Op-Eds

This week the California Assembly convened a historic meeting; one that has not happened in 25 years.  Called the “Committee of the Whole,” it is when the entire Assembly comes together to serve as an 80-member budget committee to address this deficit budget cycle. Committee of the Whole meetings are rare and only occur during a crisis. In 1995, the last time it happened, the Legislature was considering the financial fallout from Orange County’s bankruptcy. This time of course, we are facing a huge budget shortfall caused by the Coronavirus-induced recession. With tax revenues falling and… read more
It’s graduation time and unfortunately the events that our college and high school students, 8th graders, kindergarteners and many others have been eagerly working toward all year have been significantly impacted by the  COVID-19 pandemic, and that includes canceling traditional graduations and grad nights, school dances and other large gatherings.  These events and ceremonies are the focal point of the school year and of a student’s academic career.  From Temecula to Fallbrook and Bonsall, to Valley Center, San Marcos and Escondido, schools and colleges at all grade levels throughout this… read more
Governor Newsom's May Revise budget projection for the coming Fiscal Year shows that the $21 billion surplus we had has become a $54 billion deficit in our state budget! The economic activity that generates tax revenues supporting state programs has collapsed because of Covid-19. We are now in a serious recession, with unemployment levels greater than those of the Great Depression. It is imperative that we safely open up our economy to reduce the hit on our economic outlook and help Californians recover. I’ve joined a group of western state leaders asking the federal government to provide… read more
We all miss going out to eat, seeing our family dentist and sporting events.  Small businesses have taken a huge hit, and we must ensure they recover.  The Governor just released Phase 2 reopening, based on successes with social distancing and smoothing the curve. California’s economy should reopen quickly. By using social distancing and other protections, most businesses can reopen while keeping customers safe. As a member of the Joint Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, I’ll be working on initiatives to help restore California’s economy. First of all, the state should Improve its… read more
Governor Newsom recently announced creation of the first-in-the-nation “Great Plates Delivered program,” which will partner with cities, counties and Tribes to deliver food to older adults.   The program will provide nutritious meals to older Californians who should stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic. By partnering with local restaurants struggling to stay afloat, the program keeps restaurant workers employed, and seniors will stay safely at home without risking their health at the local supermarket. Participants must be 65 or older and considered high-risk because they have coronavirus… read more
Governor Newsom recently created the California Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery to get the economy growing again as quickly and safely as possible. As Assembly Minority Leader and a small business owner, I was honored to be selected as a member of this critical team. The Coronavirus response has devastated California’s economy, including thousands  of small businesses that employ millions. We slammed the brakes on the world’s fifth largest economy, and the most vulnerable have been hit the hardest. While health and safety will come first, the 80-member Task Force will work toward… read more
National emergencies bring out the best in us as Americans always step up to help those in need. During this coronavirus pandemic, individuals, non-profit organizations, and businesses are answering the call for help. In our Assembly District 75, Abbott Laboratories, with a major facility in Temecula, is deeply involved in the medical response to the pandemic. Abbott has developed tests that can detect the disease in just a few minutes, and recently announced the launch of a new antibody test that can determine if a person was previously infected. 4 million of these tests will be delivered… read more
These times can be overwhelming. While we love our homes, being forced to stay there for extended periods causes stress, anxiety, and depression.  We are worried about our income, our jobs, our kid's education, our health, our future. So how do we cope with this new and very unreal lifestyle that the coronavirus has forced upon us? Remember, we are all in this together, and help is available. While we must physically isolate ourselves in order to help rein in the virus and “flatten the curve,” it is important to keep in touch with family members, friends and work associates via phone or… read more
Congress just passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at helping Americans cope with an economy that is suddenly screeching to a halt. Small businesses, along with millions of employees, have been hit hard Under CARES, the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Plan is available to virtually every small business in America. There are two qualifications – businesses must employ less than 500 workers and been in business before February 15, 2020. The loans will sustain small businesses so they can keep workers… read more
The COVID-19 outbreak is drastically affecting the lives of millions.  My offices have received calls from workers, employers, healthcare professionals and many more seeking information and guidance during this tumultuous time. As a result, I asked my leadership team to compile a list of resources available to workers, employers and others to help get us through this unexpected public health and financial crisis. Resources include the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance Program will provide assistance to small businesses, non-profits,… read more