Capitol Alert

AM Alert: California Senate takes early focus on homelessness

Lester Washington, 60, left, a Vietnam veteran, and Victor Taylor, 41, right, set up tents on Union Pacific Railroad property near 7th and B streets in Sacramento in 2007.
Lester Washington, 60, left, a Vietnam veteran, and Victor Taylor, 41, right, set up tents on Union Pacific Railroad property near 7th and B streets in Sacramento in 2007. The Sacramento Bee file

Homelessness is taking center stage at the start of this new legislative session.

Yesterday, the Senate announced it as a priority in the upcoming budget negotiation, proposing a $2 billion bond to build at least 10,000 housing units statewide for homeless people with mental illnesses and another $200 million in general fund revenue to pay for rent subsidies.

A joint hearing today between the Senate committees on veterans affairs and on transportation and housing will examine the impact of a 2014 initiative that shifted $600 million in bond money to multifamily housing aimed at veterans at risk of homelessness.

Set for 1:30 p.m. in Room 4203 of the Capitol, the hearing focuses on the first round of awards under the program: $63 million approved last June for 17 projects with 1,221 units.

ECONO-VEMBER: The first manual measurement of Sierra Nevada snowpack last week produced encouraging results – water content is above the seasonal average! – but California’s long and miserable drought is not yet over. Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order to cut urban water use by 25 percent has been tentatively extended through the `end of October. So how is the state doing with that mandate? The State Water Resources Control Board will release water conservation numbers for the month of November during its meeting, 9 a.m. at the Cal/EPA Building on I St. October saw the state miss its monthly conservation target for the first time.

BEGIN AGAIN: Holdover bills from last session are on a tight deadline to stay alive; they have until Jan. 15 to get out of policy committee in their house of origin. The first to get a new hearing? Assembly Bill 735, which changes the sunset regulations on a “bill of rights” for college athletes, in the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee, 9 a.m. in Room 437.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, who turns 52 today.

  Comments