Less than a week after Assemblymember Marc Levine (D- Marin County) joined a bipartisan coalition making emergency funding available to address the COVID-19 pandemic in California, the first grants to local governments have been made to assist people experiencing homelessness.
The North Bay’s Sonoma County will receive over $1.1 million and the County of Marin will receive over $386,000 to address the immediate needs of homeless individuals at risk of COVID-19 and prevent the spread of the virus in this highly vulnerable community. Funding levels were based on homeless population data from the 2019 Point in Time counts of homeless individuals in counties across the state. Funds can be used to provide immediate shelter for individuals, increase sanitation or provide other relevant support services during this emergency.
In total, Governor Gavin Newsom has been authorized to spend over a billion dollars statewide to lead state efforts to prevent the spread and treat those determined to be COVID positive. Specifically, the Legislature last week appropriated up to one billion dollars to support Governor Gavin Newsom’s emergency declaration to address the COVID-19 pandemic and gave the Governor significant resources to both increase the capacity of our healthcare system while supporting preventative efforts to reduce transmission of the coronavirus across the state. These funds will also be used to begin a conversation about the long recovery period the state will likely experience after this crisis has abated – particularly ways to support small business, non-profits and other individuals that experience economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, Levine supported legislation to waive the current Average Daily Attendance requirement in K-12 public schools for the remainder of this academic school year. With the governor’s Stay at Home declaration impacting over 6 million students in California’s K-12 public schools, this legislation will ensure that all school districts receive their full enrollment funding for the year and makes an additional $100 million available to school districts to purchase personal protective equipment or for supplies and labor costs necessary to conduct additional deep cleaning of school sites.
Earlier this year, Levine introduced AB 2646 to permanently eliminate ADA and fund K-12 public education based upon enrollment, not attendance. That legislation will be considered later this year.
“California is taking bold action to address and prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Assemblymember Levine. “Governor Newsom’s leadership is helping the state work around the clock to address immediate and long term needs arising from this pandemic. We will make every resource of the State of California available to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our society and economy. When we protect the homeless, we protect everyone – including ourselves.”
“As a father, I know what a stressful time this is for families in the North Bay and across California,” continued Levine. “This is a public health crisis that impacts us all and I am here to support you and your family during this difficult time. There will be a number of difficult days in the weeks ahead, but we must shelter in place in order to save lives. By listening to public health officials and by banding together, we will get through this.”