Legislative Republicans in both the California Senate and Assembly called on Governor Gavin Newsom to convene an Extraordinary Special Session of the Legislature to immediately address homelessness, rather than waiting for action through the traditional legislative calendar for 2022.
Led by Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) and Assemblywoman Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach), legislative Republicans highlighted some actions a Special Session could take to combat the crisis.
“We have been wrestling with this problem for decades now, and it always seems to get worse,” said Senator Patricia Bates. “It’s time for real results, most of all for the countless homeless people suffering in our neighborhoods and communities. A Special Session will bring needed focus. We can, and must, do better.”
“California is spending more money on solving the homeless issue than ever before yet we have over 70,000 more people experiencing homelessness than the second closest state in the nation,” said Assemblymember Janet Nguyen. “My family and I experienced this shocking reality firsthand 3 nights ago when a homeless man on drugs attempted to break into our backyard. I am frightened for my children’s and family’s safety and the safety of all Californians. We must come together to discuss and find solutions to this growing problem. I look forward to the governor’s response.”
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes recently recognized Bates for her work in the legislature to support public safety. Bates, who represents a large portion of Orange County in California’s 36th Congressional District, was given the Orange County Sheriff’s Award at a surprise ceremony in Santa Ana. The award has traditionally been bestowed on those whom the Sheriff believes have contributed significantly to the aims of the Sheriff’s Department, in particular protecting the community.
Although the State Legislature spends millions of dollars on homeless shelters and services across the state, at least 195 homeless individuals, including children, died in 2021 in Sacramento County, a county that continues to struggle caring for its most vulnerable. The total number of homeless deaths in the county is significantly higher than the previous record death toll in 2018 of 140 homeless deaths.