Lawmakers Furious After Audit Finds State Spent BILLIONS on Crisis, Didn’t Track Outcomes

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( – California has the largest population of homeless people in the country. The state has spent billions to address the problem in recent years. GOP leaders are demanding answers after an audit recently found officials have failed to track the outcomes of programs consistently.

On April 9, the California State Auditor Grant Parks issued a report revealing that the state spent nearly $24 billion on the homeless crisis over the last five years. In a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom (D) and the legislature, Parks said there’s information missing about the cost and outcomes of the state’s homelessness programs because the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH) “has not consistently tracked and evaluated” the programs to end and prevent homelessness. The agency has failed to track the outcomes even though the legislature has allocated more money specifically for that purpose.

Parks went on to say that Cal ICH hasn’t aligned its goals and plans to ensure there’s both accountability and results to justify the billions spent. In fact, it doesn’t even have mechanisms in place to properly gather information about the money spent and outcomes of individual programs. For that reason, the agency was unable to convince auditors that it would be able to achieve its goal of solving the homeless crisis.

State Senator Dave Cortese (D) requested the audit in 2023 after he toured a homeless encampment in San Jose. He responded to the report, telling CBS News the audit shows there’s a lack of transparency at all levels, which has led to a “data desert.” He went on to say that even though Parks’ office tried its best, it was “unable to … draw conclusions” about fundamental issues like whether “overhead is appropriate or too high.”

Republican State Senator Roger Niello pointed out that the state has spent billions, yet the homeless crisis “is not slowing down.” He called the audit a “wake-up call” and called for “solutions that prioritize self-sufficiency and cost effectiveness.”

James Gallagher, the California Assembly GOP Leader, spoke to Fox News Digital and called the findings “standard Gavin Newsom,” saying he likes to make big announcements, then “waste a bunch of taxpayer money, and completely fail to deliver.”

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