Elections have consequences, and millions of hardworking Californians felt those consequences when they started 2018 with higher taxes and more regulations.

As soon as the Democrats squeaked by with legislative supermajorities in 2016, they raced to enact countless laws and regulations. Here are a few ways the Democrat majority forced through legislation that harms California families and makes our state even less affordable.

The marquee example of one-party rule is the gas tax. Even the most liberal Democrats recognized that their gas tax was so toxic, they needed to fill the legislation with millions in taxpayer-funded pork barrel projects to garner the votes needed to pass it. Now fully in effect, not only does the gas tax hurt at the pump, vehicle license fees increased too.

The other banner example is the bill that made California a “sanctuary state.” Radical Democrats ignored the recommendations of the California State Sheriffs’ Association to implement a dangerous policy that hamstrings our local law enforcement officers from helping to keep our streets safe. Our neighborhoods and communities are still witnessing the dangerous impact of prison realignment, and now, our county sheriffs and local police are barred from ensuring that local authorities have the tools needed to hold criminals accountable.

While there were other measures that didn’t quite make headlines, they leave our communities all the same less safe. There are new 2018 laws that allow sex offenders to be removed from the registry, repeal mandatory sentencing for drug offenders, and bar school districts from implementing policies to protect school campuses.

The laws passed in California in 2017 are the direct result of one-party rule and a reason why California Trailblazers is working tirelessly to increase Republican representation in Sacramento.

California Trailblazers’ mission is to train and help elect Republican legislative candidates who fight for alternatives with common-sense policies that help grow our economy and generate jobs, improve education and ensure the safety of our communities. As CEO of this program, I’m motivated to see that many of our program alumni have been closely engaged in these policy battles, fighting tooth and nail in the state capitol while offering their own conservative alternatives.

While the Democrats may have used 2017 to raise taxes and limit opportunity, Trailblazers used the year to aggressively recruit and train the next great slate of Republican legislative candidates who are vaulting into 2018 ready to make the conservative case to voters.

Jessica Patterson is CEO of California Trailblazers, a program to recruit, train and help elect the next generation of Republican leaders. Previously, Patterson served as the statewide Field Director for Meg Whitman for Governor, California Victory Director in 2010 and 2012 with the California Republican Party, as well as Nevada Victory Director at the Republican National Committee.