The KHTS Sacramento road trip kept on rolling through the capital on Tuesday, offering the Santa Clarita Valley group presentations on the state of our state, from lawmakers, lobbyists and political organizations.
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Why California isn’t considered business friendly, the high speed rail proposal, health care and water were a few of the topics of discussion.
Related article: KHTS Leads Santa Clarita Valley Delegation To Sacramento
Assemblywoman Diane Harkey talked about problems associated with the high speed rail plan, which is opposed by multiple Santa Clarita Valley entities, such as Santa Clarita City Council and the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.
One of the significant conversations taking place with a great potential to affect Santa Clarita Valley residents is California’s drought situation, the discussion of a water bond and local treatment of chloride.
Danny Merkley, a fourth generation Sacramento Valley farmer who’ s also the director of water resources for the California Farm Bureau, discussed residents’ concerns about chloride and expensive treatment options being mandated at two local treatment plants.
“There needs to be some way we can come to a resolution on this,” Merkley said, noting there can be a disconnect between the technical information and and the decision makers.
He praised the work of Sam Unger, executive director for the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board
“They often have to make informed decision that they’re not trained to make,” Merkley said, “they couldn’t get out of their own way to make an unbiased decision sometimes.”
California not business friendly enough
There were several points during the KHTS Sacramento road trip where the business climate of California was mentioned, specifically how it was costing the state jobs.
“We have the highest sales tax, the highest gas tax and the highest income tax rate,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “We’re seeing a significant out migration of a number of populations.”
Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-Sunland, talked about how on a statewide level, California’s film tax credit is just not competitive enough, and needs an overhaul.
“Over the last 12 years, we’ve lost something like 10,000 jobs,” said Bocanegra, calling the TV and film industry one that’s indigenous to our state, but has also migrated to Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico.
“Our current program doesn’t work,” Bocanegra said, refuting opponents’ claims that a proposal supported by himself and Assemblyman Scott Wilk R-Santa Clarita, is more than just a handout for movie moguls like Steven Spielberg.
Covered California and the health care overhaul
“I’m not here to talk about the Affordable Care Act or debate politics,” said Dana Howard of Covered California. “What I can talk about is Covered California and how the program actually works.”
The program, “acts like a big shopping mall, that has some real stringent rules,” Howard said.
He wanted to be clear that the new state-operated exchange was not government insurance, but instead, a marketplace.
“Everything has to be called the same thing, so the consumer does know what they are getting,” Howard said.
“Covered California is trying to deliver quality affordable health care to about 5.6 million Californians we feel would probably be eligible for it,” Howard said.
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Source: Santa Clarita News