Publication: San Francisco Chronicle
Big-city mayors and several Assembly members got their first good look Thursday at Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to create a system of regional administrators to oversee $750 million in new homeless funding, and they didn’t like it.
Newsom’s plan is largely unformed and being introduced far in advance of the mid-June deadline for the state to pass its budget. But the mere mention of regional administrators — an idea lambasted as inefficient this week by the state Legislative Analyst’s Office — raised hackles at an informational hearing in San Francisco of a California Assembly budget subcommittee.
All the mayors and almost all of the subcommittee members said they appreciate the new homeless program money Newsom proposed for the coming year’s budget, which would be at least $100 million more than last year, but not the extra buffer between state coffers and local programs.
Currently, homeless funding from the state is handed out to cities and counties, which then use it in governmental and nonprofit programs, and there is a growing call among elected leaders and managers around California to cooperate more regionally on homelessness. But this concept doesn’t seem to be helpful, most of those at the hearing said.
“Layering more bureaucracy and bypassing cities and counties is counterproductive,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed told the committee.
“Having unnamed regional bureaucrats be in charge of homeless funding doesn’t sound like a good idea to me,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, chairman of the subcommittee. “But that having been said, I think we had a really robust discussion. We’ll see where it leads.”