LOS ANGELES – Mayor Karen Bass today commended the State Legislature for passing important bills that would further the effort to aggressively confront the homelessness crisis in the Los Angeles region and beyond. Mayor Bass sponsored two Assembly bills, AB 785 and AB 1734, which would allow for the building of more housing, and advocated for several other bills which would aid the effort to treat substance abuse and behavioral health and prevent homelessness by expanding tenant protections in the region. Collectively, this package of bills helps advance the Mayor’s multi-pronged approach to combating homelessness.
“I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the legislature for their hard work in getting these critical bills passed," said Mayor Bass. "Throughout my administration, I have been locking arms with all levels of government in order to dramatically confront the homelessness crisis and bring Angelenos inside. These bills would allow us to continue our efforts to build more housing and treat mental illness and substance abuse with the attention and care that it deserves. I want to thank the Governor for his leadership in developing the behavioral health bills, and I ask that he sign this full package of bills into law as we continue our work to house people and deliver the necessary services required to help people start a new chapter of their lives.”
The Governor has until October 14 to take action on these bills.
Bills Sponsored by Mayor Bass
AB 785 (Assemblymember Santiago)
This bill would help the City move more people indoors more quickly by extending the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) exemptions for the City and unincorporated areas of the County of Los Angeles until 2030 to streamline the construction of affordable housing, low-barrier navigation centers, supportive housing, and transitional housing for youth. The Los Angeles City Council adopted a resolution authored by Councilmembers Katy Yaroslavsky and Nithya Raman in support of this measure.
AB 1734 (Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer)
Building off of the Mayor’s Executive Directive 1, which has already expedited 7,000 units of affordable housing, the City is committed to maximizing city-owned land to build affordable housing and interim housing. However, the existing State Surplus Land Act has made it difficult to build quickly. This bill would create an exemption from the Surplus Land Act, allowing the City to more easily utilize existing publicly-owned property to address the housing and homelessness crisis.
Other Priority Bills Supported by Mayor Bass
SB 43 (Senator Eggman)
This bill would help ensure that those with severe mental health or substance use disorder can receive the treatment they need by updating the definition of “gravely disabled” to include instances of severe substance use disorder, or a co-occuring mental health disorder and severe substance use disorder, and to include a person’s ability to provide for their own personal or medical care, or self-protection and safety. The Los Angeles City Council adopted a resolution authored by Councilmember Traci Park and Council President Paul Krekorian in support of this measure.
SB 326 (Senator Eggman) and AB 531 (Assemblymember Irwin)
These bills constitute the Governor’s Behavioral Health Services Act reform package and were championed by the California Big 13 City Mayors coalition. SB 326 would reform the Mental Health Services Act to recast it as the Behavioral Health Services Act and transform California’s mental health and substance use disorder services system. In a move championed by Mayor Bass, the legislation would allow counties to spend BHSA dollars to treat substance use disorder conditions. AB 531 would place a $6.38 billion bond on the March 2024 ballot for the construction of community-based behavioral health treatment, residential care settings and housing solutions for veterans. Mayor Bass successfully advocated for a $1.5 billion set-aside for cities and counties.
SB 567 (Senator Durazo)
Mayor Bass is committed to prevention strategies to ensure that more Angelenos do not fall into homelessness. This bill would help advance that goal by enhancing existing no-fault just cause eviction provisions and provide enforcement mechanisms for violations of restrictions on residential rent increases and no-fault just cause evictions. The Los Angeles City Council adopted a resolution authored by Councilmembers Nithya Raman and Marqueece Harris-Dawson in support of this measure.