California

California Senate Republicans unveil legislative priorities

From crime to education to homelessness, Senate Republicans said the state is losing its citizens.

SACRAMENTO, California – No one should have to go through what Brett Boman went through.

“My wife, the mother of my children, committed suicide in 2009,” Boman said. “A few years later I lost my son who was hit and killed while crossing the street at the crosswalk.”

Depression set in, and that’s when the drinking started.

“Then one night I had an opportunity to do some meth and I started using meth and it went downhill from there,” Boman said. “I lost my job in two months, I had no place to live because I couldn’t pay rent, my kids were gone, they were taken into CPS custody.”

He was homeless for two years, and he said handouts made it easier.

“Nobody really wants to get treatment when it’s too easy to stay on the road,” Boman said. “There is too much stuff, there are too many free programs, too much free linens, free clothes, free food.”

A friend of Boman’s eventually convinced him to join the Salvation Army, which helped him resolve his mental health issues and he was able to change his life.

Boman said it’s accountability that led him to favor the California Senate’s Republican plan and why he’s standing alongside them as they outlined their legislative priorities for the 2023 session.

As for accountability, however, Governor Gavin Newsom admits there hasn’t been one for far too long. Because of this, he withheld funding from local cities until they had better plans to deal with the homeless crisis. This is why he created the nursing court system to address the mental health of the homeless population. Brett Boman said he liked the idea.

“Our state is on an unsustainable path,” said Republican Senate Chairman Brian Jones (R-San Diego). “Homelessness is getting out of hand, public safety is far from it, the cost of living in this state is too damn high. Students are falling behind and our water storage infrastructure and wildfire prevention efforts have failed in recent years.”

Lawmakers went through their list of priorities, beginning with affordability.

“We are proposing an increase in the state renter tax credit and are working to streamline housing through reform of CEQA,” Senator Janet Nguyen said.

CEQA are the environmental regulations that can delay projects by years.

They also want to fight crime.

“Violent criminals who commit horrific crimes such as human trafficking or trafficking fentanyl in our school children are not held fully accountable for their actions,” Senator Kelly Seyarto said, highlighting the seriousness of these two issues.”

What about successive mass shootings, what about fighting gun violence?

“We hope this year that we can work bipartisanly to come up with ideas, solutions and legislation that actually make a difference in these horrific shootings that we’ve been having lately,” Jones said. “We only had preliminary talks at this point.”

Jones said Republicans were trying to introduce legislation to increase penalties for those with illegal guns.

“At the end of last year’s session, possession of a ghost gun was a felony,” Jones said. “Well, we presented that in the Senate, and every single one of our Democratic colleagues voted against it.”

Here is a list of their top priorities:

  • reduce costs
  • fight crime
  • ACT Against Homelessness
  • Invest in students
  • prevent forest fires
  • build water reservoir

WATCH RELATED: A look at how California has a unique history of gun violence and control (January 2023).

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