Understanding Proposition 1: What Does it Really Mean?

(RightWing.org) – The latest data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) showed that about 653,100 individuals experienced homelessness nightly in 2023. According to its numbers, more than half of the country’s homeless were concentrated in four states, with California leading the pack with 28%, followed by New York (16%), Florida (5%), and Washington (4%). The Golden State also accounted for about 49% of the unsheltered homeless population nationwide. However, Californians recently had the opportunity to vote on a measure to address that problem and some of its underlying issues.

California residents headed to the polls on Super Tuesday (March 5) to select their respective party’s presidential nominees, the top two candidates for an open US Senate seat, and all its nominees for the US House. They also voted on Proposition 1, a $6.38 billion bond to provide homeless shelters and construct mental health treatment facilities for residents suffering from mental or substance abuse “challenges.”

The measure contains two main components related to addressing the state’s homelessness problem, mental health issues, and residents suffering from alcohol and drug abuse.

  1. Prop 1 provides billions of dollars in bonds to build new housing projects for individuals with alcohol, drug, and mental health-related problems.
  2. The proposition updates the state’s 2004 Mental Health Services Act, emphasizing reallocating funds assigned to that measure.

In short, Proposition 1 plans to update the way funds are used from the state’s current mental health statutes to build homeless shelters and facilities to address the underlying challenges associated with mental illness and substance abuse.

The program won’t add any new burden on taxpayers. Instead, it allows the state to reassign millions of dollars from a tax on millionaires from counties to the state. Additionally, the measure allocates roughly $1 billion in funds to expand treatment centers and supportive housing for veterans suffering from addiction, mental illness, and homelessness.

The New York Times recently reported that Proposition 1 will likely pass once California election officials finish counting the ballots cast on Super Tuesday. As of March 12, Decision Desk HQ showed the measure passing by a margin of 50.3% to 49.7%, or 2,604,116 votes to 2,571,393, with 99% of the ballots counted.

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