SB 326 (Eggman) and AB 531 (Irwin), the companion bills that implement the Governor’s Behavioral Health Reform and Housing Bond proposals, have passed out of the Appropriations Suspense Files and will now advance to the full Assembly and Senate for final floor votes before heading to the Governor’s desk. Both of these bills are being fast-tracked as urgency measures so they can be placed on the March 2024 primary election ballot, since they both require voter approval.
Under the Governor’s proposal, 30% of county funding under the newly-renamed Behavioral Health Services Act (BHSA) would be used on housing intervention programs. The funds could be used for the provision of housing or infrastructure funding to create new housing. 50% of the funds are to be used for housing interventions for persons who are chronically homeless, with a focus on those living in encampments. No more than 25% may be used for capital development projects. Capital developments are not defined but could include supportive housing, or unlocked community-based residential facilities for individuals transitioning out of homelessness. CAADPE has requested an amendment clarifying that recovery bridge housing is included in the projects eligible for bond funding, and an amendment that prohibits housing or service providers receiving public funds from discriminating against individuals undergoing medications for addiction treatment.