Senators Unveil Bill to Tap $2B of State Surplus for Homelessness, Affordable Housing

February 23, 2018 9:10 am · 64 comments

(by Janis Mara) – Two California senators Wednesday unveiled a bill that aims to tap $2 billion of the state’s budget surplus for homeless and affordable housing projects statewide.

SB 912, authored by State Sens. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, and Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, would use $2 billion of this year’s higher-than-anticipated state revenue as a one-time investment to deal with homelessness and the shortage of affordable housing, according to the senators’ offices.

Under the bill, the Department of Housing and Community Development would direct funds to cities and counties for programs serving the homeless as well as existing housing programs dedicated to housing low- and moderate-income families.

SB 912 would help the state deal with the effects of cuts to federal housing programs and also support the call from the mayors of California’s 11 largest cities for funding to combat homelessness, the senators’ offices said.

“There can be no better investment than to immediately put these dollars to work to shelter the homeless, the aged and the children,” said Beall, who chairs the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, in a

“Seeing the increasing numbers of tent cities and homeless encampments, it’s obvious we have an urgent issue that needs immediate attention,” Skinner said.

Earlier this month, the mayors of Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Bakersfield, Long Beach, Oakland, Anaheim and Santa Ana called on state leaders to increase state spending to combat homelessness.

SB 912 is designed in hopes of making up for federal cuts and expediting investments needed in communities, the senators’ offices said.

Randy February 23, 2018 at 9:24 AM


LocaI February 23, 2018 at 2:29 PM

Actually, yes.

Cautiously Informed February 23, 2018 at 9:24 PM

No or yes?

Actually, that should be decided by the voters(who’s pockets that money comes out of), and not by egotistical bloated self centered out of touch politicians who think they know better than everyone else.

Kentucky Derby February 23, 2018 at 9:29 AM

Do the homeless want shelter?

Yves harlowe February 23, 2018 at 9:38 AM

We have a budget surplus? What about the unfounded liabilies, like pensions and health care for retired state workers? Is that all fixed now?

Ctown February 23, 2018 at 9:39 AM

How about putting this “Surplus” into education and after school programs
for kids.

LocaI February 23, 2018 at 2:36 PM

Good idea. This is only a small part of the Great State of California’s 6 billion dollar budget surplus. You can read more about it from California news websites that cover these types of details.

Anonsense February 23, 2018 at 9:44 AM

This is a left leaning centrist here…. Cut state taxes.

Thatguy February 23, 2018 at 9:52 AM

What a waist of money. Most of the homeless don’t want to follow rules, that’s why they chose to live on the streets or camp in vacant lots. Just use SF as an example , they spend over theee hundred million a year on homelessness and the problem has only gotten worse.

I can get behind subsidized housing for those people that work, but can’t afford a home or rent, but until this state fixes the decrinilization of hard drug use, criminal accountability, and mental health we should not throw any surpluses down the drain.

When will the madness stop?

concord ygnacio February 23, 2018 at 10:20 AM

I’d like to have this “waist of money”. Where can I get one?

Mr White February 23, 2018 at 9:52 AM

This is why people including me are leaving this state, you are “watering the weeds” with all your low income and homeless programs, we are tired of it California is a high price high tax state, if you cant afford to live here then move out, take that 2B and buy one way bus tickets to a place that has lower cost of living and alow them to get jobs and cover their own costs. Most of these bums don’t want to do anything, I get it, either do I, but I have to, in order to provide for me and my family. These people are responsible for the situation they are in, let them figure out how to get out of their predicament. I hate funding programs for people’s irresponsibility.

Kirkwood February 23, 2018 at 9:59 AM

The past couple of times the state had a budget surplus, the state Senate also looked for ways to spend it.

If the current surplus was spent on the homeless, within a couple of years the money would be gone and the homeless would again be homeless.

Faux Nudes February 23, 2018 at 10:07 AM

Took a trip to India some years ago and found that the poor and homeless were just left to die on the streets because they didn’t have what it takes to survive. I’ve no problem with the weak dying off – it’s what keeps a population strong. I really don’t want our emergency fund wasted on such foolishness – it won’t change their ways and jeopardizes those who can cut it.

