Newsom Signs Bills to Speed Homeless Shelters

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation giving cities and counties new power to speed up the building of supportive housing and homelessness shelters.

The Democratic governor signed 13 pieces of legislation dealing with homelessness on Thursday. It comes as President Donald Trump criticizes California’s handling of the issue, blaming homelessness for water pollution .

One law that takes effect immediately lets Los Angeles bypass parts of the California Environmental Quality Act to build supportive housing and shelters. Another adds Orange and Alameda counties as well as San Jose to the list of places that can declare emergencies and build shelters on publicly owned land.

A third allows projects that convert hotels into housing to bypass environmental reviews.

Newsom says the bills give local governments more tools to confront the crisis.