Budget and Spending
If we want to stay competitive as a state we MUST reign in any wasteful spending and get control of our budget! We need to examine spending priorities and look into which state agencies and departments are obsolete or duplicative. As an Assembly member I have fought to focus our resources on public safety, helping those in need of a hand up, such as our foster youth, and making government work efficiently and effectively to grow our local economy from the ground up.
Ask any small business owner and they will tell you that California while once a leader in business development is now one of the most difficult places to do business. Work rule requirements, CEQA regulations, high taxes and other needless regulations do nothing to protect consumers or worker safety, yet they are overwhelming our small businesses. In my own experience with my family’s business it is doubtful that we would have been able to operate today under the current regulatory environment. Small businesses are the #1 creators of new jobs and opportunity, and we need to help them succeed, not stand in their way.
I have worked closely with area law enforcement as a former member of Santa Clarita’s Public Safety Sub Committee. The early release of hardened criminals through Assembly Bill 109, and the reduction of many serious crimes from felonies to misdemeanors through Prop. 47 has caused crime to rise throughout the state. We now have more criminals on the street, more drug problems, and more homelessness, and it puts our families and communities at risk. I will take a tough stand against the politically correct attitudes of Sacramento and ensure that criminals who commit serious offenses stay in jail and that we put the safety of our families ahead of pie-in-the-sky policies.
California residents are taxed enough. Our state does not suffer from a lack of revenue –a lack of smart spending priorities is the real problem. If it weren’t for the protections of Prop 13 California property owners would have been taxed into oblivion with many of our seniors, the disabled and others on a fixed income priced out of their own homes. Now with the arrival of the new gas taxes and vehicle license fees Californians are yet again being taxed out of prosperity. We can do better.
Education is the biggest spending item in the California budget, and while we have some of the highest per-pupil-spending in the country, we rank near the bottom in quality. Education is badly in need of reforms and as a state we are not getting all we can out of the system. It’s time to put our children first – not the unions. I want to ensure that we are spending money in the classroom and not on the bureaucracy.
Transportation and Infrastructure
Key to our economy and our quality of life, transportation must be a priority in Sacramento. When I served on the SCAG Transportation Subcommittee and currently as a council member, the need for increased investment in our transportation system has been one of my focus areas. Now the state has admitted to diverting billions in back taxes and fees from infrastructure spending and has instead demanded a new 52 billion dollar tax and fee increase on drivers. Our focus needs to return to traffic mitigation, road maintenance, and access to sensible mass transit, not just throwing billions of new tax dollars at a broken system.
California and this country are shaped by our immigrants and we should welcome those into our country who want to come legally, become productive members of our society and contribute. However, the border and immigration policies that are in practice today are out of control and are contributing to many societal problems such as overcrowded roads and schools, crime and a strain on our social welfare system. While we should welcome legal immigration, illegal immigration must be brought under control and pressure must be brought on the federal government to enforce our border laws. Now more than ever clear, sensible, and compassionate policies are needed to enforce the laws on our books and maintain our State and Nation as a welcome home to those who wish to become American citizens.
This issue tracks very closely with small business and regulations. Most jobs today are created by small businesses but with all the new rules and regulations that Sacramento comes up with every year it has become extremely challenging for small businesses to operate here. We need to assist these entrepreneurs to create new jobs and industries in our state but reducing regulations that are unnecessary or duplicative, and creating new incentives and support for companies to create jobs locally.
CEMEX, Aliso Canyon, Whittaker-Bermite and Santa Susana
These are important issues in various corners of our Assembly District. Addressing them requires someone who understands them, the impact they have on their communities, and a commitment to those communities. Public health is a cornerstone of public safety, which is why I will continue my work on these issues with our local, state and federal partners to ensure that the ongoing issues are resolved. This includes ensuring the massive CEMEX mine doesn’t open; the Aliso Canyon gas leak is permanently addressed and the residents are safe and secure in their homes; and that Santa Susana and Whittaker Bermite cleanup projects are continuously monitored and the communities assured that the sites are clean and safe.