Op-Eds

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
As Minority Leader, I have been working with the Governor to coordinate the state’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. A number of important steps are underway.  Last week we passed bi-partisan legislation to provide $500 million in initial emergency funding expandable to $1 billion, to activate closed hospitals, increase equipment capacity for existing hospitals, provide hotel beds for the homeless, clean up child care facilities,  fund In-Home Supportive Services addressing senior isolation, backfill schools for lost Average Daily Attendance, finance expanded family leave, reimburse for… read more
California requires testing children considered at greatest risk for lead poisoning, which includes those enrolled in Medi-Cal and other programs for low-income children. We recently learned that over a nine-year period, DHCS did not ensure that millions of children were tested properly. Nearly half of 2.9 million eligible one-and two-year-old children were not tested at all, and another 740,000 missed one of the two required tests! As a member of Assembly Health Committee, I participated in a hearing of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to review findings by the California State Auditor… read more
This week California observes Arbor Day, created in 1872 by the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture.   Celebrating trees is a wonderful thing!  California’s observance coincides with the birthday of botanist Luther Burbank. My Assembly Concurrent Resolution 157, (Waldron) recognizes March 7, 2020 as California Arbor Day, and urges Californians to observe the day with appropriate tree-planting programs and activities. Tree People, California ReLeaf, and the California Urban Forests Council all support ACR 157, which passed the Assembly this week.   Our Legislature first proclaimed California… read more