Senate Bill 640 Addressing Seriously Mentally Ill and Homeless
I have been working in the homeless and mentally ill space for many years. And SB 640 is a continuation of my efforts. Consequently, I am hosting a conference on this topic on Saturday, October 26th, at Vanguard University of Southern California from 9 to 11 a.m. (see https://moorlach.cssrc.us/content/mental-health-forum). You are invited to attend.
The LB Report provides a perspective on homelessness and mental health concerns in Long Beach. It concludes with a perspective on Senate Bill 640, my efforts to address the concern of those who have serious mental illness and cannot take care of themselves (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Senate Bills 511, 584, 598, 496 and 640 — April 15, 2019) People who are gravely disabled should have temporary involuntary treatment to address their needs, as opposed to incarcerating people with mental illness in county jails.
It is time for a thorough review of what California is doing for the seriously mentally ill. Digging into the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act of the late 1960s is forcing me to conclude it was a failure to systematically decide to end institutionalization.
In presenting SB 640 to the Senate Health Committee, it became apparent the Chair and many of the members have not come to the same conclusion. Consequently, I requested SB 640 become a two-year bill. In the meantime, my office has done significant research and we are looking for a way to address short-term housing. The writer of the LB Report piece, in the first piece, has an appreciation for what I am trying to do and included my presentation to the committee (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5Bv4zteGFE&t=258s).
Richard Dunn’s 25th Anniversary Look Back
Speaking of invitations, former Daily Pilot sports writer extraordinaire Richard Dunn will be introducing his 25th anniversary book of the historic Newport Harbor High School 1993-1994 football season. The Daily Pilot provides the announcement in the second piece. The date is Sunday, October 20th, at the Newport Beach Golf Course, at 5 p.m. You are invited to attend.
OCC’s Ground Breaking Event
Two of my three children have benefited from the Orange Coast College Rowing experience and had an excellent opportunity to use the crew facilities on Pacific Coast Highway’s Mariner Mile area. The Community College is now building another facility on the east side of this iconic roadway and connecting both facilities with a pedestrian bridge. The ceremony is covered by the Newport Beach Independent in the third piece.
Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce
The Newport Beach Independent announces my speaking engagement Thursday morning at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in the fourth piece. The announcement can also be found in the Stu News Newport (see https://www.stunewsnewport.com/). Again, you are invited to attend.
U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Block Case Over Access to Websites
On the theme of invitations, today’s LA Times provides a story in its Business section, top-of-the-fold, that should make business owners nervous (see
Trying to assist in the area of the Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, my office and the Civil Justice Association of California are co-hosting a seminar to provide assistance on October 30th at 10 a.m. at the Tustin Community Center. The details are on my website, see https://moorlach.cssrc.us/content/small-business-forum-ada-compliance and the flyer can be found at https://moorlach.cssrc.us/sites/default/files/191030_SmallBusinessForum.pdf.
School Group 9, #753 – #846
Welcome to the 20th percentile group of 94 school districts ranked by per capita unrestricted net positions.
With 944 school districts and 940 financial statements to review, as four districts have combined audits, the reasons for the changes in the unrestricted net position are numerous.
Placentia-Yorba Linda, #796, finds that its unrestricted net deficit increased by $101 million, a 63% increase in one year. Three separate reasons may have combined to cause this increase:
- The pension plan unfunded liability increased by $27 million.
- The other post-employment benefits liability increased by $29 million.
- The capital assets in the Net Assets section increased by $49 million, thus reducing the unrestricted net assets by the same amount.
If you need to know the specifics of your school district(s), I would recommend contacting the Business Services Department or the Chief Business Officer for an explanation.
The listing is the fifth and final piece. For the previous listing, see MOORLACH UPDATE — Mail Bag and Group 8 — October 2, 2019.
Developing / Perspective
Homeless Data Bombshell: L.A. Times And CA Policy Lab/UCLA Find L.A. And Nat’l Homeless Data Understate Persons With Mental Illness/Substance Abuse; LBDHHS Reviewing Newly Published Data, Response Pending
Some public perceptions proven correct? New data arguably invite rethinking some current responses to homeless/vagrant issues
LB’s Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing separate reports in the Los Angeles Times (Oct. 7) and by the UCLA-based California Policy Lab (Oct. 6) indicating that the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and homeless data nationally have significantly under-interpreted and thus under-represented percentages of homeless populations suffering from mental illnesses or substance abuse or both.
