Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Sep 01st
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

 

The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

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

 

Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual