Op-Eds

I introduced AB 1031 in 2017 to establish the Native California Wildlife Rehabilitation Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund. The legislation allows taxpayers filing their returns to voluntarily ‘check off’ a specified amount to fund wildlife rescue organizations throughout the state. However, since the program expires this year, last week I introduced AB 1828 so that the voluntary wildlife rehab fund can continue until 2032.  Since 2018, taxpayers have contributed $2 million through the fund to help support California’s non-profit animal rehabilitation organizations, many of which receive… read more
I have operated my own small business for 30 years, and eliminating burdensome regulations that get in the way of business formation and success were major reasons I first ran for public office. These efforts have continued throughout my time in the Legislature, and I am very proud that my voting record last year put me at the top of the California Chamber of Commerce’s (CalChamber) list of pro-business Assemblymembers. Last year, I was joined by only 4 of my colleagues (out of 80) who voted in accord with CalChamber’s position on 13 important bills that can significantly impact California’s… read more
Navigating the state’s bureaucracy, even figuring out which agency to contact, can be a big headache. Pointing constituents in the right direction and assisting with state-related issues is an important function of my District Office (DO). During 2023, we were able to help over 400 district residents resolve issues involving state agencies. People are still having problems reaching the Employment Development Department (EDD), and last year my DO staff was contacted by over 100 constituents having problems accessing EDD benefits. That’s a big drop from the peak of the pandemic when we… read more
Two years ago, California had a surplus of almost $100 billion --- no state in history had ever amassed such a huge surplus. But we spent that money on things like high speed rail, billions to solve homelessness that only got worse, and at least $30 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims. Despite the fact that our sales, income and gasoline tax rates are among the highest in the nation, our massive surplus has now morphed into a $68 billion deficit, with $30 billion annual shortfalls projected to continue years into the future. This precarious financial situation has been analyzed by… read more
A study by the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission shows that 35 billion gallons of toxic waste water has flowed across the border through the Tijuana River this year; and more than 100 billion gallons since 2018. Local beaches were forced to close and local businesses and tourism have taken major hits. On December 1st my office participated in an informational hearing about Cross-Border Pollution called by the Senate Select Committee on California-Mexico Cooperation that was held at the Chula Vista City Hall. Concrete solutions were presented, but they will cost money and… read more
As Vice Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, I do all I can to ensure that California remains at the forefront in combating serious threats to public health. Raising awareness about diseases, preventing their spread and providing information about treatments can be critical. That’s why I strongly support World AIDS Day 35, which took place on December 1st. Over the past few decades, there have been significant medical advances in treating HIV/AIDS. But the disease is still a major threat to public health at home and around the world. According to the California Department of Public Health… read more
California has almost one-third of the nation’s homeless population despite having only 12% of the U.S. population.  In recent years, we have thrown $20 billion at the problem, yet homelessness is growing. In fact, it’s gotten so much worse that we have become a national embarrassment. Nationwide, this is not the case. For example, over the past 10 years, while our homeless population has increased by 43%, it has decreased 25% in Texas. And California spends 13 times more per homeless person than Texas. Polls show that Californians view homelessness as the state’s most serious problem so… read more
Constituent input is very important to me as I serve as your representative in Sacramento. Your opinions and suggestions help guide my decision making process on legislation and policy priorities that come before me on the Assembly floor. With over 39 million people, California is the nation’s most populous state. Just one county, Los Angeles, has more people than 40 states. That creates lopsided urban majorities that dominate the Legislature. The resulting laws, policies and regulations are often out of sync with large numbers of voters living in more rural and suburban areas, like the 75th… read more
In 2018, 60% of California’s voters supported Proposition 7, which was aimed at eliminating the bi-annual ritual of moving clocks back in the fall and forward in the spring. Daylight saving time was first imposed as a temporary energy saving measure during World War I, and was re-instated during World War II.  After World War II ended, states were allowed to decide the issue, and in 1949, voters approved Proposition 12, which permanently established daylight saving time in California. Since voters authorized daylight saving time in the first place, any changes must again be approved by the… read more
California department stores have been raided by people walking out with thousands of dollars in stolen goods. Los Angeles County, the Central Valley and the Bay Area have been the most impacted, though it’s affecting the entire state. Why is this happening, what can be done? One of the major contributing causes appears to be passage of Proposition 47 in 2014. Called the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act by its supporters (and who wouldn’t vote for that?), the proposition had the opposite effect. Prop. 47 downgraded shoplifting and grand theft from felonies to misdemeanors when the stolen… read more