Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Dec 17th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Assemblymember Bill Monning

bill_MonningState Democratic legislators are still working to get the necessary Republican votes needed to pass the budget. What is the current status of the budget?

Last week the governor vetoed the majority vote budget passed by Legislative Democrats. The governor’s veto message states that he still wants a vote by Californians on the question of whether to extend existing revenues in order to balance the state budget.

Since January, we have been working on a balanced approach of cuts and revenue extensions to address this year’s budget and the state’s long-term budget deficit. This responsible approach was rejected by Republicans. Because there was no more time left for negotiations, Legislative Democrats passed a majority vote budget that was responsible and balanced. While our budget made additional, difficult cuts to higher education, the courts, and local redevelopment programs, we avoided an “all cuts budget” that would have further targeted education, health and human services, and public safety program, as well as protected jobs and future job creation.

Legislative Democrats have been meeting with the governor this week to explore additional options that will achieve a balanced budget solution, as the governor remains committed to securing the necessary Republican votes to take a revenue extension ballot measure to voters. An election can still be scheduled and I still remain hopeful that we can reach an agreement with Republicans that will give California voters a voice in how we balance the budget.

What is the economic outlook for the 27th District, and Santa Cruz County in particular? What should the state and federal governments’ roles in job creation be?

In its analysis of the May Revise, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst Office stated the state’s immediate economic future has improved since February and is estimated to outpace the federal recovery.  However, the state’s labor market is expected to remain weak, with unemployment staying above 10 percent until early 2013.

Specifically, with regard to Santa Cruz County, unemployment has historically been around 6.5 percent.  However, the County ended 2010 with an unemployment rate of 11.2 percent, almost double the historic average.  The nationwide housing collapse hit California and Santa Cruz County particularly hard and this has had a ripple effect throughout the local economy.

Government at all levels, federal, state and local, serves a role in fostering and maintaining jobs. For the past two years, the Legislature has fought to encourage job growth and maintain existing jobs within the community. In the budget that was just vetoed by the Governor, I worked diligently to restore and protect childcare service jobs, Adult Day Health Care jobs, education related jobs, and public safety jobs, all of which are critical to our local economy. As budget negotiations continue, I remain committed to maintaining these in a final budget package.

Additionally, I have led efforts to expand enforcement against the underground economy which hurts workers and law-abiding employers through the introduction of Assembly Bill (AB) 397, which will require certification of worker’s compensation insurance during a contractor’s licensing renewal, and AB 766, which will help the state enforce against those participating in the underground economy.

You had a large volume of comments and feedback from Santa Cruz County residents on measures before the full Assembly prior to the house of origin deadline.  Can you please highlight a few of these bills?

Two of the bills that generated the largest volume of comments over the past few months were Assembly Bill (AB) 1319 authored by Assemblymember Butler, and AB 837, authored by Assemblymember Nestande.

AB 1319 would prohibit the sale of plastic food containers with bisphenol A (BPA) if the item is primarily intended for use by children three years old or younger.  The National Toxicology Program is concerned about the neural and behavioral effects of BPA in children and, as of today, there are still bottles and cups marketed to infants and toddlers containing BPA.  I supported this bill because we need to exercise the precautionary principle to protect our children.

AB 837 would prohibit the selling of a plastic food or beverage container that is advertised with a specific amount of recycling content unless the producer can certify that the claim is scientifically accurate.  This bill will assist in stopping the practice of "greenwashing,” the false or inaccurate suggestion that products are environmentally friendly.  Like many of you, I try to be a conscientious consumer.  However, there is no way for us to know when the amount of recycled content in a food or beverage container is accurately represented.  AB 837 will deter this fraud, promoting a level playing field among plastic food and beverage container producers, and I am proud to have supported this measure as well.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire