State needs to lower living costs, enforce our laws and fight back against judges who perpetuate homelessness.
SACRAMENTO – Today, Assembly Republicans sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom calling on him to act to address the growing homelessness crisis in California. The letter, signed by all 18 members of the Assembly Republican Caucus, urges Newsom to:
- Bring down the state’s cost of living that drives people into homelessness;
- Fight to overturn court rulings that block programs to clear encampments, including by deploying state attorneys to help local governments fend off lawsuits;
- Cut ties with law firms that exploit homeless plaintiffs to defend the failed status quo;
- Enforce our laws and stop enabling homelessness and crime.
“Gavin Newsom is great at two things – talking and spending money. Unfortunately, neither of those have put a dent in California’s homelessness crisis,” said Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher (Yuba City). “Rather than just whining, Newsom needs to get the cost of living under control and fight back against activist judges and their out of touch rulings that perpetuate homelessness.”
The letter comes as local governments throughout California are prevented from removing homeless encampments by judges citing Martin v. Boise, which bans the enforcement of anti-camping laws unless there is a shelter bed for each homeless person. The effects of the ruling are exacerbated by California’s “housing first” policy that discourages emergency shelter construction and diverts limited resources to expensive supportive housing projects.
“California’s current approach to homelessness isn’t working – it’s time to try something new,” said Assemblymember Greg Wallis (R-Bermuda Dunes). “I hope Governor Newsom will work with us to turn the tide of poverty and homelessness we see on our streets.”
Since 2019, California has spent more than $20 billion on homelessness programs – despite that spending, homelessness has soared and the state is home to half the nation’s unsheltered population.
The letter to the governor is available here.