The current legislative session ended on August 31st. In normal times, no more business would be conducted by the Legislature in Sacramento until the next session officially begins on December 5th. But these are far from normal times.
Violent crime is exploding and the homelessness crisis is worsening. Gas prices are approaching $7 a gallon, and families are being forced to choose between paying the rent, buying food or putting gas in the car.
The Legislature needs to take immediate action, We should pass legislation suspending our state’s gasoline tax, the nation’s highest. This could be done with the stroke of the Governor’s pen, but so far he’s refused to even consider taking this important first step. Permit approvals should be expedited so California’s vast inland oil reserves can be used to increase supply and cut costs. We have some of the largest reserves in the country, yet most of the oil we use is imported. This increases costs for consumers and causes serious environmental damage. Crimes like domestic violence, human trafficking and rape of an unconscious person should be reclassified as violent felonies. Smash and grab robberies must again be subject to felony prosecution so that criminals are jailed, where many will receive treatment and counseling for drug addiction, preventing future crimes and reducing recidivism. The growing homelessness crisis must be declared a state emergency -- encampments near sensitive areas like schools and childcare facilities should be prohibited.
These concrete steps can be taken now! That’s why I have signed a letter with many of my Assembly and Senate colleagues calling for a Special Session of the Legislature to consider real solutions to the economic, public safety and humanitarian disasters engulfing California. To view our letter, please click here