Outcome of Whitman Meeting: Reeps Push Regulatory Relief; and, Do Your Civic Duty and Join the Reapportionment Commission BY: Phil Vermeulen, Legislative Advocate In this Update • Phil Meets Meg • Reeps Push Jobs and Regulatory Reform • File to Become an Appointee On Reapportionment Commission
Phil Meets Meg Whitman As I reported I would last week, I met Republican candidate for Governor, Meg Whitman over cocktails this past evening. As expected, she was bright, full of promise(s), articulate and......perky! She stressed that unlike Arnold; she's run major businesses and knows how to deal with employees. In terms of specifics differences: • • • •
Schwarzenegger never ran a large organization and didn’t recognize the importance of personally reviewing the 3,000 to 4,000 appointments the governor makes. Schwarzenegger did not put the right people in charge of the state’s 395 boards and commissions, which have a strong regulatory impact on the state’s business, Whitman says The outgoing governor wasn’t sufficiently “clear eyed” about setting realistic priorities, she says. All four of the proposition votes he supported in 2005 lost. A governor must be willing to use the line-item veto, she says. Being governor is a bad job for people who need to be liked!
She also said that to get the job done right, she is only going to focus on 3 major issues if she is elected:
1). Jobs "My number one goal is to create at least two million private-sector jobs by 2015. We have the entrepreneurs, the universities, the innovation and the workforce to make it happen, but Californians need a government that doesn’t stand in the way of success. As Governor, I will: • Cut taxes to give businesses the incentive to invest, expand and hire more workers in California • Streamline regulations and modify workplace rules to ensure California is more competitive than other states • Build a world-class infrastructure to meet the water, energy and transportation demands of a 21st century California • Reduce the cost of energy, create a reliable transmission system and make our state more energy independent"
2). Cut Spending "California politicians need a new attitude when it comes to government spending. The cost of California government has grown an amazing 80 percent over the past ten years, but is government serving the people 80 percent better? Are California’s schools and roads 80 percent
better than they were a decade ago? For 30 years in business, I was held accountable to meet the bottom line. Attitude adjustments are not easy, but as Governor I will publicize performance goals and results and use the power of the veto pen to reduce the size of government. As Governor, I will put state government on a responsible spending regime. California taxpayers deserve no less, and we want to give you confidence that state government is giving you the best results for your investment. As Governor, I will: • Set meaningful and realistic performance goals • Establish a commission that reports directly to me to review the relevancy of departments and regulations • Reform generous state-worker benefit programs including pensions • Reduce the state workforce by 40,000 positions, down to the same employment levels that comfortably operated our state in 2004 • Sell surplus state property or leverage it as an asset like any business would • Use the authority of line-item veto and the veto pen to reduce and control the size of government and burdensome regulations "
3). Reform Education "For years, California politicians have talked about building better schools. Few improvements have come despite billions of additional spending. Enough talk, we need action. We will lead the charge to put more control in the hands of local educators and parents. We will put more dollars directly into the classroom instead of costly bureaucrats. If a school fails to improve after three years, under my plan it will automatically convert to a charter school. It’s time California schools make the grade. The future of our state depends on it. As Governor, I will: • Grade each school A to F so parents can go online and easily determine how well their schools are doing • Give parents the ability to move their children out of failing schools • Insist on a vibrant testing program to measure student performance • Reward outstanding teachers and those in the key areas of math and science • Remove the state’s cap on the number of charter schools" I do like her spunk and enthusiasm, and I certainly don't want to take the wind out of her sails. However, she's talking as if she's Rambo who will be taking on "Big, Bad, Sacramento when the fact remains that IF she were able to become elected she would still have to deal with large Democrat majorities in both houses of the Legislature who are controlled by the public worker unions. So, while her promises are all well and good, the fact remains about how much she really could accomplish? Certainly, if one were to read the tea leaves you could say that if a Republican can win Teddy Kennedy's Senate seat ANYTHING can happen. And I sure don't want to sound like a naysayer! Stay tuned as the campaign unfolds further. Also, stay tuned for what Jerry Brown has to say as well! I had cocktails with he and his wife a while back and he stressed to me that he has grown and changed a lot since his last stint as governor. He will certainly have a lot to say to me as his campaign unfolds.
Of course, having worked "the halls" for 37 years my true thought is, who in their right friggin mind would want the job in the first place? So too, I'd vote for Bozo the Clown if I thought that he'd get the job done!
