Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) and Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) announced this week that they have requested a statewide audit of homelessness spending in California. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee will consider the request on February 26, 2020 (updated 1/16/2020).
“The Governor is approaching our homelessness crisis with the sense of urgency it requires, but it’s important that we do not measure success just by how many dollars we spend,” Assemblyman Kiley said. “Billions have been spent in recent years, yet people are not getting the help they need and the problem continues to grow. For the Governor’s proposed investments to make a difference, we need a much better understanding of what is and is not working in our use of existing resources.”
According to Kiley, $2.7 billion has been spent, and California only has more homeless living in squalor on the streets to show for it.
Newsom’s homelessness task force
Governor Gavin Newsom has spent this week on a fact-finding mission around the state, observing the homeless crisis first hand, with the hope he will find a provision for carrying out his vision, Kiley said.
Additionally, the Governor’s homelessness task force led by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recognized the need to evaluate past and current spending citing, “In order to expand access to mental health and substance abuse treatment for individuals experiencing homelessness, the state should work in tandem with counties to ensure that existing funding, funding proposed in the Governor’s budget, and proposed Medi-Cal reforms align with the state’s goals to improve access to treatment.”
Audit needed to show what’s working and what’s not
“Solving this dire crisis will definitely take aggressive funding, but simply throwing money at the problem is not a smart solution,” said Senator Brian Jones. “We need to ensure taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars are being spent wisely and used effectively. This audit is necessary and will show us what’s working – and what’s not working – so we can make informed decisions moving forward that will actually help us start making a dent in the problem.”
The audit request letter is below. The Assembly members and Senator question and want researched whether the $650 billion declared “emergency aid” actually made it to those who most needed it. And they ask if accountability and cost-effective measures are in place.
Joining Kiley and Jones as coauthors on the request are Assembly Republicans Phillip Chen, Steven Choi, James Gallagher, Tom Lackey, and Jay Obernolte.Kiley Homelessness Audit Request