(KTXL) — Gov. Gavin Newsom officially kicked off a four-day tour across California Thursday, a different take on the traditional State of the State address that governors give to the full Legislature.
The north-to-south trip started in Sacramento, where Newsom emphasized a reworked housing and homelessness project, addressing the state’s dire need for more assistance.
“People are dying on the streets, dying on our watch. It is a disgrace,” Gavin Newsom said in an interview with FOX40 News.
Newsom announced $1 billion in state funding for local communities to address homelessness and 1,200 new tiny homes to house people currently living in encampments that will be disbursed between Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Jose and San Diego.
“Those 1,200 small homes can accommodate upwards of six people…We’ll get them deployed in a matter of months and we’re doing that in four cities across this state as a way to commit to a more urgent approach,” Newsom said.
“The crisis of homelessness will never be solved without first solving the crisis of housing – the two issues are inextricably linked,” the governor said in a statement announcing the housing funds. “We are tackling this issue at the root of the problem.”
Most of the state funding for homelessness programs has gone to local governments but last fall Newsom delayed $1 billion of funding for homelessness programs because he didn’t like how local governments planned to spend it.
“I say they are right if we don’t require accountability. What I say is money is not the solution. More is not better is better. We put $750 million for encampments….But we are requiring something for the first time in return and that’s a plan and accountability,” Newsom said.
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The governor said local leaders have revised their plans and that he is ready to move forward with new actions.
The next three days will see the governor travel to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego where he will speak on public safety, healthcare costs, and mental healthcare reform respectively.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.