The Oct 7 LA Times story — headlined “Are many homeless people in L.A.mentally ill? New findings back public’s perception” — found that the L.A. Homeless Service’s Authority’s use of federal reporting guidelines effectively resulted in significantly understating the percentage of L.A.’s homeless population with a mental illness or substance abuse disorder(s).
[LATimes text] “The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which conducts the annual count, narrowly interpreted the data to produce much lower numbers. In its presentation of the results to elected officials earlier this year, the agency said only 29% of the homeless population had either a mental illness or substance abuse disorder and, therefore, 71% “did not have a serious mental illness and/or report substance use disorder.”The Times, however, found that about 67% had either a mental illness or a substance abuse disorder. Individually, substance abuse affects 46% of those living on the streets — more than three times the rate previously reported — and mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder, affects 51% of those living on the streets, according to the analysis.
The homeless services authority did not dispute what The Times found. Rather, Heidi Marston, the agency’s acting executive director, explained that its report was in a format required by federal guidelines, leading to a different interpretation of the statistics.
“We’re acknowledging that there are more layers to the story,” Marston said.
The Times analysis aligns with a national study released Sunday by the California Policy Lab at UCLA, which found even higher rates in most categories. It also found that a mental health “concern” affected 78% of the unsheltered population and a substance abuse “concern,” 75%.” [end Times text]
The Times story noted that a day earlier, the UCLA-based CA Policy Lab issued a report (“Health Conditions Among Unsheltered Adults in the U.S.”) that found the national data disparity even greater than what the LATimes analysis found in L.A.’s homeless count. In a summary of its findings, the UCLA-based CA Policy Lab states:
…Unsheltered adults are far more likely to report suffering from chronic health conditions, mental health issues, and experiences with trauma and substance abuse problems as compared to homeless people who are living in shelters. As policymakers design interventions for unsheltered individuals and balance investments in emergency housing and permanent housing, they will need to consider whether emergency housing is adequate or appropriate for a highly vulnerable population, half of whom are trimorbid.
Earlier today (Oct.,7), LBREPORT.com invited comments/response from LBDHHS Dir. Kelly Colopy who indicated she’s reviewed the information with her team and some questions remain at day’s end…and thus she’s seeking further clarity prior to providing a response.
In June 2019, LB’s Dept. of Health and Human Services released details results of its Jan. 2019 Point in Time homeless count. Its June report indicated that 24% of LB’s counted homeless population had a “substance abuse disorder” and 34% had “serious mental illness.”
In reporting those figures LBDHHS acknowledged that its reported homeless subpopulations are “self-reported” and also include “duplicate counts.”
The LA Times and UCLA studies arguably invite rethinking some assumptions underlying current government and private sector policies toward homeless/vagrant populations that, critics say, have contributed to — or worsened — public safety, public health, neighborhood and taxpayer impacts. A majority of homeless advocacy groups and government agencies currently advocate a “housing first” approach, but that view has been increasingly questioned by others who say mental illness and substance abuse are the primary drivers of increasingly visible homeless/vagrant issues. Critics of current policy acknowledge that a housing shortage plays a role in the problem, but argue that housing-focused policies alone are ultimately incompassionate toward mentally ill/drug addicted homeless/vagrant persons and have invited threats to public health.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia (who doesn’t set city policy) has acknowledged homelessness in LB is complex with multiple aspects but has sought to steer discussion mainly toward Sacramento policies that emphasizing housing (including below market/subsidized “affordable” housing.) In 2018, Garcia created an “Everyone Home Task Force” for which he selected a combination of developers (including “affordable housing” developers), homeless service providers and a number of LB establishment figures. His Task Force then produced a Dec. 2018 “Everyone Home” report contending LB needs thousands of new housing units, expansion of current policies and millions of dollars for additional programs.
On a separate track, Councilman Rex Richardson has been soliciting contributions (as of June 30 over $200,000) from affordable housing developers and homeless service providers for a future revenue-raising (read: tax imposing) LB ballot measure (LBREPORT.com coverage here.)
