State Senators and Assembly members from Bakersfield recently voted against one of the largest tax increases in California history that will ensure it becomes more expensive to live, work and raise a family in California.
For example, a driver with a car value of $25,000, driving 15,000 miles per year averaging 20 miles per gallon, will pay an additional $190 annually beginning on Nov. 1 and $246 beginning on July 1, 2019.
Additionally, the gas tax will increase automatically beginning in the year 2020.
These calculations don’t include the high cost of mandated reformulated California fuel, the addition of illegal cap and trade taxes which could result in nearly a $1 per gallon increase when implemented.
Recently, our community was visited by the author of the gas tax, a legislator from the San Francisco Bay Area, who promised millions of dollars for our community despite no local legislative support for his proposal. As part of his road show, he told an audience of contractors that he was thinking about jobs in Bakersfield when he wrote this law, despite the fact that the vast majority of money from this tax will not be spent in the Central Valley. Some people will say anything to be popular.
Well, I am from Bakersfield, not from the Silicon Valley. We build, grow, produce and deliver products throughout the state. We generate the energy necessary to fuel the Silicon Valley and their ability to work from home as transportation costs rise.
Bakersfield’s economy is dominated by industries that require workers to be present. Crops require farmers and farmworkers, oil rigs require oil workers, haulers require drivers, and energy production requires mechanical and electrical engineers.
For too long, coastal elites from Los Angeles and San Francisco have dominated the legislature. Utilizing their dominance in Sacramento, they have become increasingly effective in forcing their point of view on Central Valley residents that do not have the same priorities, challenges or lifestyles as coastal residents.
From their point of view it was a good idea to move billions of dollars away from transportation projects and maintenance. For decades they systematically took transportation resources and spent them on non-transportation programs including passing laws designed to force people to live in crowded city centers to reduce the use of cars and trucks.
These ill-concieved actions have created this unavoidable and predictable crisis. They have ignored repeated Republicans attempts to use road taxes to actually provide good roads and safe bridges. What-s worse is they have ignored California-s voters who have voted for gas taxes for transportation projects, twice!
Now, the Democrats are traveling the state claiming they had no other choice but to raise taxes on Californians.
We do have a choice but the Democrats are unwilling to consider it. Republicans, led by Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, introduced a solution to fix our roads that does not raise taxes, ensures transportation dollars are used for transportation projects, and provides more opportunities to get more done with every dollar. This plan is a common sense way to ensure our roads and highways are safe and funded, without making California less affordable.
It is time for the coastal elites who control Sacramento to take a broader look at the world and understand that their actions have an impact on real people who pay taxes, commute to work, and raise their families. We will not be bullied or bought off in order to support bad policy. We want a California that is more affordable. We want policies that value the labors of all people by taxing them as little as possible and spending those taxes efficiently and effectively.
Enough is enough — nearly $60 billion in new taxes is not a solution to our transportation issues; it is another sign that the legislature’s priorities are out of touch and not in the best interests of the average Californian.
(Recently published in the Bakersfield Californian and The News Review, Ridgecrest)
Memorial Day is an opportunity to reflect upon those lives that were lost to protect our freedom, preserve our liberty and promote peace throughout the world.
It is a day to show gratitude for the huge debt we owe to these fallen heroes and their families.
Since the creation of our great nation, our Armed Forces have been the leading force in the pursuit of ensuring our God-given rights remain protected, promoted and a priority.
My district represents military families from all of the branches of our military. I have seen the pride in which they send their loved ones off to serve our country, I have felt their sorrow at Memorial events around the state, and I have witnessed the outpouring of love that a grateful public has expressed for their service and sacrifice.
Collectively, we have an opportunity this Memorial Day to remember those members of our military that made the ultimate sacrifice. As part of this remembrance, please join me in praying for their surviving family members and let us show our appreciation for our current servicemen and servicewomen who stand upon the foundation built by our fallen heroes.
Around the District
Recently members of the desert search and rescue team met at our district office in Bakersfield to be recognized for their commitment to helping those in need. Each member of the search and rescue team was presented with a Senate Resolution recognizing their commitment, expertise and service to our community. Additionally, the teammates received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. These awards varied from gold, silver, and bronze determined by the amount of hours they volunteered during the year.
Below are the pictures from the event.
It was an honor to receive an invitation and visit Emily Salter’s 4th grade class at Stine Elementary School. The students just finished with testing and are looking forward to the start of summer. Keep up the good work.
Latina Leaders of Kern County (LLKC) is a 501c3 organization established in 1998. The nonprofit Latina Leaders of Kern County was developed with a mission to foster leadership, identify and develop opportunities for Latinas and to influence key issues affecting our community. This mission has manifested into the only organization in Kern County, which serves Latinas in a leadership development role.
LLKC’s programs include the youth leadership development through the Youth Leadership Program offered to over 150 high school aged young women, adult leadership development through the Latina Leadership Institute, as well as cultural enrichment and informational activities for the community throughout the year. The organization continues to flourish and experience growth, which is not always an easy feat given the 100 percent volunteer run operation. The commitment of its volunteer board and members are a true testament to the power of collaboration and community engagement.
To learn more please visit their website: http://kernlatinas.com/
Mobile Office hours are held to facilitate communication between my office and the communities we serve. The following is a list of Mobile Office locations for the month of June. Hope you can find the time to stop by!
Monthly mobile office locations will also be posted on the Senate web site. To schedule an appointment with a member of the staff, please call the District Office at (661) 323-0443.