Breaking News
More () »

'Status quo is not working': Republicans unveil a package of bills to help solve homelessness

One bill would get rid of required environmental reports (CEQA) to build emergency shelters and supportive housing.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The status quo isn’t working to solve homelessness, according to Republican lawmakers. It's the same message Governor Gavin Newsom has shared along with other top Democrats. On Wednesday, Republicans introduced their own package of 16 bills to address the issue. 

“What Democrats have done over the past decade is not working,” Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher said on the steps of the Capitol. 

So what then are the Republicans proposing in their 16 bills? 

“One would audit the state homelessness efforts to look not just at spending, but at results and outcomes to ensure that we're not wasting resources on ineffective programs," Gallagher said. "For instance, in LA County where we found out, we're spending $870,000 to house one homeless person.”

One bill would take away expensive liability for houses of worship that want to provide temporary housing. Another would get rid of environmental reports (CEQA) that are typically needed to build emergency shelters and supportive housing. 

One bill would also expand who is eligible for conservatorship. 

“Let's just look at his Care Court proposal," Gallagher said about Newsom's plan, "Oh, man, I'm intrigued, but it's short on details.”

Newsom’s Care Court proposal would in a way force some people exhibiting mental illness into treatment. 

Newsom’s top homeless advisor Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said he likes Newsom's plan better, although he has not read the one proposed by Republicans.

“One of the unique things that the Courts proposal does is that it, hopefully, avoids the need for a conservatorship, because it's an earlier intervention before you have to go through that long process," Steinberg said. "Conservatorship should be the last of last resorts.”

Former chair of the Select Committee on Homelessness and current Democratic Assemblyman Adam Gray said, “everyone agrees the status quo isn’t working.”

He believes an audit on spending should be done, and everything should be put on the table. In a statement, he said, “I look forward to reviewing all of the proposals on homelessness that have been introduced this year and advancing a comprehensive solutions-oriented package.”

Another one of the bills would use money from the highway beautification fund to help clean up homeless encampments. Another would allow the state to provide incentives to local governments to increase temporary housing. 

You can read more about the package here: Policy Proposal Summaries on Tackling Homelessness.


Who is responsible for the growing homeless crisis in Sacramento | ABC10 Originals

Before You Leave, Check This Out