Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa) has issued the following statement in response to Governor Newsom’s State of the State address:
“I was glad to hear that the Governor has taken a page out of the Republican plan of action to address issues like the rising price of gas, homelessness, and giving parents a choice in their children’s education.
“As a parent, I believe we should focus on legislation that empowers our families to make informed decisions and allow them to exercise personal responsibility. We are always on the right path when we enable parents to make the choices that best meet the needs of their children.
“We pay the highest gas prices in the nation, thanks in part to a state tax that adds over 50-cents per gallon. My Republican colleagues and I have been calling for a gas tax suspension for over a year. The majority party voted against our efforts last year. This year, I am happy to work with the Governor to ensure struggling Californians get a well-deserved break at the pump.
“Yesterday’s speech also talked about helping our homeless population, an issue I believe must be tackled head-on. That is why I recently introduced two measures Senate Bill 1298 and 1427. In order to fully close the mental health bed and workforce deficit, SB 1298 will continuously appropriate at least $1 billion from the General Fund annually to continue building out essential county mental health bed capacity across the entire spectrum of need. SB 1427 would create two grant programs, one that helps counties establish or expand collaborative mental health and homeless courts and another that allows counties to institute re-entry services for jail inmates at risk of becoming homeless upon release. We must think outside the box and take a different approach to address our state’s homelessness problem. As a state, we have been failing our mentally ill populations for many years. It is time that we make significant ongoing investments towards getting these populations the care they need.
“More than ever, during this tumultuous time for some, we should be working to legislate in a collaborative manner, in a way that doesn’t just utilize knowledge but exercises wisdom in the process to bring harmony within our families, communities, and state. Our children deserve it.”