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Housing Homeless, Mentally Ill Initiative Receives Bipartisan Support


Democrats and Republicans in the California Legislature have reached a deal that provides housing and social services to thousands of homeless people.

The "No Place Like Home" initiative would provide $2 billion for counties to house and treat homeless individuals living with a mental illness through revenue bonds.

Funding for the initiative would come from Proposition 63, the millionaires' tax passed by voters in 2004 that provides treatment for Californians with mental illness.

First proposed by Senate Democrats early this year, "No Place Like Home" won support from Gov. Jerry Brown last month. But Assembly Republicans, whose votes are needed because the legislation requires a two-thirds supermajority, held out for changes in how the money would be allocated and recommendations from a scathing audit of Prop 63 funds released August 2013.
As part of the deal, both parties agreed to include $10 million for food, counseling and housing for youth. They also secured $10 million for  homeless, mentally ill veterans.

The agreement also creates greater oversight and accountability for how the funds are spent.

The Senate approved the newly-announced agreement Monday. The Assembly is expected to vote on it Thursday.

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