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BY ASSEMBLYMAN KEVIN KILEY

California has a $54 billion problem, and Gavin Newsom has a simple solution: Ask Nancy.

The Governor is banking on Speaker Pelosi’s HEROES Act to avoid having to spend less. In a breezy five-paragraph letter to Pelosi, Newsom and the Western States Pact asked for exactly $1 trillion.

Meanwhile, Gov. Newsom denies any responsibility for California’s predicament.

When asked on CNN how much of the deficit is a result of imprudent budgeting, he answered: “None.” He then hailed our pre-COVID surplus as a sign of good governance, when it actually reflects the very governance failures that are now making the deficit so large: an unstable tax regime and off-the-books pension liabilities.

Now is the time to bring spending under control, not to dodge responsibility. As one example, we would save $2 billion per year (and avoid another $2 billion in debt) by offering the same health benefits for retired state employees as Oregon.

This is also a moment to reimagine state government, by moving special interest groups to the back of the line and ending policies that oppress ordinary Californians. This includes:

1. Removing barriers to opportunity like AB 5 and occupational licensing
2. Lowering the cost of living by allowing new housing and slashing regulations
3. Lifting education mandates that trap poor students in failing schools
4. Re-directing spending on homeless, drug offenders, and the mentally ill towards services to transition people out of these conditions.

A check from Speaker Pelosi isn’t the way to fix California. That’s the job of our state’s elected leaders.

Kevin Kiley is a Republican California Legislator fighting back against the Supermajority and Special Interests at the State Capitol. Sign up for updates to be part of our growing movement, and join other Californians of patriotism, decency, and common sense who want nothing more than to save our state.