The California Legislature has approved two bills that aim to address the state’s homelessness and drug crises. The bills support Governor Gavin Newsom’s initiative to create 10,000 new beds and housing units and expand drug addiction treatment. The first bill (SB 326) amends the existing Mental Health Services Act to form the Behavioral Health Services Act, which will increase programs for severe mental illnesses and substance use disorders. An existing tax on millionaires will fund this program. Meanwhile, the second bill (AB 531) authorizes $6.38 billion in bonds to build housing for people experiencing homelessness. Gov. Newsom is expected to sign both bills, which have received bipartisan support. However, the changes require voter approval in the March primary ballot.
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[Source: MM+M, September 18th, 2023]