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Assembly resolution asks Gov. Jerry Brown for a homeless state of emergency

 (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Lawmakers from Los Angeles and San Francisco took the unusual step Wednesday of introducing a resolution asking Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a statewide emergency to help California's homeless population.

"Homelessness has risen to historic levels across the state and now is the time for action," says House Resolution 56, authored by Assemblymen Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).

An emergency declaration would increase state money and staff time to the cause . Supervisors in both counties have passed their own resolutions calling on Brown to act.

"The Legislature wants to tackle this issue," Santiago said. "We want to keep it on the front burner."

California had roughly 115,700 people living on the streets in 2015, the most of any state in the nation. Some 47,000 of those are believed to be in Los Angeles.

"You see people of all ages and all walks of life," he said. "T his is a public health crisis, and we want to get some attention on this."

Los Angeles supervisors have also sought a local income tax on millionaires to fund homeless prevention programs. Brown has rejected both the tax and a statewide emergency declaration.

In letters and visits to Sacramento, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has invited the governor to see the problem for himself . On Monday, the county delivered a petition with nearly 11,400 signatures from citizens in favor of an emergency declaration.

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