion on new housing for the homeless. A measure outlining the proposal could even appear on the statewide ballot this November.
DeLeon's new bill is an attempt to redo a previous plan which was passed by the legislature in 2016. The 2016 plan called for $2 billion to be redirected from a voter-approved 1% income tax surcharge on millionaires to fund mental health treatments. But, the bill was quickly tied up in court after an attorney in Sacramento sued the state, saying that the measure violated constitutional rules on approving loans without a public vote. The lawsuit stated that lawmakers shouldn't take money away from other programs, such as mental health treatment.
The case remains in the Sacramento courts, which prevents the state from touching the $2 billion in its coffers.
The new bill would put the $2 billion loan back on the ballot and free up the money should voters approve the measure.
De Leon (D-Los Angeles) says if he knew the 2016 proposal would end up in the courts, he would have sought the ballot measure in the first place.
“We thought this was like apple pie and baseball and puppies,” De León said. “Who would oppose the idea of repurposing the dollars to build immediate housing as a permanent solution for homelessness? Obviously with a crystal ball, had I anticipated the litigation, I would have worked to place it on the ballot.”
If the new measure makes it on the ballot for November, it'll have plenty of company. Californians are also set to decide on another $4 billion-bond to help finance low-income and veteran housing.
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