After his $6.4 billion mental health bond measure just barely squeaked by with voters in March, Governor Newsom will begin disbursing half of it on July 1, and has combative words to the effect that counties better jump on it fast.

Governor Gavin Newsom’s $6.4 billion mental health bond measure just barely passed by a razor-thin 50.2%-49.8% margin in March. That passage avoided a political embarrassment for Newsom, but the mental health bond is really more of a homelessness reduction effort, and the state’s homelessness problem remains a political embarrassment for Newsom. As NBC Bay Area points out, nearly a third of the nation’s homeless population is living here in California.

That detail comes from NBC Bay Area’s report that Newsom will start releasing that bond money earlier than scheduled, and the process will start July 1. That station notes that $3.3 billion will go up for grabs for counties to use to add more treatment facilities and shelters. But Newsom was strangely combative in what would have seemed like a good-guy announcement Tuesday in Redwood City, almost preemptively blaming counties for not doing enough with the money (that is not even available to them yet!)    

“You’re either part of the problem or you’re not. Period,” Newsom said at a Tuesday press event at Cordilleras Mental Health Center according to CalMatters, directing his remarks at counties. “Let’s move out of the way. Let’s do the right thing. And let’s have the sense of urgency that people in the state of California demand.”

“It’s time to do your job. It’s time to get things done,” he added, per NBC Bay Area. “You asked for these reforms, we’ve provided them. Now it’s time to deliver.”

That outlet adds that the measure hopes to add 4,350 housing units, and requires counties to spend two-thirds of the money they get on housing for people with mental illness or substance abuse disorders. But are 4,350 housing units really going to make a notable difference in a state with more than 180,000 people experiencing homelessness?

The bond payment is funded by a tax on millionaires, so that’s always going to be somewhat controversial (among millionaires, at least). And disability advocates complain that Newsom’s shelters would lock people up involuntarily, the same argument made against Newsom’s expanded conservatorship programs and CARE Courts. Oh, and it’s $6 billion in spending when the state is running what is currently a $26.7 billion deficit.

Regardless, applications for the first pot of $3.3 billion will open to counties on July 1.

Related: Gavin Newsom on a Blitz Pushing Prop 1, a Statewide $6.4B Mental Health Bond [SFNews]

Image: SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 01: California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference on February 01, 2023 in Sacramento, California. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, state Attorney General Rob Bonta, state Senator Anthony Portantino (D-Burbank) and other state leaders announced SB2 - a new gun safety legislation that would establish stricter standards for Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) permits to carry a firearm in public. The bill designates "sensitive areas," like bars, amusement parks and child daycare centers where guns would not be allowed. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)