A bill to allow the housing of homeless persons at Patton State Hospital is one step closer to becoming law.
Assembly bill 349, proposed by Assemblymember James Ramos (D-San Bernardino), passed the state senate this week on a 39-0 bipartisan vote.
In a statement issued earlier this year, Ramos called for state and local resources to be used to help solve a growing problem.
“We need to look at this as an ‘us’ – not a ‘them’ issue,” said Assemblymember Ramos. “My bill, AB 349, allows for unused state surplus property at Patton to be leased to other entities for a much-needed asset for our chronically homeless who account for more than 44% of those on our local streets. That is a travesty that can be remedied by leveraging state and local resources to provide stable housing, services and treatment.”
Homelessness has been on the rise recently, increasing 175% over the past five years in San Bernardino, causing the city council to declare homelessness an emergency in the city.
Coauthors of the bil include Assemblymembers Jasmeet Bains (D-Delano), Laurie Davies (R-Laguna Niguel), Diane Dixon (R-Newport Beach), Stephanie Nguyen (D-Elk Grove), Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Irvine), Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) and Lori D. Wilson (D-Suisun City). Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) who represents portions of San Bernardino County and a member of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee has requested that she be added as a coauthor.
The bill is now headed to the Assembly for concurrence with Senate amendments. It could head to the governor as early as Friday, Sept. 8.