Column: Newsom rejects every local homeless plan in state, demanding more ambition and funding
A homeless man sleeps on the sidewalk outside the Salvation Army’s downtown Oakland, Calif. building. (Photo: John Storey, The Chronicle)
Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed two sweeping homelessness bills passed by the Legislature since last fall, after vetoing a similar package earlier in his tenure.
In his latest veto message of a housing bill, Brown called it “a massive and costly solution to homelessness,” and said the Legislature had “made good on its promises to the people of California” instead of focusing on “immediate, local solutions that actually make housing more affordable” for those who need it most.
The governor also singled out Assembly Bill 3091, a measure requiring all new housing developments to be “affordable” without specifying how that would be measured. Brown criticized the bill for not mentioning at all what it would take to achieve that goal, and called it a “very ambitious policy” that would require the state to change its entire housing policy.
“It proposes to make it nearly impossible for developers to build new housing without taking on all the associated social and fiscal costs. I think the goal should be to make housing affordable without imposing the burdens of social costs on those who want to buy a home in California,” Brown said in his veto message.
AB 3091, introduced in the Assembly last month by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, passed the Assembly on a 39-0 vote, with one abstention. The bill passed the state Senate in June, only to be vetoed by Brown as he was about to leave office.
A similar bill, AB 534, passed the state Senate by a 55-3 vote last month with one abstention. The veto message from Brown criticized AB 534’s intent to “create a series of expensive mandates” for local governments, but said none of those measures would bring down California’s sky-high housing costs.
That bill, which would have required all new homes built in California to be “affordable,” would have required developers to spend $1,000,000 to build each dwelling, and would have taken a bite out of sales tax receipts for