This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- California lawmakers have tried for 50 years to stem the state's housing crisis. Here's why they've failed.
- Gov. Jerry Brown acted Tuesday to break up the scandal-plagued state Board of Equalization.
- Progressive activists are angry with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon who shelved a proposal to creates a single-payer healthcare system in California, calling it "woefully incomplete."
California state officials on Thursday named the 23 government agencies that will receive $103 million in grant funds from a ballot initiative that downgraded six drug and theft crimes to misdemeanors.
For the large coalition of supporters behind 2014's Proposition 47, it is a long-awaited step forward. Other states have passed similar laws. But California is the lone state investing the money saved from keeping fewer people behind bars in services to help people stay out of prison.
More than $30 million in funding will go to programs in the Los Angeles area — $20 million alone to Los Angeles County to expand housing for substance abuse treatment and social services for inmates with mental health problems.
The city of Los Angeles received nearly $12 million to launch a drug-intervention initiative under the city attorney's office and for a program led by the mayor's office to help former inmates find jobs.