I consent to the state of California and Butte County having discontinued funding of social services, including social benefits and public health, for qualified Chico recipients (“Chico Is Not Responsible for Homelessness,” ER 12/24).
However, it is important to mention two historical events that emanate from the right-hand side of the political spectrum and have contributed significantly to this funding shortfall:
In 1967 the state of California was one of the first states to de-institutionalize mentally ill patients (Lanterman-Petris-Short Act), for which the then Governor Ronald Reagan campaigned. This act had a profoundly negative impact on the lives of the mentally ill and often resulted in a futile cycle of homelessness, incarceration and “brief” hospital stays.
The 1987 Jarvis-Gann Proposition 13 tax initiative. The unintended consequences of this tax revolt were significant, particularly the decline in property tax as a local source of income and the loss of local government. Proposition 13 harmed local communities, schools, and infrastructure.
It is insincere to say that cities like Chico have no financial responsibility for social services for their citizens.
At first glance, here are some locally administered services that are funded from federal, state and county sources that have a significant impact on homelessness:
The Americans With Disabilities Act 1990, Title 1, Disability Awareness Act, and block grants (which help support various broad-based programs such as law enforcement, social services, public health, and community development).
– Mark S. Gailey, Chico