January 1st marks the New Year and also the day that hundreds of new California laws go into effect. In addition to the changes those laws are supposed to bring, there are other changes that will signal a dramatically different state.
From the â€œI told you soâ€ department, the â€œtemporaryâ€ taxes championed by Governor Brown in Proposition 30 have been extended with the passage of Proposition 55. There is nothing more permanent than a temporary tax, and these efforts to string out Prop. 30 prove that. Remember that the state took in billions in unanticipated revenues last year but even that isn't enough to satisfy the big government crowd.
There is yet another initiative that will put more criminals back out onto the street before their sentences are up. I opposed Governor Brown's â€œrealignmentâ€ plan and the pro-crime Proposition 47. Now Proposition 57's soft-on-crime policies make our neighborhoods less safe and put our families at risk.
Those are just some examples of big changes that are coming to our state, and it's not much of an agenda for our state - more drugs, higher taxes and more crime. I'm afraid that in 2017, I'll be seeing the same set of ideas coming through the legislature. I will be fighting against it all so that California taxpayers and families aren't stressed any further.
Last legislative session I took dead aim at tax-crazy California with a group of bills that would have made it easier for California families to keep more of the money they earn. I wanted to increase the dependent tax credit, increase the standard deduction, and also create a â€œtax-free weekendâ€ to give parents just a little help buying all the clothes, books, computers and backpacks their kids need to succeed in school.
I knew that the dependent credit and standard exemption faced uphill battles, but I can't believe that legislators in Sacramento wouldn't sign off on the pro-child, pro-education, pro-family tax holiday. Incredibly, even the California Teachers Association opposed the bill! It's a good reminder that government and groups that depend on it put collecting more tax dollars above everything else.
I'll be back this session with some ideas to help families and businesses thrive by lowering their taxes and making government fairer by holding it accountable for its mistakes.
I'll also be fighting for our veterans, many of whom are being financially victimized by the federal government, and I have an idea for how to help our dramatically underfunded pension system.
As always, I will continue fighting to keep taxes down and to keep a tight lid on state spending, and looking for ways to make California the best place for businesses to prosper. A powerful, job-creating private sector will do more for this state than any legislation and I want to make sure that government doesn't get in the way of prosperity.
Stay tuned for more information on all of these issues this year. Until then, I want to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!