By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Two housing bonds on November ballot
AP LOGO 3.jpg

SACRAMENTO  (AP) — California voters can expect to see two housing-related bond measures on their November ballots after the state Legislature on Monday advanced a proposal to fund homeless aid.

State lawmakers voted unanimously to ask residents to approve a $2 billion bond measure to house people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Lawmakers approved the money in 2016. But it has been tied up in court because of a lawsuit that argues the money comes from a source voters approved to fund mental health services, not housing.

“The bill asks voters to clarify their intention that the bond can move forward,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat who chairs the Assembly Budget Committee.

Bringing the issue directly to voters will clear up the legal questions and let the state spend the money, Gov. Jerry Brown has said. He is expected to sign the bill, which he advocated as part of his budget proposal.

Lawmakers passed it as part of the series of bills that enact the state budget.

The bond funding would ultimately be repaid using money from the California millionaire’s tax that provides revenue for mental health services.

It will join a $4 billion bond measure for low-income and veteran housing that the Legislature previously placed on the ballot.

Through budget negotiations, lawmakers and the governor also decided to include $500 million in the state budget for emergency grants to help cities and counties reduce homelessness. The grants can be used on a range of programs, including housing vouchers and shelter construction to help address California’s rapidly rising costs and growing homeless population.