Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Aug 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Assemblymember Bill Monning

bill_MonningLast month, you participated in a UC Santa Cruz Legislative Forum on the state budget and higher education. What consensus and actions resulted from that gathering of legislators, local business leaders and UCSC students, faculty and administration?

I value the opportunity to listen first-hand to testimony about the impacts that budget cuts are having at UCSC.  The legislative forum convened by Chancellor George Blumenthal featured participation by a broad cross section of the UCSC community including administrators, faculty, and students.

Speakers focused on the impact of the more than $50 million in budget cuts at UCSC during the past two years. Deans spoke of the challenge of providing students the classes they need to graduate with reduced faculty positions, and a student spoke about graduate students who have been lost as faculty advisors. Many people expressed that the UC system is at a tipping point where its status as a world-class educational institution is in jeopardy, but the overwhelming consensus voiced was that the adequate funding of higher education in California is a key ingredient of future economic growth and development.

It was interesting that not all of the speakers at the forum supported the governor’s proposed constitutional amendment that would ensure higher education funding is equivalent to, or more than, the amount of money the state spends on prisons.  The governor and the legislature have the ability to prioritize higher education funding already but what is lacking is the political will to change the state’s funding priorities.

Now, it is up to the legislature and governor to craft the state’s spending priorities, and, as a member of the Assembly Committee on Budget, I will be working with my colleagues to advance and protect higher education funding. With an almost $19 billion projected budget deficit, we must keep all options on the table, including revenue options, if we are to restore California’s commitment to higher education quality and access.

Can the State of California do anything to assist families who are facing foreclosure?

At the Jan. 24 mortgage foreclosure workshop I co-hosted in Aptos, more than 125 participants heard from banking, legal, and other experts who offered information about strategies and resources that would empower borrowers who face default notices or foreclosure proceedings.

More than 2,500 Santa Cruz County and 8,500 Monterey County residents have faced foreclosure proceedings. Unfortunately, with continued high unemployment, the trend in foreclosures continues.

One positive outcome of the forum is that I will be introducing legislation requiring lending institutions to provide accurate contact information to allow borrowers to speak directly with a loan officer who has authority to discuss loan terms and conditions, even when the mortgage package has been sold to another institution.

At the state level we are continuing our efforts to assist homeowners but the ultimate cure must be at the federal level because a majority of home loan lenders are governed by the federal government. However, until this occurs, I will continue to work to assist those in our community facing the possibility of losing their homes.

In the governor’s State of the State speech he proposed funding state parks by opening up oil drilling off the California coast. Do you support this funding mechanism to keep the state parks open?

No. This is the second attempt by the governor to use the budget process to authorize new offshore oil drilling in California waters. His proposal to rescue the state parks with offshore drilling revenues represents a cynical and Machiavellian scheme.

It is important to note that the proposed PXP drilling deal would generate only $140 million of annual revenue to the state while placing our coastal integrity and habitat at risk. A better, long- term revenue-generating solution is an oil extraction fee on existing drilling operations on land that has the potential to generate $1 to $2 billion a year in new revenue for the state.

Last year, I led the fight to successfully stop the proposed PXP offshore drilling plan and, if necessary, I am prepared to fight to stop offshore drilling again.

We should not place one natural resource against another natural resource in order to resolve the current budget crisis. There are other viable solutions available to our State Parks and I will continue to fight to keep both our coast and our parks viable for future generations of Californians.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 31

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

 

Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover