While so much of the public comment in California is all about how terrible Donald Trump is and the need for California taxpayers to pay to protect people who have broken the law by coming here illegally, the California Democrat run legislature is basically ignored.
Let’s look at some of the issues in California that nobody wants to focus on.
California has an Attorney General. Nonetheless, the Democrat leaders in the legislature felt it was necessary to hire Eric Holder, Obama Attorney General to assist with getting around the immigration laws. He was hired initially for three months at the rate of $25,000 per month. Will Holder’s contract be extended? Mr. Holder met with Democrat legislators but refused to meet with Republican legislators. Tax dollars are paying his retainer. All legislators should be able to meet with him.
CalPERS offers a defined benefit plan where retirement benefits are based on a formula, rather than contributions and earnings to a savings plan. Retirement benefits are calculated based on a member’s years of service credit, age at retirement and final compensation (average salary for a defined period of employment).
CalPERS has a problem of under funding which is a problem faced by many state pension funds. A combination of an aging population, tight state budgets and an unwillingness on the part of politicians to force public sector unions or taxpayers to contribute more to pension funds results in a pension fund that does not have the funds to be solvent.
Jerry Brown’s statements against Donald Trump have been interesting to say the least. The state of California has not maintained its infrastructure so that when the rains this year caused great damage, especially with the Oroville damn, the Governor had to ask President Trump for emergency federal funds to deal with the damn. It is probably not politically kind to bring up the bullet train and the monies used on that train to nowhere.
Senate Bill 1443 introduced by Senator Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) and passed in August 2014 would have reduced to $200 from $440 the value of gifts an official could receive from a single source each year. It also would have prohibited officeholders from accepting free tickets to concerts, sporting events and theme parks. Governor Brown vetoed the bill.
Since that veto, lobbyists and companies that employ the lobbyists have given over $370,000 worth of gifts directly to state Assembly members and Senators. They have given another $600,000 worth of gifts to legislative staff members, spouses and children of legislators and other elected and appointed public officials.
Sonoma County needs to take a bow. Five Senate and Assembly members representing districts north of the Golden Gate received approximately $31,000 in meals, entertainment and lodging.
Jim Wood, Assembly District 2 accepted 30 gifts totaling $19,000. Marc Levine, Assembly District 10 received 30 gifts worth about $5,200. Mr. Wood went with other lawmakers to Germany and the Czech Republic on a trip that was worth nearly $10,000.
Overall, the following gifts were given:
$10,000 worth of tickets to Disneyland; $47,000 worth of tickets to concerts and Kings games; $17,000 worth of lodging and golf expenses at Torrey Pines resort in San Diego; $73,000 worth of lodging and golf expenses at Pebble Beach; $22,000 worth of admission fees and food at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club; $10,000 worth of tickets to the San Francisco Giants and $29,000 worth of food and lodging at Ritz Carlton hotels in Half Moon Bay, Laguna Nigel and other locations.
The majority of these gifts went to Democrat legislators. They are in the majority and many Republican legislators do not take any gifts.
State Senator Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens has introduced a bill to overhaul California’s health care system to create a single-payer model. This is the latest example of California bucking the Trump agenda.
The Healthy California Act would create a universal health care system, including those who are in the country illegally. Many people in California think that Obamacare is working just fine.
Of course, it works because many premiums are paid for by the taxpayer. Currently, California relies on approximately $22 billion in federal funding annually to cover insurance subsidies.
California is home to 12% of the nation’s population but it has 21% of the nation’s homeless population. Nearly three million households pay more than 30% of their income toward rent. Roughly 1.5 million households pay more than 50% of their income toward rent.
The California Legislature has been in the control of Democrats since 1997. The Republicans controlled the Assembly from 1995 to 1997. Instead of trying to make Donald Trump the big issue in California, maybe the Democrat led legislature should start focusing on California and its many problems. Democrats own the problems that are rampant in California.