California Senate Votes on CARE Court as State’s Top Business Organizations Join Expanding Coalition

CARE Court receives bipartisan approval from state senators in a 38-0 vote

California Chamber of Commerce, 21 local chambers and Central California Association support Governor Newsom’s mental health proposal

SACRAMENTO – In a critical vote today, Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed CARE court received 38-0 approval from state senators in an overwhelming show of support. Governor Newsom’s CARE Court Coalition also continues to gain momentum with the addition of key business organizations, including the California Chamber of Commerce, the Central California Association and 21 local chambers of commerce across the state. Together, these organizations represent thousands of California businesses.

Before the Senate’s affirmative vote today, the CARE Court bill — SB 1338 by Sens. Tom Umberg and Susan Eggman — cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 7-0 vote last week. This means that the CARE Court has been considered by three separate committees and passed each without a dissenting vote, and has now passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

“With broad support from the California Senate, CARE Court is one step closer to becoming a reality in California,” said Governor Newsom, “I am also grateful to have the California Chamber of Commerce, the Central California Association and 21 local Chambers of Commerce join our ever-expanding CARE Court Coalition, which includes a diverse group of supporters focused on addressing the challenge of serious mental illness that too often leaves individuals in our hopeless streets”.

“The California Chamber of Commerce and our colleagues across the state are thrilled to support Governor Newsom and his vision to support those suffering from serious mental illness and substance use disorders through the new proposed CARE Court plan,” said Jennifer Barrera, president. and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce. “CARE Court is a thoughtful and measured response to the tragedy of untreated mental illness that affects thousands of people. California employers have a clear interest in seeing CARE Court succeed, as many employers and their employees experience firsthand the impacts of inadequate policies that do not address the needs of those suffering on our streets and in our communities.”

“The establishment of CARE Court represents a new approach to early intervention and will help people get the support they deserve by addressing their underlying needs,” said Rena Leddy, president of the Central California Association. “We appreciate the governor’s leadership on this important issue and are pleased to support this legislation.”

This announcement expands the growing coalition of supporters that includes state and local officials, families, first responders, health professionals, behavioral health providers, civil rights groups, faith leaders and business groups, all with strong support for CARE Court.

CARE Court provides Californians suffering from untreated schizophrenia spectrum or other psychotic disorders with community-based treatment, services and housing, and is intended to serve as an upstream intervention for the most severely affected Californians.

The bill voted today reflects new additions to the CARE Court framework, particularly to strengthen the housing component of the CARE plan and to detail other key elements, such as the court process and data collection. These amendments have been developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and are ongoing.

CARE Court builds on Governor Newsom’s $14.7 billion multi-year investment to provide 55,000 new housing units and treatment spaces and more than $11 billion annually in community behavioral health services. The governor’s focus is on quickly rehousing homeless people with behavioral health issues, all as new units come online, while transforming Medi-Cal to provide more behavioral health services to people who are struggling the most. For more information, visit


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