NuMerica February 23, 2018 at 10:42 AM


LocaI February 23, 2018 at 2:39 PM

A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.

– Ghandi

Faux Nudes February 23, 2018 at 5:44 PM

And Ghandi was shot for his silly beliefs! A nation’s greatness is measured by how it is both feared and respected by other nations.

“What is great in life is to crush your enemies; to see them driven before you; and to hear the lamentations of their women.”

– Conan
(the Barbarian, not the late night TV host, although maybe he feels the same way.)

Mark February 23, 2018 at 8:42 PM

Hey Local, nobody’s stopping you from cracking open your jumbo wallet for the addicts living on the street. Heck, invite them in from the cold. Ghandi would approve. But our surplus should not be confiscated to waste on people who will not help themselves. Hmm, another saying, God helps those who help themselves.

whatever February 23, 2018 at 10:14 AM

This isn’t going to combat homelessness, it’s going to encourage more homelessness. Every time we through more money at them, the problem gets worse.
This is the taxpayers surplus, use it for something that benefits taxpayers.

NuMerica February 23, 2018 at 10:43 AM


Cowellian February 23, 2018 at 12:09 PM

Exactly. Intentional or not, you encourage the behavior that you reward.

PO'd February 23, 2018 at 1:22 PM

Dead right. It will bring even more (!) homeless to the mix to be used as examples of the “failure” of the USA by the hard left. Give the taxpayers their money back and lower taxes.

Anon February 23, 2018 at 4:13 PM

Don’t feed the ferals or they will never go away.

Bill Cutting February 23, 2018 at 10:16 AM

How bout you build another dam just in case or expand and fix roads?

NuMerica February 23, 2018 at 10:43 AM

Exactly – we all know summer is about to be insane this year

LocaI February 23, 2018 at 2:42 PM

This is just a part of California’s $6,000,000,000 surplus. Things like fixing roads and bridges are bring considered for other parts of the surplus.

Justdontcare February 23, 2018 at 10:28 AM

Can is so screwed up with their priorities the politicians can’t see the light.

The homeless can die on the streets with no help from my tax dollars.

Same February 23, 2018 at 10:40 AM

Affordable does not mean sustainable. This will not go well. Did anyone see that news story about the lady in Fairfield who took in a homeless person and then a day later had her car stolen? The car was her sole means of transport and is MIA.

Cowellian February 23, 2018 at 10:41 AM

As long as California has massive unfunded pension liabilities, they don’t have a real budget surplus.

WC February 23, 2018 at 10:41 AM

Give me $1 billion and I’ll solve the homeless problem.

Faux Nudes February 23, 2018 at 5:46 PM

Yours or all the others? I can improve my home condition for a paltry $10 million!

NuMerica February 23, 2018 at 10:45 AM

SAN FRANCISCO’S DISEASED STREETS being compared to some of the worst slums in the world

ConcordMike February 23, 2018 at 10:48 AM

Whhhaaaatttttt? Fix our roads. Hire more cops, fire fighters, teachers. And open all fire stations you frickin idiots. Doing the these things will create more jobs hence lowering the homeless population. Then create affordable housing, built your bullet train and whatever it is that you please. Morons running this state nowadays.

LocaI February 23, 2018 at 2:44 PM

They’re also looking into those types of things with California’s budget surplus.

Noj February 23, 2018 at 4:21 PM

Are they looking into CalPers’ $138 billion deficit?

Doesn’t fit the narrative. Then along comes Newsome.

Have fun.

Captain Bebops February 23, 2018 at 10:54 AM

The problem is a lopsided economy that has been gamed by the rich who care only about having the most riches possible and to hell with everyone else. They want a feudal society and seem to be on the way to getting it. What should we do about it?

How many time does have to ask the question if you are planning to move out of the state? How many times do you read in response comments from people who would love to live in the state where they grew up but no longer can afford to do so?

