California Senate Votes to Support CARE Court as State’s Leading Business Organizations Join Expanding Coalition

The CARE court received bipartisan approval from state senators in a 38-0 vote

California Chamber of Commerce, 21 local chambers and California Downtown Association support Governor Newsom’s mental health proposal

SACRAMENTO – In a critical vote today, Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed CARE court won 38-0 approval by state senators in a show of overwhelming support. Governor Newsom’s CARE Court Coalition also continues to build momentum with the addition of key business organizations that include the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Downtown Association and 21 local chambers of commerce from across the state. Together, these organizations represent thousands of California businesses.

Prior to today’s affirmative vote in the Senate, the CARE Court bill – SB 1338 by Senators Tom Umberg and Susan Eggman – passed the Senate Appropriations Committee last week by a 7-0 vote. This means CARE Court has been considered by three separate committees and passed each one without a single vote against it, and has now cleared the Senate with bipartisan support.

“With the broad support of the California State Senate, CARE Court is one step closer to becoming a reality in California,” said Governor Newsom. — I am also grateful that we have the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Downtown Association and 21 local chambers of commerce join our ever-growing CARE Court Coalition, which includes a diverse group of advocates focused on addressing the serious mental illness that is too often leaving people on our streets without hope.”

“The California Chamber of Commerce and our colleagues across the state are pleased to support Governor Newsom and his vision to provide support to people suffering from serious mental illness and substance use disorders through the recently proposed CARE Court Plan,” said Jennifer Barrera, President. and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce. “CARE Court is a thoughtful, measured response to the tragedy of untreated mental illness that has affected thousands of people. California employers have a vested interest in CARE Court’s success because many business owners and their employees experience firsthand the consequences of inadequate policies that fail to meet the needs of those suffering on our streets and in our communities.”

“The creation of CARE Court represents a new approach to early intervention and will help people get the support they deserve by addressing their basic needs,” said Rena Leddy, president of the California Downtown Association. “We appreciate the governor’s leadership on this important issue, and we are pleased to support this legislation.”

This announcement adds to a growing coalition of supporters that includes state and local officials, families, first responders, health care providers, mental health providers, civil rights groups, faith leaders and business groups, all of whom strongly support the CARE Court .

CARE Court provides community-based treatment, services and housing to Californians suffering from untreated schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders, and aims to serve as an initial intervention for Californians with the most severe impairments.

The bill voted on today reflects new additions to the CARE Court system, including strengthening the housing component of the CARE plan and detailing other key elements such as the court process and data collection. These amendments have been developed based on ongoing consultations with a wide range of stakeholders.

CARE Court builds on Governor Newsom’s multi-year investment of $14.7 billion to provide 55,000 new housing units and treatment spaces, and more than $11 billion annually in community mental health services. The governor’s approach focuses on quickly rehoming homeless individuals with behavioral health problems once new units are in place, as well as transforming Medi-Cal to provide more behavioral health services to people who suffer the most. For more information, visit https://www.chhs.ca.gov/care-court/.

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