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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.