California voters may be asked to steer homeless to services

California voters could decide next year whether to create new county courts to steer homeless people into mental health and drug addiction treatment programs.

A ballot measure proposed by former Assemblyman Mike Gatto aims to provide services to people who commit crimes like defecating in public or using drugs.

It would need sign off from roughly 620,000 Californians to make it onto the ballot. As of now, Gatto has no large donors willing to bankroll a signature collection campaign.

His proposal comes as California is in the throes of a worsening homeless crisis, with a growing number of people living on the streets in cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles.

He proposes paying for it by tapping a tax on millionaires approved by voters in 2004.

 

Dawn Kamber