SACRAMENTO - Senate Republicans offer their comments regarding Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s State of the State Address:
Senate Republican Leader Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta) - "In his State of the State Address, Governor Schwarzenegger plainly outlined the problems Californians face this year and provided some realistic solutions for getting our economy moving again," said State Senate Republican Leader Dennis Hollingsworth. "Providing a job creation package and reducing spending to get Californians back to work is what our state needs--not higher taxes."
"In the past year, our state has furloughed employees, issued IOUs as payments, and watched its credit rating drop to the lowest in the nation while unemployment rose to one of the highest. Controlling our state spending and ending the regulatory barriers that prevent job growth need to be the focus of our state elected officials in 2010. Succeeding at those tasks will revive our state economy."
Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) - "The new home buyer tax credit should be extended as Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed," Ashburn said. "It is imperative that we focus on job creation this year and this program has not only generated thousands of jobs but raised consumer confidence, and produced badly needed revenues for vital state services, as well."
Senator Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto) - "Apologies to Yogi Berra, but it’s déjà vu all over again. The state’s budget challenges once again will take center stage this year and I applaud the Governor for approaching solutions to the state’s chronic fiscal woes with the same tenacity as his first years in office.
"Ensuring more Californians receive paychecks rather than unemployment checks should be the Legislature’s top priority because it is the most effective and responsible way to climb out of this recession.
"For years, Senate Republicans have been calling for California’s fair share of federal tax dollars. Whether it’s due to the burdensome costs of housing illegal immigrant prisoners or Washington, D.C. attaching strings to state funding, California taxpayers send significantly more to the nation’s treasury than we receive in return."
"Make no mistake about it - 2010 will be a tough year but it’s our duty to act decisively and enact permanent reforms to end the state’s continued fiscal roller coaster."
Senator Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks) - "The State of California is facing a $20 billion deficit. The Governor and Legislature must focus on ways to help bring back jobs for Californians. Assembly Bill 32 must be repealed to spark jobs creation.
"While an infusion of federal dollars is helpful - and the federal government should pay for its costs of social programs and mandates - federal funding alone will not solve the state's ongoing financial woes.
"The difficult decisions must be made now. There are no easy choices. We need a real budget process this year. Every program must be examined.
"We must change what we have been accustomed to doing. The current process is clearly not working. As I implored in various correspondences with legislative leaders, each and every Senator must be accountable for the budget. This means that every member of the Senate must sit on the budget committee and a budget subcommittee.
"By forcing all lawmakers to focus on the budget and the services that are offered by the state, Senators will gain a deep level of understanding for each program and its effectiveness."
Senator Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) - "I support Governor Schwarzenegger's call to make private sector job creation and regulatory reform a priority in 2010. The only long term solution to this state’s continuing budget crisis is to create a healthy economy - one that allows for private sector jobs to grow and expand. To do that we must do everything we can to eliminate the unneeded and unnecessary regulations and hurdles that have caused California to be the most expensive place in the nation to do business. I look forward to working with the governor to bring commonsense back to California government."
Senator Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach), Republican Whip - "Jobs, jobs and more jobs. California needs jobs and today the Governor gave us a roadmap for putting Californians back to work. If we can get people back to work and get away from the notion that big government is good government there is actually a chance to turn this state around."
Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), Caucus Chair - "California is in shambles," said Senator Bob Huff. "Our unemployment rate is the highest it has ever been, and businesses are being fatally strangled by the onerous regulations being imposed on them by the state. I believe the Governor realizes the severity of the situation and I agree with his assessment that the budget is "California’s Katrina." I approve of his action to call a special session on the budget, and I commend his efforts to stem the bleeding of jobs. No longer can lawmakers sit back and simply wish more jobs into place. Instead, we must set aside our own self-serving interests and take meticulous, calculated steps to reform the way government works.
Senator Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria) - "I am glad to see that the governor has made job creation his top priority. Every aspect of his speech—from job training and tax credits, to education funding, to receiving our fair share of federal money, and helping our veterans transition to civilian life—will all stimulate job growth and economic recovery.
"We must commit ourselves as a Legislature to putting California back to work. We must ensure that the federal government pays us the money that is owed to us so we can pay our bills and federal mandates.
"I look forward to working with the governor and the Legislature on carrying out the governor’s aggressive agenda this year."
Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley) - "The Governor hit the nail on the head when he said job creation is California’s number one priority. Unfortunately, he rests too much hope on creating ‘green’ jobs, which do nothing to help the majority of employers or the unemployed. He should focus more on removing the burdensome hurdles created by government.
"The Governor must keep in mind that government does not create jobs; small business owners and entrepreneurs do."
Senator Tony Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks) - "I commend the Governor for putting jobs first. Job creation should be our number our first, second, and third priority. The legislature needs to focus on bring jobs to this state."
Senator Mark Wyland (R-Carlsbad) - "California’s number one focus must be job creation and developing incentives for businesses to stay in our state. I agree with much of the Governor’s plan to get California’s economy back on track, especially the idea of streamlining excessive regulations that are often a major cause of business relocation and job creation in other states. Further, while I support sales tax exemptions for green tech manufacturing equipment, this benefit must be applied to every business sector, as it is in virtually every other state in the nation," said Senator Wyland.
"The Governor and the Legislature must champion any legislation that reduces regulations that further hamper California’s business climate. That’s why I’ve called on the Governor and our Legislative Leaders to stop hearing all unnecessary legislation this year while we concentrate on controlling our spending and taking action to stem job losses and create more jobs in California."
Senator Sam Aanestad (R-Grass Valley) – "It was a very good speech in my opinion. He was emotional. He looked relaxed. His priorities are straight. He wants teamwork. He believes in creating jobs, jobs, jobs. He believes in cutting bureaucratic red tape for key construction projects and exempting green technology from the state sales tax. These are issues that Senate Republicans can support."