Housing for Homeless Veterans and Transparency in Local Government
In every statewide election, the California Council of Churches IMPACT makes recommendations for the state ballot propositions. We base them on our faith principles and arrive at them through prayerful discernment and careful study. This June there are only two propositions on the state ballot.
Proposition 41: Veterans Homes and Homeless Prevention Bond Act — YES
Proposition 42: Public Records. Open Meetings. State Reimbursement to Local Agencies — YES
YES ON PROPOSITION 41: VETERANS HOUSING AND HOMELESS PREVENTION BOND ACT
Proposition 42 will allow conversion of an existing $600 million in state bond revenue to construct and rehabilitate housing for California’s large population of homeless veterans. The housing will be linked with essential services to strengthen veterans’ independent living. The funds will construct or upgrade affordable, supportive, and transitional housing for homeless and nearly-homeless veterans. No new funds will be required.
YES ON PROPOSITION 42: PUBLIC RECORDS. OPEN MEETINGS. STATE REIMBURSEMENT TO LOCAL AGENCIES
In the past, when budgets have gotten tight, the Legislature has suspended of the local government open-meeting and public-records requirements rather than pay their costs. Proposition 42 will put these transparency requirements into the state constitution, where they cannot be suspended. It also will require local governments to pay the very low costs of these requirements.
The people’s ability to control their government depends on freed access to information. Proposition 42 is a major step toward assuring that neither the state not the local governments can deny the people basic access to information. Requiring local governments to pay the costs of local government transparency seems simply fair, and it should give local governments an incentive to streamline public access and keep costs down.