Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Jun 29th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Assemblyman Bill Monning

bill_MonningWhat options does the legislature have in terms of the state’s budget now that the June ballot measure has faded as a possibility?
In January, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a budget to address the estimated $25.8 billion deficit with $12.5 billion in extremely difficult cuts and a five year revenue package that would require voter approval in a special election this June. In order to place this revenue extension on the June ballot, a two-third vote of the legislature was required by the end of March.

My Democratic colleagues and I have been supporting the governor’s efforts to let the voters decide if revenues should be part of a budget deficit solution. Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues were unwilling to work with the governor to place this issue before the voters. 

At the present time, we are beginning to move forward with the normal budget process. Subcommittees will be meeting to resolve issues that were previously deferred and address issues that will be raised in the governor’s May Revise.

In March, we approved $14 billion in painful budget cuts and now have a roughly $13 billion shortfall to resolve. Of the options currently under consideration, we are still working to place a revenue extension before the voters with a two-third vote of the legislature, and are discussing the placement of the revenue extension before the voters with a majority vote budget.

Californians deserve to have both parties—Democrats and Republicans—be part of the budget deficit solution. I continue to remain committed to working with all my colleagues to find a genuine budget solution that will put California on track toward economic recovery and prosperity.

How would the foreclosure bill that you are currently co-authoring help Santa Cruz area homeowners?

I am currently a coauthor of Senate Bill (SB) 729 authored by Sen. Leno. The bill would establish a procedure for both borrowers and lenders to modify a home loan if a modification is requested by a borrower.

Currently, many borrowers request loan modifications and do not receive a response to their request. SB 729 states that if a borrower requests a loan modification, the lender must respond with a yes or no answer. In the event a lender does not respond to a borrower’s request for a loan modification, the borrower would have legal recourse. If SB 729 is enacted, it would become California law on Jan. 1, 2012 and assist homeowners who request a loan modification on or after that date.

According to RealtyTrac, Santa Cruz County’s foreclosure rate is lower than the statewide average. Unfortunately, this is little consolation for the homeowners facing foreclosure. In light of the evidence that loan servicers have been proceeding illegally with foreclosures, it only makes sense that when borrowers request a mortgage modification that they receive a definitive response and explanation. While the passage of SB 729 does not require lenders to modify a home loan, nor assist homeowners who have already lost their homes, it is my hope that the bill will assist homeowners who are currently struggling to keep their homes.

You recently introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 753, a measure that was prompted by a tragedy that occurred here in Santa Cruz. How will this legislation protect consumers in the future?

I introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 753 as a result of a tragic accident that occurred in the Santa Cruz area. Sisters Raechel and Jacqueline Houck were killed while driving a recalled PT Cruiser rented from Enterprise Rent-A-Car.  Approximately one month before the Houck sisters were killed, Enterprise received notice from Chrysler that the PT Cruiser had a defective steering component that was prone to catch fire. Despite the warning, Enterprise rented the car to three other customers before renting the PT Cruiser to the Houck sisters.

AB 753 would prohibit rental car companies from renting or selling vehicles that are subject to a federal safety recall. Once the vehicle has been repaired, it can be rented again.

New car dealers are prohibited from selling new cars that are subject to a safety recall. However, all the major rental car companies may rent or sell vehicles subject to the same safety recall. AB 753 will help ensure that the Houck tragedy is not repeated and that consumers are able to rent cars without worrying whether safety defects have been repaired. I ask that you join me in supporting this very important consumer safety bill.

Comments (2)Add Comment
AB 753
written by C. Spenard, April 27, 2011
It's about time the rental car corporations start putting safety before profits, which are billions annually. Why should the rental car industry escape recall laws that protect the consumer and knowingly disregard the safety of its customers? Every rental car company who, with knowledge, rents, or eventually sells recalled cars without the repairs should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Brown's Budget
written by Earl Richards, April 26, 2011
Brown is blackmailing Californians into voting for his tax extensions. These budget cuts will prolong the recession. There is very little difference between Brown's budget and previous budgets, because Brown's budget is master-minded by Wall Street (service debt interest) and Big Oil. There is no provision for closing corporate and commercial tax loopholes, no oil extraction tax and no oil corporation, windfall-profits tax. Californians pay the highest price for gasoline in the nation. Brown's budget is the same, because again, it picks on the most vulnerable. These taxes have to be rolled-back.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

I Was a Teenage Deadhead

Memories of life on tour, plus the truth about that legendary Santa Cruz Acid Test

 

I Build a Lighted House and Therein Dwell

Wednesday, June 24, Chiron turns stationary retrograde (we turn inward) at 21.33 degrees Pisces. We usually speak of “retrograde” when referring to Mercury. But all planets retrograde. Next month in July, Venus retrogrades. What is Chiron retrograde? Chiron represents the wound within all of us. Wounds have purpose. They sensitize us; make us aware of pain and suffering. Through our wounds we develop compassion. Through compassion we become whole (holy) again. Chiron helps develop these states of consciousness. Everyone carries a wound. Everyone carries family wounds (family astrology tracks the astrological “DNA” through generations). Chiron wounds are deep within. We’re often not aware of them until Chiron retrogrades. Then the wounds (through pain, hurt, sadness, suffering) become apparent. They seem to break us open emotionally, psychologically. Painful events from the past are remembered. They are brought to the present for healing. Through experiencing, talking about and deeply feeling what is hurting us, healing takes place. We begin to understand and bring healing to others. All week, Jupiter and Venus move closer together in the sky. They meet in Leo at the full moon, Cancer solar festival, on Wednesday, July 1. The Cancer keynote is, “I build a lighted house and therein dwell.” The soul’s light has finally penetrated the “womb” of matter. The New Group of World Servers is to radiate this light. At the end of each sign are keywords to use and remember during the Chiron retrograde.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Kickin' Chicken

Local kitchen alchemist Justin Williams is fast becoming a cult flavor master. His late-night wizardry, which began last fall delivering mainly to starving UCSC students, is catching on with taste buds beyond campus. Kickin’ Chicken delivers its spicy-sweet fried chicken and waffles to Westside residents between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. nightly. Or you can catch him and his brother and sister, Candice and Danny Mendoza, serving it up at their “Sunday Mass” at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge at 1001 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Using sous vide, a French method of cooking chicken in a water bath at a tightly controlled temperature, they then flash fry it for an amazingly crispy coat. Candice Mendoza spoke to GT about Kickin’ Chicken’s rise.

 

What’s a creative new approach to addressing summer beach litter?

Robotic dogs, with duct tape on their paws, that walk around picking up litter wherever they go. Joaquin Heinz, Santa Cruz, Barista

 

Pelican Ranch Winery

The most popular red wines found on store shelves are also those most commonly known, such as Pinot, Zinfandel and Merlot. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Pelican Ranch Winery’s Cinsault ($19), it opens up a whole new world. Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, so it is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, and France. It’s rare in California but grows well in places like Lodi—Silvaspoons Vineyard in this particular case—where it’s hot and dry. Often used as a blending grape, the silky Cinsault is just fine on its own.

 

Open Wide

Soif’s soft reboot leads to expanded menu, plus the ‘thinking woman’s ketchup’