Newsom eyes 2024 ballot measure to add mental health beds for homeless

The prospective ballot measure, set for introduction in the state Legislature, will require Calif. borrowing an unknown sum to construct new housing.

Gov. Gavin Newsom called on California lawmakers to propose a measure for the 2024 ballot to raise funds for a significant expansion of housing and treatment for people who suffer from mental illness and addiction.

The announcement came amid the final stop of his four-day statewide tour in lieu of a State of the State address.


Driving the news: This initiative is part of the Newsom’s larger plan to combat homelessness in the state of California, where tent encampments have become a common sight.

  • The proposed measure seeks authorization to construct campus-style facilities and smaller homes, providing long-term residential settings for over 10,000 people annually.
  • The governor’s office stated that the funding for this initiative would be partially sourced from general obligation bonds. The measure also includes an earmarked amount to accommodate more than 10,000 homeless veterans across California.
  • Newsom has already secured legislative backing from Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman (D–Stockton), who will introduce the measure into the legislature this session.

The other side: Legislative Republicans rolled their eyes at the announcement, citing a lack of plan to address underlying mental health and drug abuse treatment over Newsom’s four-year tenure running the state.

  • “And after that, he should reduce the taxes, fees, and regulations that have made it nearly impossible for Californians to afford housing, electricity, and all other everyday costs,” Assembly GOP Leader James Gallagher (R–Yuba City) said in a statement. “Until then, no splashy announcement will actually change the failed status quo.” 
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