I work in the in the tech industry but I work from home as a contractor. I’ve even been offered (oddly enough at my advanced age) jobs from of the big companies. I thought they were kidding but they were serious and finally looking for experience over risk. But I decline because i don’t want to deal with the crowded and broken down freeways let alone the extra time to commute. How many more times do I have to say that the tech giants need to build remote offices to alleviate the problem rather than have all their “tech serfs” come to their “castle” for work?

Much of this could be alleviated by making these companies pay more of the share of their impact on roads and the economy in taxes. Very few would leave the Bay Area and those who do we wouldn’t want around anyway.

Building affordable housing might not be the solution because housing should not have become unaffordable anyway. And neither should have the amenities of life either. It’s just insanity that it happened and probably temporary as it will some day come crashing down.

Fred P. February 23, 2018 at 11:16 AM

What about the gas tax increase?

What about the increase in registration fees?

Oh, wait…

Anonymous February 23, 2018 at 11:21 AM

“No better investment”

Well how about giving some back to the people that paid it.. us?
I recognize that this is beyond being reasonble in a one party state.

WakeUpPeople February 23, 2018 at 11:22 AM

You would think they’d want to use all that extra money to add armed security guards/police to our schools to help stop anymore school shootings, but I guess the safety of our children and teachers isn’t that high up on their priority list…..

RANDOM TASK February 23, 2018 at 11:26 AM




50 years of dem rule and the dem voting machine is in full swing

All at the expense of freedom and children’s lack of education

YaY 50 years to rule you

Jeff February 23, 2018 at 11:35 AM

Oh, California get real. You have an unexpected $2.8 billion and as usual, spending like a “drunken sailor”. California already has Affordable Housing it’s called Apartment rentals or Mobile Homes. Yes, the rents have been going up relentlessly, with Silicon Valley and the city spreading out.

No, majority of homeless people are drug addicts, alcoholics and/or mentally ill. If you build “affordable” housing, how can they pay. They are not looking for work, my heart goes to the ones that are drug/alcohol free and ended up homeless through any number of variables, but are overlooked because people see homeless as just an annoyance.

kilo February 23, 2018 at 11:38 AM

You can’t just give a house to a mentally diseased person that wears his underpants on the outside and screams at street signs and expect it to solve all his problems.

This is simply flushing money away in a state where they tax the living daylights out of its hard working law abiding residents.

Re-open mental facilities and repeal AB109/ Prop 47 / Prop 57. That’s how you solve our homeless issues.

NuMerica February 23, 2018 at 1:15 PM

Won’t even lie…. I know exactly who you’re talking about. This almost made me spit coffee on my screen.

Teamster February 23, 2018 at 2:09 PM

Yes….reach out to Mark….he is supposed to represent us…Come on Mark it’s time to protect the good tax paying citizens. No on this bill! Repeal 47, 57 and AB 109

Barbie Girl February 23, 2018 at 2:37 PM

I remember when they closed the most of the insane asylums. There was one on my Aunt’ws Neighborhood in Hayward, and that
day they just let them all out was like a freak parade …..just let them loose on the streets. Now as a kid, it was funny but I can imagine what the adults were thinking.

Seether February 23, 2018 at 12:35 PM

Fix our roads and infrastructure that the taxpayers use to go to work so you have 2 billion surplus. That is a great idea to help the ones that are helping the taxes come in. When will people learn that this liberal democratse agenda screws hard working tax payers at every direction and gives to people that don’t care sad sad sad people stand up 😎

Thingness Bo February 23, 2018 at 12:37 PM

Enjoy, I’m moving to NV!

CSS February 23, 2018 at 1:55 PM

We’re taking our pensions and home sale proceeds and getting out of California. Keep flushing this state down the toilet.

Elwood February 23, 2018 at 2:06 PM

The legislature’s mantra:

Oh, look!


Let’s spend it!

TIFOKCIS February 23, 2018 at 2:50 PM

Democrats demand your DMV fees are increased (again) and your gas is taxed more (again) to fix the roads, yet there’s a surplus?

Ignorance is bliss!

Let’s make every lazy, doped up, “oh poor me” eligible for affordable housing…………………oh CA already has. Bask in The Sanctuary!

Gitittogether February 23, 2018 at 4:07 PM

Rebate excess, payed by taxpayers, to taxpayers.


