Cost of Living
With sky high inflation, highest in the nation taxes, and out-of-control housing costs, California has become an unsustainable place to start a family or grow a business. That is why for the first time ever, more Californians are leaving than moving to our state. To get the affordability crisis under control, in the Senate I would:
- Oppose new taxes: Californians already pay among the highest taxes in the nation. I will oppose efforts to raise property taxes, gas taxes, income taxes, and sales taxes on working Californians.
- Support immediate gas relief: with Californians paying record high prices at the pump, legislators need to immediately suspend the gas tax and deliver relief to families. We cannot wait months for a costly rebate program, we need to act now and slash state taxes on gas.
- Lower housing costs: by making it immensely difficult to build new homes in California, we have increased the cost of rent and locked out new buyers from the market. To reign in excessing housing costs across the board, we need to reform CEQA, reduce building fees, and maintain a property-rights oriented approach to housing policy.
California’s schools should be #1 in the nation. Instead, we have allowed special interest groups to dominate our public school system and accept a failing status quo as normal. In the Senate, I would:
- Reward good teachers: improving educational outcomes starts with great teachers. That is why we need to reward teachers who show results among their students in academic growth and achievement. Teachers that perform well should be paid more.
- Support innovative charter schools: there are many great charter schools in our community that are pushing boundaries and innovating in the classroom. I support allowing these charters to continue their good work, while also preserving the ability to hold failing schools accountable.
- College and career prep: our public schools in California should acknowledge that there is no one right path after graduating. We should be presenting options to students and preparing them for success, whether that be at a four-year university, a community college, or learning a trade.
- Invest in campus safety and mental health: we cannot expect our students to be successful if they don’t have safe and healthy campuses to learn in. Investing in campus safety enhancements, such as school resource officers, as well as mental health counselors and supportive services, should be a #1 priority.
California is home to some of the best doctors and hospitals in the nation, yet for too many in our community, healthcare costs are too high and access to care inaccessible. In the Senate, I would:
- Reduce burdens to practice: California has some of the nation’s strictest licensing requirements on nurses, therapists, and doctors. We are one of only a handful of states that do not allow out-of-state care providers to practice here. We should be making it easier, not more difficult, to treat patients here in California.
- Protect medical tort reform: California needs to protect the caps on medical malpractice lawsuits to lower insurance rates for care providers and reduce costs passed onto consumers.
- Promote health savings accounts: Californians should be able to save money to pay for their future healthcare expenses, tax free. Everyone should invest in their future health, and the state should be a partner in that process.
- Oppose state controlled medicine: the DMV can barely function and the EDD can’t deliver unemployment checks without losing billions to fraud. Under no circumstances should we place the State of California in total control of our healthcare. Thus, I oppose single-payer and Medicare for all systems that would place bureaucrats in charge of our health.
There are few issues that demonstrate the failure of California leadership more than homelessness. Seemingly everywhere you look, homelessness is diminishing the quality of life and safety in our communities– and perhaps most troubling, we are leaving thousands of Californians to struggle and die on the streets. We need a new approach to homelessness that addresses the root causes of the problem: mental health and substance abuse. In the Senate, I would support:
- Conservatorships: reform the way we treat those suffering from mental health and substance abuse to make it easier for families, social workers, and law enforcement to take action when someone simply can’t act on their own accord.
- Drug courts: return to the successful drug courts model which provided the ability of judges to require those suffering from addiction to receive treatment.
- Emergency shelter: too often, local governments and state agencies have let perfection get in the way of progress. We need to build immediate, temporary emergency shelter that provides a place for the homeless to go that is safer than a tent on the sidewalk, and where social services are accessible.
- Cleaning up the streets: homeless encampments deteriorate the quality of life in our neighborhoods and create a serious public health and safety risk. After creating additional temporary shelter space, law enforcement must be able to clear homeless encampments and enforce anti-camping ordinances.
- Affordable housing: We also need to make it easier to build new affordable housing in California. The high cost of housing directly contributes to the homelessness crisis and is caused by radical environmental policies implemented by the state. In the Senate, I would champion efforts to streamline housing construction and lower the cost of building new housing units in our state.
Crime and Public Safety
California’s rising crime rates demand immediate solutions. Years of counterproductive policies have let criminals off the hook and left communities struggling. Together, we can keep our streets, neighborhoods, and communities safe. In the Senate, I would support:
- Enforcing the law: Props 47 and 57 reclassified hundreds of crimes to misdemeanors, including violent crimes such as assault, human trafficking, and robbery. I would support efforts to reclassify violent crimes as felonies to ensure prosecutors are able to secure convictions and get violent criminals off the streets.
- Upholding bail: cash bail is an important piece of our justice system and can prevent criminals from reoffending while awaiting their court proceedings. I would stand by our cash bail system in California and maintain it as a key safety mechanism to keep dangerous criminals behind bars.
- Fully funding law enforcement: the movement to “defund the police” is misguided and will only result in more crime in our communities. I strongly support fully funding law enforcement and making sure they have the resources to effectively do their job.
- Getting drugs of the streets: a drug epidemic is sweeping our communities and needs to be confronted with an all-hands-on-deck approach that removes dangerous drugs like fentanyl from the streets and hold accountable those that knowingly sell these dangerous opioids in California.
Jobs and Small Business
California is a state of entrepreneurs. Like so many other California families, I spent a large part of my life managing my family business, the Niello Auto Group. Through hard work and determination, we were able to grow our small business into a leading regional employer. Policy after policy coming out of the Capital makes it more expensive and difficult to do business. In the Senate, I would:
- Oppose AB 5: by making independent contract work nearly impossible, the legislature destroyed the ability of tens of thousands of entrepreneurs to provide for their families. I would support entrepreneurs and seek to repeal AB 5.
- Support tort reform: Regulatory schemes that expose businesses to threats of litigation cause our state to lose thousands of jobs every year. We need to make it more difficult to abuse the law and sue businesses that didn’t intentionally harm anyone.
- Reduce the tax burden: Our high corporate and payroll taxes push businesses to leave the state. We should be creating an environment where businesses are incentivized, not punished, for growing and creating new jobs.
Sacramento and Placer Counties are growing communities and we need quality infrastructure to connect households across the region to jobs and educational opportunities. We can’t attract more business if we have deteriorating roads and lack the ability to bring products in or out of the region. In the Senate, I would support:
- Building new roads and bridges: Reevaluate where we send state transportation dollars and prioritize projects that improve quality-of-life instead of boondoggles like high-speed-rail.
- Investing in water storage: for too long, we have neglected to keep up with demand for increased water capacity and are paying the price in the form of prolonged and avoidable droughts. We have shovel-ready, voter-approved, bond-funded water projects that should be immediately given the green light to build.
- Improving flood control: aging infrastructure combined with increasingly severe weather patterns have created increased risk of flooding in our region. We need flood control measures to ensure the resiliency of our agricultural industry and regional transportation network.