GOP legislators aim to cut red tape, lawsuits to boost California job growth The Sacramento Bee reported today that California legislative Republicans said Wednesday they'll be rolling out their own bills over the next several weeks to try to spur private-sector job growth by cutting regulations on businesses and trying to reduce lawsuits. I have personally been working with them on this package and will do everything I can to help get the package through their biggest hurdle - the Democratic majority in both houses. Members of the minority party gathered on the Capitol steps with Senate GOP leader Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murietta, who said Republicans will introduce some new bills and revive others they've tried "for years and for years" to get approved. "The answer isn't more government," Hollingsworth said, "and it isn't more government spending and it certainly isn't more taxes and more regulations on California's businesses and workers." Hollingsworth said the GOP will focus on pushing reforms aimed at "invigorating our smallbusiness climate" by getting rid of a "morass of bureaucratic red tape" and "frivolous lawsuits that hold up construction projects and expansion of businesses." The GOP gathering came a day after Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, unveiled Democratic ideas for job creation that include directing various existing government funds into "green job" growth in renewable energy and to link student technical training to new jobs. Steinberg also said he wants legislators to try to spur employment by swiftly authorizing the spending of various federal pools of money and state bonds for school construction and other works. Hollingsworth said the GOP could work well with Democrats on one additional Democratic idea they liked: a bill to set up "one-stop" permitting with the cooperation of California environmental officials so entrepreneurs can more quickly obtain permits they need to start an enterprise. State Assembly GOP leader Martin Garrick said free-market jobs should be a priority, not jobs created by government spending. Garrick said he plans to introduce a proposal to require a "third party," such as the legislative analyst's office, to analyze bills and gauge what job losses they might cause if enacted. Garrick said he also will propose an obligatory ratification of any bill containing new regulations once that bill is put on paper in its final form. The intent would be to make sure that the final language doesn't impose more regulations than originally advertised. Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, who was also at the event, said he has introduced a bill to require the state auditor to review existing regulations and recommend eliminating those that are too costly and unnecessary. The bill would also require that regulations sunset after 10 years unless they are declared necessary.
Another Dutton bill, he said, would require the legislative analyst's office to review regulations imposed by the California Air Resources Board that cost $10 million or more. The purpose of the review would be to judge a regulation's impact on employment and whether it would cause job losses. Want to Help Draw The Re-Districting Lines For California's Legislature That Will Last For the Next 10 Years? If you read only a few things that I write you'll know that my biggest frustration with the legislative process is the fact that there are NO competitive legislative districts in California. That means that either, for the most part, far left or far right legislators are elected to most districts in California. Now is YOUR chance to help change all of this by agreeing to "toss your hat into the ring" to be appointed to California's first re-districting commission. Following is more information, but first, here's the website to learn everything about it and to also sign up online. If you decide to try out, please let me know. Good luck! The website can be found at: http://www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov/press.html Here's more info: Â Every 10 years, after the federal census, California must redraw the boundaries of its Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts, to reflect the new population data. In the past, those boundary lines were drawn by members of the California Legislature; now they will be drawn by a new Citizens Redistricting Commission. California voters authorized the creation of this commission when they passed the Voters FIRST Act (Proposition 11) on the November 2008 general election ballot. The commission will have 14 members; five members who are Democrats, five members who are Republicans, and four members who are neither Democrats nor Republicans. The act designated the California State Auditor to initiate an application process for selecting the members of the commission. The application process will be open to every registered California voter who will have been continuously registered in California with the same political party, or with no political party, for the five years immediately prior to being appointed to the commission; and who has voted in at least two of the last three statewide general elections. Other requirements for membership are spelled out in the act and are clarified in the regulations being developed by the California State Auditor. Once selected, the Commission will draw the new districts in conformity with strict, nonpartisan rules designed to create districts of reasonably equal population that will provide fair representation for all Californians. The commission must also consider the Voting Rights Act, current geographic boundaries, and other criteria when drawing the new lines and the new district lines must not be drawn to favor any particular political party or incumbent elected official. The creation of the Citizens Redistricting Commission will be an exciting new experiment in direct democracy that encourages participation by all registered voters in California. The process for selecting the members of the commission and the redistricting process itself, will be open to public participation by all citizens. Applications for the Commission will be available online December 15, 2009 through February 12, 2010. The final Commission members will be selected from the pool of applicants. The California State Auditor encourages everyone interested in serving on the commission to apply.