‘Do better’: Newsom pauses $1B in homelessness spending to fight homelessness
Photo: Andrew Meyers — The Bee Editorial Staff January 1, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO — As San Francisco Mayor London Breed pauses $1 billion in homelessness spending, Gov. Gavin Newsom is continuing to urge lawmakers to move forward with a homelessness plan and, after last-minute talks with lawmakers, a deal to temporarily fund the state government through the end of this fiscal year.
“I’m proud of the team in Sacramento, led by the governor,” Breed said in a statement Tuesday. “I’ve been encouraged by the progress made, and I know that our work can continue in the next two weeks.”
Newsom held talks with his fellow legislators on Wednesday about two temporary funding requests – one for the federal government and another for the Department of Social Services. But he’s already made clear that it was not easy making a deal to end homelessness in the state, especially with members of the Legislature already deeply divided.
“I remain committed to this issue and will continue to work with all of the parties to get this done,” said Newsom. “I look forward to taking a hard look at our current homeless emergency at the end of this session to make sure we do better than before.”
A proposal by Senate Majority Leader Toni Atkins called for a state law that would create a temporary funding stream for up to 120,000 homeless Californians.
She said she has been unable to come up with a temporary funding source that would not only address the problem of homelessness, but also address the state’s structural budget issues.
“This is an extremely complex issue involving a complex set of issues, but right now, what we’re doing at the state level is not working,” Atkins said. “As the governor said, we have to solve this problem for our residents, but we also have to have a balanced approach.”
The governor and the Assembly’s Budget Committee are working on the same temporary funding plan, but they also have slightly different ideas that make the state’s current and proposed temporary funding requests different from that offered by Atkins.