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California governor: Lower bar for forced mental health care

Posted at 12:59 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 18:01:57-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California's governor says the state should lower the legal bar for providing forced treatment to the mentally ill and build more homeless shelters.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday took the unusual step of devoting most of his second State of the State address to the intertwined issues of homelessness and housing.

While homeless populations in most states have declined recently, California's jumped 16% last year.

Newsom proposed lowering the threshold for conservatorships for those with mental illnesses, particularly for those experiencing homelessness who turn down medical aid.

He says California must act while still respecting civil liberties.