California’s priority challenges

Ronald Stein
Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California

It’s hard to understand the time and efforts being extended on the subject of “sanctuary” and the use of public monies to fund protection of illegals when California has many other challenges on its plate such as our growing population of the financially challenged that includes: 1) nearly 25% of Californians 38 million live below the poverty line. 2) California has more than 33% of the nation’s welfare recipients, 3) California is home to 12% of the nation’s population, but startlingly 21% of the nation’s homeless population, 4) The majority of California renters:  Nearly 3 million households – pay more than 30% of their income toward rent, 5) Roughly – 1.5 million households pay more than 50% of their income toward rent.

A few other problems that should have some priority time and action from our legislatures are:

  • Affordable housing continues to be out of the reach of most citizens, particularly for low and moderate income families.
  • Urban traffic congestion that grows worse as the state’s population grows. Adding one to two million more vehicles onto the current transportation infrastructure is not attainable.
  • California’s energy costs for transportation fuels and electricity continue to be the most expensive in the country.
  • California’s shameful status of having the nation’s highest rate of functional poverty, largely due to crushing costs of housing and energy, and its widest income disparities.
  • The emissions crusade that began in 2006 has failed to reduce California’s 1 per cent contribution to the world’s greenhouse gases, all while cap-and-trade has raised $7 billion in fees from our citizens’ pocketbooks that are appropriated to more than 20 government pet projects. In the decade from 2006, California’s population has grown 1.077% to 38.8 million and we have less manufacturing jobs today than we had in 2006.
  • The mid ‘70s pioneering California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has created a nightmare for those seeking affordable, conveniently located housing, workplaces and shopping centers.
  • Unfunded pension liabilities. It’s unfortunate that future generations, unable to vote today, will bear the costs of many enacted entitlements and boondoggle projects. Even before those young folks can vote, our Golden State schools are on track to force substantial budgetary cutbacks on core education spending, as public schools around California are bracing for a crisis driven by skyrocketing worker pension costs that are expected to force districts to divert billions of dollars.
  • Ensuring that the state will have an adequate water supply not only for a population that continues to grow but for the nation’s most productive agricultural industry.
  • Tax reform, as the state budget is dangerously dependent on how well a handful of high-income Californians are doing on their investments.
  • A K-12 education system that’s not adequately preparing youngsters for roles in society and a fast changing economy.

We would appreciate our representatives energies to stop pursuing discretionary causes and pet projects and come to grips with the real problems facing all Californians.

Ronald Stein is founder of PTS Staffing Solutions, a technical staffing agency headquartered in Irvine.

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