Championed Making California Affordable

California has become one of the most expensive places in the United States to live.

The Golden State was recently ranked the 4th most expensive state to live in by CNBC. California ranked 5th last year.

Of the more than 39 million people who call California home, four in 10 in this state live at or near the poverty line.

California’s monthly median rent is 50 percent higher than the rest of the country.

Californians have one of the highest tax burdens in the United States.

Senate Republicans are committed to making California affordable.

Earlier this year, Senate Republicans introduced practical, “first step” solutions that would  have provided California’s seniors, disabled veterans, renters, parents, students, first-time home buyers, and low-income residents with much needed financial relief.

These bills provided:

  • Property tax relief for senior and disabled veterans and senior citizens by eliminating the property tax inflation factor for these individuals. (SB 1104/Stone and SB 1126/Stone)
  • A property tax exemption for 100% disabled veterans and spouses on their primary residence to ensure that those who have given us so much have the opportunity to maintain their quality of life without the fear of losing their homes. (SB 1183/Bates)
  • A property tax exemption bill aimed at helping disabled veterans by making California law consistent with federal law so that any veterans receiving service-connected disability benefits at 100% will be eligible to receive the state’s disabled veterans’ property tax exemption on their home. (SB 1458/Bates)
  • State tax deductions for educational expenses associated with attending a public community college or four-year university, including books, school supplies and tuition. (SB 1148/Stone).
  • Relief for parents by establishing a Sale and Use Tax “Holiday” for school supplies purchased during a weekend in August, before the start of school. (SB 1210/Gaines)
  • Relief for California’s renters by increasing the Renters’ Tax Credit. (SB 1103/Cannella)
  • Medi-Cal coverage for one pair of eyeglasses every other year for Californians who fail the DMV vision test to enable Californians to get back to work and safely fulfill their job duties. (SB 1361/Nielsen)
  • Help with transportation and school expenses for CalWORKs welfare-to-work participants by simplifying the administration of these supportive services. (SB 1373/Stone)
  • A state personal income tax credit for first-time homebuyers of homes that have never previously been occupied. (SB 1149/Stone) 

Status Update: Of these bills, only SB 1458 (Bates), to create a disabled veterans property tax exemption, successfully moved through both houses of the California Legislature and was signed by the governor.  The other proposals listed above were blocked by the majority party, representing a missed opportunity to make California more affordable for millions of Californians.

Retired United States Army veteran Sevrine Banks joined Senate Republicans at the press conference to share her personal story of taking care of a family of two as a single mother.