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State Bill Seeks $2 Billion A Year To Fight Homelessness

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California Assemblyman Miguel Santiago of Los Angeles speaks at a press conference announcing a new bill seeking $2 billion a year in funding to fight homelessness. (Courtesy of Assemblyman Miguel Santiago's office)
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A coalition of state and local leaders are backing a new bill that would allot $2 billion a year to fight homelessness across California.

Assembly Bill 3300 is different than the plan proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom: his budget calls for a one-time allocation of $1.4 billion.

Los Angeles Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, one of the state lawmakers who introduced AB 3300, said a continuous stream of funding is needed to provide long-term solutions to the homelessness crisis:

"You can't fund nonprofits, for example, to do the work of bringing in the homeless population when you can't plan for the following year. So what do we tell people when we help them one year? 'Hey we're gonna help you this year, but guess what, next year you're back out on the street.' That's just not a winning solution."

Most of the money would be divided between local governments, with 5% set aside for affordable housing. The amount of cash received would depend on the number of homeless people in the area.
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Local governments would have to report back on how the money was spent and devote some of their own funds toward homelessness. The bill got the backing of L.A. leaders, including Mayor Eric Garcetti and county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

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