At last week’s (Oct. 1, 2019) City Council meeting, Councilwoman Suzie Price prevailed in a 4-3 vote (Yes: Price, Supernaw, Mungo, Austin; No: Richardson, Uranga, Pearce…with Andrews absent) to have the City Attorney draft a resolution — scheduled to return to the City Council for voted approval this coming Tuesday Oct. 8 — supporting a “Friend of the Court” brief approved by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review and overturn the 9th circuit federal appeals court opinion in Martin v. City of Boise. Three appeals court judges held that it’s “cruel and unusual punishment” to enforce criminal provisions of local laws against vagrants/homeless unless local gov’t provides sufficient shelter beds for all of its homeless/vagrants. [The L.A. County Supervisors vote was 3-2 (Yes: Hahn, Ridley-Thomas, Barger; No: Kuehl, Solis.) to urge the Supreme Court to hear the Boise case and overturn the lower court opinion.]
Council discussion on Oct. 8 could be similarly intense with an uncertain outcome. Council discussion on Oct. 1 was sharply polarized. Lead-agendizer Councilwoman Price framed the issue as supporting the right of the City to enforce its local anti-camping ordinances. Councilman Richardson opposed her motion, framing the issue as local capacity in providing sufficient shelter beds.
Mayor Garcia exited earlier in the meeting and wasn’t present on the Council vote. It’s currently unclear how Vice Mayor Andrews will vote when the item returns to the Council on Oct. 8. (If Andrews were to vote “no” and the other Councilmembers maintain their Oct 1 positions, the result would be a 4-4 deadlock and no action would be taken by the City of Long Beach. If Andrews votes “yes” (producing a 5-3 Council vote) will Mayor Garcia veto the Council action, requiring six Council votes to override?
And the issue could have upcoming election implications. A November 5, 2019 special election will decide who fills the currently vacant 1st dist. Council seat. To our knowledge, to date none of the 1st district candidates have indicated whether they favor overturning the federal appeals court opinion. Garcia’s stance, and Richardson’s could become issues in that campaign as they’ve both endorsed candidate Mary Zendejas in the race.
In March 2020, incumbents will seek re-election in districts 2, 4, 6 and 8. Challengers have surfaced thus far in districts 2, 6 and 8. Austin district 8 (and Supernaw in district 4) are on record as favoring review and potential overturning of the lower court opinion; 2nd dist. incumbent Pearce has already voted once on Oct. 1 to oppose U.S. Supreme Court review.
Sacramento / statewide impacts
As also previously reported by LBREPORT.com, earlier this year Sacramento lawmakers refused to advance a bill — SB 640 — by state Senator John Moorlach (R. Irvine) that proposed to amend state law that already permits the involuntarily treatment of individuals who are “gravely disabled” to also include [legislative counsel’s digest] “a condition in which a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is incapable of making informed decisions about, or providing for, the person’s own basic personal needs for food, clothing, shelter, or medical care or shelter without significant supervision and assistance from another person and, as a result of being incapable of making these informed decisions, the person is at risk of substantial bodily harm, dangerous worsening of a concomitant serious physical illness, significant psychiatric deterioration, or mismanagement of the person’s essential needs that could result in bodily harm.”
SB 640 gained early support from the CA District Attorneys Association, the CA Police Chiefs Association — and the politically progressive City of Santa Monica — but was opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, CA Hospital Association (unless amended), Disability Rights California, Mental Health America of Northern CA, SEIU California and the Western Center on Law and Poverty.
At an April 8, 2019 hearing in the state Senate Health Committee, Sen. Moorlach explained his basis for reforming current state law; he brought witnesses offering compelling testimony in support of SB 640; Committee Dems politely thanked Sen. Moorlach and his witnesses for raising the issue but raised various objections to it in its initially offered form. Several indicated they’d vote “no” on it (blocking it), leading Sen. Moorlach to offer to make SB 640 a “two year bill” that he could try to amend to address objections they raised. To see/hear in detail what was said and what took place, see VIDEO below:
The Committee withheld a vote on SB 640, which remains in the state Senate Health Committee; if/when it returns with offered amendments, one of the state Senate Health Committee members who may hear it and vote on it is former LB Councilwoman/now state Senator Lena Gonzalez (D, LB/SE L.A. County).
Although the politically-progressive City of Santa Monica supported SB 640, the City of Long Beach took no position on it. The LB City Council’s “State Legislation Committee” (Austin, Richardson and [now-exited] Gonzalez) didn’t discuss it or hold any Committee meetings on any advancing state legislation in 2019.
Richard Dunn honors Newport Harbor’s 1994 championship team in book
By DAILY PILOT STAFF
OCT. 7, 2019
This season marks the 25th anniversary of the first CIF Southern Section title for the Newport Harbor High football team.
Newport Harbor went 14-0 in 1994 under then-coach Jeff Brinkley.
Richard Dunn, a former Daily Pilot sports editor, has written a book commemorating that season, entitled, “14 Weeks: The Most Improbable High School Football Season in History.”
A celebration of the team and a book signing will take place on Oct. 20 at Newport Beach Golf Course. The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and will include a hosted dinner, drinks and festivities.
Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon, Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill, council members Duffy Duffield and Kevin Muldoon, Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel and state Senator John Moorlach are among those expected to attend.
As Newport Harbor celebrates its undefeated season of 1994, the current Sailors are putting together a season to remember of their own.
Newport Harbor improved to 6-0 overall with a 38-24 win over Fountain Valley on Friday night at Davidson Field. The Sailors have won their first six games to start a season since the 1994 campaign.
OCC Breaks Ground on Mariner Training Center
Orange Coast College officials, city of Newport Beach representatives, and others break ground on OCC’s new Mariner Training Center on Sept. 23.
— Photo courtesy OCC ©
Mariners’ Mile will soon have a training center fit for the neighborhood’s longtime name, as Orange Coast College officials and others held officially broke ground for the planned facility at an event recently.
Representatives from OCC, as well as Coast Community College District and the city of Newport Beach, held a groundbreaking ceremony for OCC’s new Mariner Training Center on Sept. 23. The new center is located at 1700 West Coast Hwy., across from the College’s School of Sailing & Seamanship at 1801 PCH.
The two-story, 12,000-square-foot project is the result of more than 15 years of planning by the Coast Community College District, according to a Sept. 17 press release.
Brad Avery, OCC School of Sailing and Seamanship director and Newport Beach city councilman, speaks at the Mariner Training Center groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 23.
— Photo courtesy OCC ©
According to Brad Avery, OCC School of Sailing and Seamanship director and Newport Beach city councilman, the new building represents a major leap forward for the college’s boating education programs.
“When completed and connected to our waterfront facility, we will have a fully integrated maritime education center,” Avery said in a prepared statement. “This helps us greatly in our mission of helping students acquire the knowledge and skills required for success in a variety of maritime careers.”
Once construction is complete, expected by fall 2021, the building will be the new home for OCC’s growing professional mariner program, which is dedicated to students who are pursuing careers in boating and maritime related fields, officials note in the press release.
Senator John Moorlach, whose district covers Newport Beach, speaks at the West Coast Highway site of the planned Mariner Training Center during a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 23.
— Photo courtesy OCC ©
Beyond classrooms, the facility will include a state-of-the-art laboratory space, a full mission bridge simulator, a radar training room, conference room, and a student lounge.
The college purchased the land from Orange County Sanitation District in 2016.
The center will be built above ground-level parking and connected to OCC’s harbor side facility by a “skyway” pedestrian bridge over PCH, officials explain in the statement. The $22 million project is funded by the local Measure M school bond, passed by voters in 2012.
In 2017, the California Coastal Commission approved the footbridge, which will connect the two maritime-related facilities and be open to the public for better access to the water.
Orange Coast College President Dr. Angelica Suarez speaks at the Mariner Training Center groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 23.
— Photo courtesy OCC ©
Plans for the bridge describe it as 12 feet wide by 120 feet long, and approximately 10 feet high from the bridge deck to the canopy.
In addition to stairways, it would include 35-foot elevator shaft towers on each side (the highest points of the structure), which complies with the city’s Local Coastal Program’s shoreline height limitations.
