Manny Crisostomo /

Homeless people sleep in St. Boniface Catholic Church in San Francisco's Tenderloin area in March.

The Buzz: California homeless rights bill fails in Assembly committee

Published: Saturday, May. 25, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's bill to create legal protections and support services for homeless people got plenty of attention, but ultimately not enough support.

Assembly Bill 5, which the California Chamber of Commerce had included on its annual "job killers" list, stalled in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Friday.

Ammiano, D-San Francisco, had narrowed the bill after a backlash from critics who said the bill would sanction behavior such as urinating in public while exposing businesses to new litigation.

The version that failed to advance Friday called for cities and counties to build hygiene centers, which would have cost as much as $216 million to build and another $81 million a year to maintain.

In a statement, Ammiano said he was disappointed that his measure failed but understands the state's budget picture. He said he plans to start working right away to pursue another approach to ensure homeless people are not treated as criminals.

The San Francisco Democrat was more successful with a measure that would create a division within the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to regulate the production, transportation and sale of medical marijuana. Assembly Bill 473 passed the committee Friday.

– Melody Gutierrez


The full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday upheld Gov. Jerry Brown's 10 percent cut in payments to providers of medical care to the poor under the state Medi-Cal program. A judge had nullified the cut, adopted by Brown and the Legislature two years ago, but an appeals panel reversed the rejection. That decision was affirmed Friday.

– Dan Walters


"Brad Sherman had the endorsements of the local elected officials, and look who won."

JOE BACA, the former Democratic congressman attempting a comeback in the 31st Congressional District, talking to Roll Call about Sherman's strategy in last year's bruising House race against Howard Berman

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