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BY ASSEMBLYMAN KEVIN KILEY

“F— Elon Musk” – an actual tweet from one of California’s highest-ranking Legislators this weekend. After the tweet made national news for what an embarrassment our state government has become, Musk responded: “Message received.”

It’s
a message being received all across California right now – especially by small
businesses that are permanently closing their doors every day.

Even
before the shutdown, our government had it out for small business. California
is routinely rated America’s
worst state to operate in and its top “judicial hellhole” for crippling
lawsuits. A report by Joseph Vranich found that because “California politicians
threaten businesses with one harsh law or regulation after another,” 13,000
left the state in the last decade.

And it’s not just businesses. A
survey by Edelman Intelligence showed an astounding 53 percent of our residents
are thinking of doing exactly what Elon Musk is: leaving California. “Message
received” is what workers, young adults, and retirees have been saying for
years on their way out the door.

Beyond the cost of living, California
is the most oppressive state for workers in low-wage occupations. An Institute
for Justice report found we restrict work opportunities more “broadly and
onerously” than anywhere. And that was before AB 5, a bill even more vile than
the recent tweet of its author. Californians from over 300 professions have
lost their livelihood to the law’s senseless ban on independent contracting.

This disregard for ordinary people
was causing our state’s problems to boil over even before COVID-19. California
has up to half the nation’s homeless, its highest rate of poverty, nearly the
worst income inequality, the highest housing prices, among the worst roads and
bridges, and the worst education for poor students in the continental United
States.

The people of California are decent and forward-looking. They deserve so
much better than the political class that is profaning our great state.

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.