OCC’s Marine Program currently serves more than 1,500 students and adults annually. Professional mariner students pursue certificate and degree programs, while local residents take advantage of the dozens of boating and seamanship courses regularly offered. While some professional mariner students choose to go straight into the industry, others transfer to four-year maritime academies.
A rendering of the planned Mariner Training Center at 1700 West Coast Hwy.
— Art courtesy OCC ©
Calendar: City, County Government Meetings and Events
- Good Morning Corona del Mar featuring guest speaker Senator John Moorlach, from 7:30–9 a.m. at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, 1601 Bayside Dr. Moorlach represents Newport Beach in California’s 37th District. He will present state updates and review current legislation. The meeting will also feature updates from other city and legislative office representatives. The CdM Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting is open to the community and free to attend (including free parking). Coffee and pastries will be served. No RSVP required. For more information, visit CdMChamber.com, email Info@CdmChamber.com, or call (949) 673-4050.
|Rank||School District||Population||Per Cap||2017||Chg|
|754||Murrieta Valley Unified||115,847||($1,432)||830||76|
|755||Kings River-Hardwick Union Elem||2,610||($1,433)||823||68|
|756||Southern Humboldt Joint Unified||8,684||($1,435)||393||-363|
|760||Eastern Sierra Unified||4,247||($1,438)||691||-69|
|761||Alta Vista Elementary||3,207||($1,438)||738||-23|
|762||Le Grand Union High||8,760||($1,440)||417||-345|
|764||Golden Plains Unified||7,722||($1,444)||572||-192|
|765||Mount Pleasant Elementary||23,873||($1,446)||620||-145|
|766||Alvina Elementary Charter||688||($1,446)||810||44|
|768||Walnut Valley Unified||58,654||($1,453)||638||-130|
|769||Terra Bella Union Elementary||6,087||($1,453)||662||-107|
|771||Calistoga Joint Unified||7,313||($1,467)||863||92|
|772||Kings Canyon Joint Unified||48,867||($1,475)||707||-65|
|773||Traver Joint Elementary||1,271||($1,477)||151||-622|
|782||Buellton Union Elementary||5,949||($1,519)||770||-12|
|787||Lammersville Joint Unified||12,387||($1,527)||676||-111|
|788||Long Beach Unified||528,865||($1,530)||719||-69|
|789||Meadows Union Elementary||2,277||($1,544)||844||55|
|790||Mt. Baldy Joint Elementary||399||($1,548)||888||98|
|793||Pleasant View Elementary||2,636||($1,554)||535||-258|
|794||Paso Robles Joint Unified||48,531||($1,559)||785||-9|
|795||Buttonwillow Union Elementary||2,270||($1,564)||836||41|
|796||Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified||167,520||($1,565)||663||-133|
|797||San Diego Unified||1,095,339||($1,566)||831||34|
|799||Oxnard School District||130,698||($1,570)||818||19|
|801||Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified||19,523||($1,571)||645||-156|
|803||Mt. Diablo Unified||273,977||($1,581)||813||10|
|805||San Juan Unified||346,462||($1,585)||795||-10|
|807||Newman-Crows Landing Unified||14,037||($1,592)||815||8|
|808||Pacific Grove Unified||18,519||($1,610)||765||-43|
|815||Orland Joint Unified||13,940||($1,627)||797||-18|
|819||Napa Valley Unified||119,320||($1,640)||838||19|
|823||Rosedale Union Elementary||46,549||($1,660)||601||-222|
|827||Union Hill Elementary||2,447||($1,694)||896||69|
|829||Golden Valley Unified||10,817||($1,698)||929||100|
|832||San Ramon Valley Unified||156,923||($1,728)||828||-4|
|834||Pixley Union Elementary||5,461||($1,736)||827||-7|
|837||Orinda Union Elementary||19,451||($1,740)||809||-28|
|838||Temple City Unified||35,818||($1,740)||825||-13|
|841||Fort Bragg Unified||14,928||($1,753)||864||23|
|842||Norwalk-La Mirada Unified||129,475||($1,754)||876||34|
|844||Woodville Union Elementary||2,816||($1,774)||652||-192|
|845||Yuba City Unified||75,063||($1,777)||853||8|
This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.