No votes for bum enablers.

No! February 24, 2018 at 10:45 AM


Strad February 23, 2018 at 4:34 PM

The powers that be won’t (never consider it as an option) give the money back, only increase or create new spending programs.

NunYa February 23, 2018 at 5:41 PM

I cannot believe how stupid we ALL our to put up with the ripoff that this state has become.

“Wow, we found more money (since we increased the gas tax) let’s spend it!” – Only plank in the Democrats plan.

Original G February 23, 2018 at 6:18 PM

So which came first writing of the bill or the “news” story publicizing problems in SF with their homeless population?
Did story come about as a way to generate public support for this bill?

Timing of the legislation and story ? ? ? ……. just wondering.

Cyco Miko February 23, 2018 at 6:24 PM

I’d like to get some of my gas tax back!!!

Donald February 23, 2018 at 10:36 PM

If you get $20 back, the wealthiest get their $50,000 back. Everyone doesn’t get the same check.

I’d rather the community keeps the $50,020.

Anonymous February 24, 2018 at 1:10 AM

If you read the whole article and not just the word homeless you will see that it also says homeless families ( children ). My family is unfortunately one of those homeless families. Not all homeless people are alcoholics and drug addicts but people trying to survive. Yes I would say that most of the homeless don’t want it or maybe that that lifestyle is all they know. I have been to the family shelter did the 2 year transitional housing and completed and yet here I am still homeless. Needless to say that one shouldn’t always judge a book by it’s cover.

Mark February 24, 2018 at 11:59 AM

The politicians describe the homeless as families as a ploy – as a shield from criticism of their plans. We all know that the bulk of homeless are transient drug addicted individuals.

ON DA February 24, 2018 at 1:21 AM

I usually vote for solutions rather than blah blah graphy. So if there are higher than projected surpluses by all means this is a great investment toward humanitarian efforts rather than medieval mentalities.

Let God’s grace be shared with abundance to the weak, sick and down trodden.

In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen.

Justyfiable anger February 24, 2018 at 7:36 AM

Once again, politicians will miss appropriate tax payer funds for special projects. Paying the majority to project research and developers.

Why are the ‘homeless’ multiplying so fast? Why are most of them on drugs? Why are they allowed to foul up rivers and public areas? Catalog and sort them into tent cities where we and the environment will be safe from them. And, they will be safe from themselves.

This stealing of public funds is exactly the corruption that is sinking California. This problem has been perpetuated to the point of crisis.

No! February 24, 2018 at 10:41 AM

Exactly. If you are a law abiding taxpayer in California, you have no rights. Transients have more rights than taxpayers now. They are allowed to destroy everything and get around on BART for free to do their dirty deeds. They are all armed and do nothing with their lives. Not enabling these people who have taken over California because Libby Scaff, Dr so. allows it because she is a loser! Feel sorry for all trying to run businesses because I will not patronize transient stores.

anonible February 24, 2018 at 1:48 PM

Even better: Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, Gavin Newsom, Barb Steisand (so many more!) need to open up their many mansions to the homeless families. They can have their pick-the ones with children for instance. They can easily house 1-10 small families. The children would benefit from the schools in the area.

The rest need to be sorted. Those that want work/help, those that want drugs, those that need help deciding. They can live in collectives and grow organic produce for the locals. Operate soup kitchens.

Those that behave will be rewarded. Those that don’t will get evaluated.

No! February 24, 2018 at 10:33 AM

I am not paying for homeless drug addicts to support their meth and speed habits. This is a stupid idea that will never work. Fix the dam roads and help our PTSD vets! This is taxpayer money not the Mayor of Oakland’s money. These drug addicts will always be transients. Tell all those rich rappers from Oakland to take care of their own, They created the problem.

Jones February 26, 2018 at 6:32 AM

$2B in surplus?
Good ‘ol California. In the 70’s were were the welfare state for generous cash payments. Now homelessness & Sanctuary?
Not only are we overtaxed, use in on the roads instead of hiking bridge tolls.
Don’t forget, only NorCal Bay Area pays bridge tolls. Keep that money LOCAL!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: