PG&E’s Power Shutoff is Unacceptable

PG&E’s massive power shutoff is unacceptable. This policy has to change. PG&E’s decision to protect itself from liability at the expense of hardworking Californians will not be tolerated. This disregards people’s livelihoods. We depend on electricity to live and earn a living. Millions without electricity is what a third world country looks like, not a […]

Let’s Make the DMV Audit a Reality

Motorists across the state have had to wait in hours-long lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to register their vehicle or license renewal. Some have spent an entire day waiting in line. Upset drivers have flooded my office with calls and emails. To make matters worse, DMV personnel mangled 23,000 voter registrations. How […]

Governor Signs Legislation that Limits Access to Direct Democracy

Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1100 (Low-D) into law. EffectiveJanuary 1, 2016, citizens who wish to submit a ballot initiative or referendum must pay $2,000, instead of the current fee of $200. Direct democracy is a citizen’s right – a cornerstone of the checks and balances of democracy that have been protected passionately in California. Raising […]

Stop Legislating, Start Auditing!

California does not have a problem of revenues, there’s plenty coming in each year. It has a spending problem, and last week’s exposure of financial scandal at the Department of Parks and Recreation constitutes the latest slap in the face to taxpayers. The head of the Department of Parks and Recreation, Ruth Coleman, stepped down amid […]

The Peripheral Canal—A Bad Idea Then, A Worse Idea Now

Governor Brown has chosen to initiate “Water War Two.” The first was his proposal to build a Peripheral Canal around the Delta that was roundly rejected by the voters in 1982. The governor staked his first tenure as governor on this dream, a dream that he now resurrects as, literally—a “Pipe Dream.” The governor is […]

A Blank Check for Realignment

More Californians have become victims living in fear thanks to the majority party’s irresponsible budgeting. Last year, Governor Brown and legislative Democrats passed a “realignment” program that shifted tens of thousands of inmates from state prison to overcrowded county jails. As a result, many inmates who should be behind bars are now in our communities, […]

Budget Proposal Puts Taxpayers In A No-win Situation

Crossposted on Redding Record Searchlight The way to move forward and restore California to greatness is by creating jobs. Most people agree with this principle, and even Democrat Legislators give the concept lip service. Unfortunately, the decisions made over the years by the Legislature have only deepened our economic troubles and contributed to California’s chronic […]

September 11, 2001, Lest We Forget

It is said “Time heals all.” I beg to differ. The vast wounds inflicted on America and Americans just ten years ago will never completely heal. Usually, celebrations or anniversaries are happy times. Not this one! Yet, I find it important and even pertinent to who we are and who we want to become as a nation, to remember the day of September 11th, 2001.

This was a somber day in American history when more than 3,000 Americans lost their lives in the most egregious act of terrorism to ever hit the shores of our great nation. As we approach the 10th anniversary of that dark day, California remembers those who have fallen and the heroic efforts to keep this country safe from that terrorist act and from further attacks.

Death, terror, desperation, loss of those dear to us, loss of sense of security and peace of mind—none of these are pleasant memories of that day that has changed America forever. Yet, we have used and can still use these painful experiences to make us stronger and more committed to maintaining a strong nation. We have a history of building on hardships from the inception of our nation. Out of hard times such as 9/11 America became a beacon unto the world.

Governor’s May Revise Must Start Serious Negotiations to Balance the Budget

Governor Schwarzenegger released his revised May budget proposal for the 2010-11 budget year on Friday.  It puts forward some very difficult cuts that are sadly necessary to bring spending in line with revenue and balance the budget.

I believe the May Revise should be seen as the starting point for serious budget discussions in the coming weeks.  With a $20 billion budget deficit, it’s clear that we must achieve the same level of budget savings that the Governor has proposed, even if we have different ideas.  It is my hope that Democrats will start working with Republicans today to craft the bipartisan balanced budget Californians are seeking by June 15th.

Speaker Pérez is right to call for more openness and transparency in the annual budget process.  We should not be relying on the “Big 5” to negotiate state budgets in the middle of the night. 

By the same token, it’s time to get serious about what we’re actually doing in legislative budget committee hearings.  In order to pass an on-time, responsible budget, it is essential that the majority party commits themselves to honest and open budget discussions with Republicans.