Darkening skies over Sacramento not just from eclipse

by State Senator Jeff Stone
Friday, August 18, 2017

Also published to The Orange County Register

In ancient times, the Greeks believed a solar eclipse was a sign the Gods were angry and meant the beginning of disasters and destruction.

On Monday, August 21, for the first time in almost a century, a total solar eclipse will be visible within a band across the entire contiguous United States.

That same day the California State Legislature returns to work in Sacramento after a month-long recess.


Already this year the legislature has passed, and Governor Brown has signed, the largest spending plan in state history.

An onerous gas and car tax that will hurt the poor and working families has also been approved. In November the price you pay at the pump will jump at least 19 cents a gallon.

Another bill, AB 398, already signed, sealed and delivered this year, is nothing more than a huge tax increase on California’s working families who may now have to choose between gasoline and food. 

The list of new laws already approved this year that hurt the poor, the middle-class, small businesses, senior citizens and hard-working families is unprecedented in our state’s history.

The Senate even approved a single-payer healthcare plan with an estimated price tag of $400 billion each year -- more than double the current state budget – with no way to pay for it.

Fortunately the Assembly put that bill on hold, but it’s not dead yet.

And that was before the upcoming eclipse.

Two topics will dominate debate in the next month here in Sacramento.

Expect to hear plenty about affordable housing in California and the continued effort by Legislative Democrats to turn California into a Sanctuary State.

We all know there is an affordable housing crisis in our state. So far this year the legislature’s solution to the problem has been to increase -- that’s right, increase -- the fees a buyer must pay when purchasing a home.

In Riverside County the soft costs -- taxes, fees, etc… -- for a new home exceeds $100,000 for a modest house. That’s before the first nail is pounded into the first board.

Instead of trying to reduce those costs, look for Democrats in the Legislature to propose a multi-billion dollar bond ballot measure for affordable housing that, if passed, will increase the enormous size of the debt they are already passing on to our grandchildren.

Additionally, the Sanctuary State bill, SB 54 -- already passed by Senate Democrats on a party-line vote -- is set to be heard in the Assembly.

If it becomes law, SB 54 will protect dangerous, undocumented immigrants, who have already been convicted of serious crimes.  The law will prohibit cooperation between local and state law enforcement agencies and federal immigration authorities whose job it is to get and keep these dangerous individuals off our streets and out of our neighborhoods.

The federal government is already threating to withhold millions of dollars in funding to California cities who have declared themselves Sanctuary Cities. They will likely do the same for the entire state if this bill is passed.

Now is the time to contact your elected leaders in Sacramento to let them know you oppose the effort to make California a Sanctuary State.

Soon the skies will darken at mid-day in a once-a century event in the United States.

Perhaps when the eclipse is over, the State Legislature and Governor Brown will see the light of day when it comes to what needs to be done to make California great once again.