The electric bills just keep going up, and up. California energy costs have been high for years, even before the recent spikes. Now it’s getting much worse. Inflation nationwide is out of control, with prices rising at the fastest rate in 40 years. In California, housing is beyond reach for many, gas prices/taxes are the nation’s highest, and our overall tax rates far exceed national norms. Thousands have been priced out of California, with many fleeing the state just to make a living. Energy prices are a big factor, since Californians are charged much higher rates than the rest of the… read more
February is American Heart Month, and this year February 4th was National Wear Red Day, encouraging people to wear red to help raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of death for men and women, accounting for approximately one out of every three deaths nationwide. Among women, cardiovascular diseases are the number one killer, with one death almost every 80 seconds. An estimated 44 million women in the United States are affected by cardiovascular disease each year. In California, nearly one-third of women’s deaths are also the result of… read more
Last week, Assembly Bill 1400 (AB 1400), establishing state-run healthcare for all Californians, crashed and burned in the Assembly. Opposition was widespread from all sectors of the healthcare field and citizens. There were several reasons for this, including the astronomical costs. The entire state budget is $262 billion, and cost estimates to provide healthcare for 40 million Californians range up to $400 billion more. What about the unelected 9-member board running the program? Could a unaccountable state bureaucracy really make competent healthcare decisions? Ask a million or so EDD… read more
The national blood shortage has reached our region, and the situation is critical for many local hospitals. While January has been designated National Blood Donor Month for over 50 years, people have not been stepping up to donate blood and maintain badly needed supplies as they have in the past. The San Diego Blood Bank has reported that donations have dropped significantly during the COVID crises, even though donating blood is completely safe. One contributing factor involves treatments delayed in 2020 and 2021 that are now being scheduled, leading to an unprecedented increase in demand… read more
Mobs of people have been raiding department stores and walking out with thousands of dollars in stolen goods. In some cases, up to 90 people have stormed into stores at one time, and thefts have not been confined to department stores. Union-Pacific freight trains entering Los Angeles are being systematically looted. In October 2021, the railroad reported a 356% increase in thefts over the previous year. Union-Pacific is reportedly considering bypassing Los Angeles, its major hub on the West Coast. What are the causes of this seeming breakdown in civil order, and what can be done about it?… read more
Last week the Assembly Health Committee reviewed, and passed, AB 1400, which would mandate government-run healthcare for almost 40 million Californians. Are you on Medicare?  You won’t be. Do you like your current health plan?  Say goodbye to it. Do you want to pay higher taxes, for less care? You’re in luck. AB 1400 creates an unelected 9-member board to run state healthcare with vast power to decide how much doctors and hospitals are paid, to adjust (cut) provider budgets, and much more. When a similar bill was proposed in 2017, costs were estimated at $400 billion. If the entire state… read more
One of the main responsibilities of the State Legislature is producing a budget by the June 15th  constitutional deadline that funds programs and, hopefully, makes smart investments in California’s future. Unfortunately, while we meet the deadline, expectations often fall short.  Skewed priorities in past budgets have allowed problems to fester; many are now reaching the crisis stage. The Legislature re-convened for the second half of the 2021-2022 session January 3rd. Due to the magnitude of the problems we face, priority number one will be creating a budget that addresses our most pressing… read more
Helping people navigate the state’s massive bureaucracy is an important function of my District Office (DO). During 2021, we were able to help over 2,400 constituents resolve issues involving state and other governmental agencies. This included over 2,000 unemployment claims, resulting from the Employment Development Department's inability to cope with the pandemic-related shutdown that struck in March, 2020. Unfortunately, EDD is still reeling, causing delays and problems for thousands of Californians, but our office is here to help! This number doesn’t include hundreds of cases that have… read more
During 2021, 2,776 bills were introduced in Sacramento, despite a suggested 12-bill limit for each Assemblymember. The legislation we reviewed involved some of the most consequential issues facing California. Hot topics this year ranged from health care affordability, homelessness and housing, to the environment, the economy, criminal justice and much more. Since most bills fail to pass, the most significant results often involve failed legislation, and this year was no different.  Bills to legalize psychedelic drugs, to allow criminal offenders to have their records expunged, to overhaul… read more
According to the CDC, over 100,000 people died from drug overdoses in the United States in the 12 months ending in April, 2021. That’s a new record, exceeding the previous record of 93,331 in 2020. That is not acceptable.  Much of this increase is driven by fentanyl, a drug similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent. Treating drug-addicted persons can break the cycle of dependency for many, and can significantly reduce overall crime rates and recidivism. That’s why I introduced Assembly Bill 653, which recently became law, to support Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs for… read more