MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 32 and Propositions — September 18, 2016

There was plenty of Senate Floor debate over SB 32. After listening to a few too many speeches, I decided to weigh in (seehttp://district37.cssrc.us/content/sen-moorlach-opposes-sb-32-advises-fiscal-caution-and-balance).

SB 32 was on the top of my end-of-Session bills worthy of a veto (see MOORLACH UPDATE — 2016 Veto Worthy Bills — September 12, 2016 September 12, 2016 John Moorlach). But, it was one of the first bills that Gov. Brown signed. And he did it with pomp and flair down here in Southern California on September 8th.

All I asked for was a little balance. Why aren’t we addressing the major issues directly facing the State of California? Why doesn’t Sacramento have the same fervor for what it should be fixing, like its Balance Sheet? See MOORLACH UPDATE — Budget Hearings — May 14, 2016 May 14, 2016May 14, 2016 John Moorlach.

We have a range of issues to address, and placing so much emphasis on global warming is either spending too much time on a shiny object, an abdication on fiscal responsibilities, or an intentional ignoring of the facts in hopes that they take care of themselves. Neither of these is an appropriate management technique.

If Sacramento places too much of a burden on our business sector, then the last straw may have arrived. And businesses will continue to flee and workers will have fewer employment opportunities and housing prices will fall and you know the rest. I shared my thoughts in the OC Register‘s Commentary section in the editorial below.

SACRAMENTO

Misplaced priorities in state Capitol

By John Moorlach

When I was elected to represent the people of the 37th Senate District in Sacramento, I resolved to fix the things we could fix — the things that we must fix in order for California to have a prosperous future.

What I have observed is that there is an ongoing efort by many in Sacramento to fix the things we cannot, while ignoring the major issues that afect the lives of every single Californian, not only in my district but throughout this great state.

Recently, the state Legislature approved Senate Bill 32, a bill that takes aim at global warming by requiring California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2030.

This sounds like a worthy goal, but it’s a goal that is going to cost every California resident and business more money from their pockets. California’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is approximately 1 percent of the worldwide total. So, no matter how much California tightens its belt when it comes to reducing emissions, the fact is that the state’s global impact is next to nothing.

Many in Sacramento patted themselves on the back for passing a bill they believe will save the world. Meanwhile, my constituents are concerned with the more pressing issues — like California’s ticking time bomb, the public employee pension system. Or our retiree medical costs. Nationwide, California claims the top prize as having the largest unfunded liabilities for both, and continues to be the least economically competitive state in the nation.

And what about the mass exodus of businesses? Almost 9,000 of them, over the last seven years, have chosen to leave California and operate out of state. You’ll find many of them in Texas.

My colleagues engaged in a passionate debate about global warming and the need for California to be the world leader on the issue, but where is the dialogue about fixing California’s balance sheet, which carries the largest unrestricted net deficit in the United States?

What this state desperately needs is balance and restraint, not more feel-good legislation and disconnects. Once the high of SB32 wears of, will the Legislature address the gorilla in the room? California must stop mortgaging its future and prepare for the next economic recession. Even Gov. Jerry Brown warned it’s coming.

Here’s a disconnect: This year, legislative Democrats approved a 50 percent increase in the minimum wage, which will cause far too many small businesses to close their doors, costing jobs and hurting workers. Increasing electricity rates will also cost Californians more, and a new tax is on the table that would hike California’s gas prices by 17 cents per gallon.

Piling on more cost pressures and tax increases is not my idea of balance or restraint, and it’s not what California residents and businesses need.

The Legislature passed hundreds of bills in the final days of the legislative session, but it must remember that there is a looming fiscal downturn on the horizon for this state. Sacramento must show restraint and focus on its spending priorities.

Instead of passing feel-good legislation with little impact, like SB32, the Legislature needs to focus on the issues we can fix — issues like paying down debt, putting more money away in our state’s Rainy Day Fund and prioritizing practical transportation needs over a costly highspeed rail project and a severely mismanaged Caltrans.

There’s a reason for the story about the camel. I fear that SB32 is one more straw that will break California’s back.

John Moorlach is a state Senator representing the 37th District, which includes the communities of Costa Mesa, Irvine, Lake Forest, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach Tustin, Villa Park and portions of Anaheim, Huntington Beach and Orange.

BONUS: You should be receiving your voter pamphlet (guide) from California’s Secretary of State any day now; all 224 pages of it. To provide a simple review, below please find the seventeen propositions. In my research, I have seen several other recommendation lists, so if I used your subject title, thanks! I’ve provided a concise summary of my thoughts. Enjoy the read when you receive the guide. My positions do not differ much from that of the California Republican Party’s recommendations (see https://www.cagop.org/ballot_measure_endorsements). Please do your own analysis. And, please vote!!

Proposition Number, Subject and Thoughts Position
51 $9 Billion Education Bond for New and Retrofit Capital Projects NO
Will average $500 million per year in principal and interest payments out of the General Fund — Unaffordable
52 California Medi-Cal Hospital Reimbursement Initiative YES
Assists in matching funding waiver with Medicaid and Medicare Services
53 Voter Approval Requirement on State Revenue Bonds above $2B YES
Currently, only General Obligation Bonds require voter approval
54 Public Display of Legislative Bills YES!
Requires bills be in print for 72 hours before being voted on
55 Extension of Proposition 30 Income Tax Increase NO
Public unions extending "temporary" income tax on wealthy for 12 years
56 Healthcare, Research & Prevention Tobacco Tax NO
$2 tax increase on a pack of cigarettes — Will create a black market
57 Parole of Non-Violent Criminals & Juvenile Criminal Proceedings NO
Gov. Brown’s piling on of AB 109 & Prop. 47 — Will increase homelessness
58 Non-English Language Education NO
Amends and repeals Prop. 227 — A "total immersion" that is working
59 Overturn of Citizens United Act – Advisory Question NO
An advisory question — Why bother the electorate?
60 Condoms Required for Performers in Adult Films NO
Smart personal hygiene should be expected, not required or mandated
61 State Prescription Drug Purchases. Pricing Standards NO
Regulates the price that can be paid by the state
62 Death Penalty Repeal NO
I support the death penalty
63 Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban NO
I support the right to keep and bear arms
64 Marijuana Legalization NO
This is not working in the state of Colorado
65 Redirecting Mandated Carry-Out Bag Fee NO
Brilliant tactic, but is a ploy to confuse voters on Prop. 67
66 Death Penalty Reform YES
I support the death penalty
67 Referendum on Ban of Single Use Plastic Bags NO
I support the use of plastic bags; helpful for the poor who walk to stores

This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District.

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