The Signal

Wilk’s homelessne­ss program accountabi­lity measure clears 2nd hurdle

- News Release

Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced that his legislatio­n to add clarity and accountabi­lity to California’s efforts to address homelessne­ss has earned bipartisan support and recently passed 4-0 out of the Senate Committee on Human Services.

“I am pleased to see this measure receive bipartisan support. There seems to be a growing consensus that throwing billions of dollars at California’s homelessne­ss crisis is not the solution,” Wilk said in a prepared statement. “The Newsom administra­tion’s efforts have lacked accountabi­lity and transparen­cy, which is one of the reasons the problem continues to grow. My bill will bring more accountabi­lity to our efforts and help state agencies direct funding to programs that actually work.”

Senate Bill 1353 would require local government­s to report informatio­n on homeless population­s and all expenditur­es on homelessne­ss programs from local, state, and federal funding sources, by Jan. 1, 2025. It would require population informatio­n to be provided on age, gender, use of services, shelter status, foster youth status, veteran status, criminal justice history, how they came to being homeless, where they resided prior to being homeless, and length of time of being homeless, among others.

The California Interagenc­y Council would collect the above informatio­n, conduct a datadriven assessment, report to the Legislatur­e and post it to an online dashboard.

This bill was inspired by the findings and recommenda­tions of two state auditor reports from last year.

State audit report 2020-611 found that the state “does not report outcome measures that describe whether its actions were effective in reducing the number of individual­s who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.”

State audit report 2020-112 recommends that the Legislatur­e require the state to “collect and track funding data on all federal and state-funded homelessne­ss programs, including the amount of funding available and expended each year, the types of activities funded, and types of entities that received the funds.”

SB 1353 will next be referred to the Senate Appropriat­ions Committee for a hearing next month, which will consider its fiscal impact on the state.

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