Jan 21, 2016

Senator Mike McGuire: "Investing in services and programs for the 144,000 Californians who live on our streets every day, along with robust mental health and substance abuse programs."

Senator Mike McGuire responded this morning to Governor Brown’s State of the State address, citing the great strides that California has made on key issues, as well as highlighting the areas Senator McGuire considers his top priorities for this legislative year.

“Our state’s financial picture has greatly improved over the last few years and we’ve been focused on renewing our commitment to strong public schools. Now we need to make sure we reinvest strategically in additional programs and services that make this state great and we need to continue to rebuild our rainy day fund to ensure California is prepared for tougher financial times ahead,” Senator McGuire said.

Senator McGuire is part of the bi-partisan team in the State Senate that introduced a $2 billion initiative focused on tackling one of California’s most pressing challenges: Homeless services and mental health programs. 

The $2 billion revenue bond would provide communities desperately needed dollars for housing, emergency shelter and additional funds for robust mental health programs. Thousands sleep on the streets in Senator McGuire’s rural district each night. Mendocino County, as an example, has the second highest rate of homelessness in the nation.

“Large and small cities alike are desperate for assistance to combat one of our greatest challenges: Investing in services and programs for the 144,000 Californians who live on our streets every day, along with robust mental health and substance abuse programs. We are going to continue to shape this bipartisan proposal to make sure the funds can help Northern California communities invest in housing and programs that will drive positive change,” Senator McGuire said.

Senator McGuire is also laser focused on funding for the state’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. A member of the Senate’s Transportation and Housing Committee, McGuire secured millions for SMART expansion last year along with $64 million to repave 28 miles of Highway 101. There is significant need for numerous transportation projects in McGuire’s sprawling district, including rerouting the Last Chance Grade that connects Del Norte County with the rest of the state, adding a third lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, completing the Marin-Sonoma narrows project, along with tens of millions of dollars needed to fix the North Coast’s aging local roads and streets.

“California’s roads, highways and bridges are crumbling. Democrats and Republicans alike need to come together – if the federal government can strike a deal on infrastructure, we have to be able to as well. This has to be among our top priorities this year,” Senator McGuire said.

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