Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Dec 28th
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

 

Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Our Gifts - Fiery Sacrificial Lights to One Another

Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Hanukkah ends and the Moon is in Aquarius, calling for the new world to take shape at midnight. Thursday morning, the sun, at the Tropic of Capricorn, begins moving northward. The desire currents are stilled. A great benediction of spiritual force (Capricorn’s Rays 1, 3, 7) streams into Earth. Temple bells ring out. The heavens bend low; the Earth is lifted up to the Light. Angels and Archangels chant, “On Earth, peace, goodwill to all.” As these forces stream into the Earth they assume long swirling lines of light, in the likeness of the Madonna and Child. The holy child is born. Let our hearts be “impressed” with and hold this picture, especially because Christmas may be difficult this year. Christmas Day is void of course moon (v/c moon), which means we may feel somewhat disconnected from one another. It’s difficult to connect in a v/c moon. Try anyway. Mercury joins Pluto in Capricorn. Uh oh … we don’t bring up the past containing any dark and difficult issues. We are to attempt new ways of communicating—expressing aspirations and love for one another, replacing wounding, sadness, lostness, and hurts of the past. Play soothing music, pray together, have the intention for peace, harmony and goodwill. Don’t be surprised if things feel out of control and/or arguments arise. We remember, before a new harmony emerges, chaos and crisis come first to clear the air. We are to be the harmonizers. Christmas evening is more harmonious, less difficult, more of what Christmas should be— radiations of love, sharing, kindness, compassion and care. Sunday, Feast Day of the Holy Family, is surprising. Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2014. Taurus moon, a stabilizing energy, ushers in the New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! Peace to everyone. Let us realize we are gifts radiating diamond light to one another. Living sacrificial flames!

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Let My People Go

There’s a lot to like in Ridley Scott’s maligned ‘Exodus’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her