This week, Democrats passed a second majority-vote budget. I was not able to support it because it is balanced on revenue that may never materialize and lacks necessary reforms.
I have always been committed to working with both sides to craft a budget that reduces government spending and funds the core priorities of Californians, but this is a budget with too many "ifs".
Californians deserve better. This budget is only a temporary solution and does nothing to fix California's long-term fiscal health. To get California back on track, we needed to right-size government, create jobs, make structural reforms and prioritize public safety and education.
The Democrats' budget assumes $11.8 billion in additional revenue but still makes further cuts to higher education. The Republican's proposal assumed only $5 billion in additional revenue and closed the deficit while fully funding education and public safety and avoiding any further cuts to higher education.
For more information on the major provisions in the budget click here.
Government Reform & Reducing State Bureaucracy
The Modesto Bee recently ran the following column discussing my efforts to reform government and reduce state bureacracy:
SLY: Kristin Olsen tries to clean out some extra state bureaucracy
By Judy Sly
One of the many, many problems with our state government is its dense labyrinth of commissions, boards and bureaucracies.
It's a testament to the dysfunction of our state that powerful people from both parties have acknowledged the bloat for years and been unable to get it under control.
Please stop by one of my July events in your area!
Mariposa Community Coffee
July 7th at 6pm
Mariposa County Supervisor Chambers
5100 Bullion Street, Mariposa, CA 95338
Stanislaus County Fair
July 15th - 24th
*Assemblymember Olsen attending on July 21st, 5pm - 10pm
Calaveras Coummunity Coffee
July 26th at 6pm
Earl Scott Memorial Highway
This month, Assembly Concurrent Resolution 31, the bill I have authored to designate State Route 219 between Highway 99 and State Route 108 as the Earl Scott Memorial Highway passed the legislature. CHP Officer Earl Scott was shot and killed while making a traffic stop on Highway 99 in Stanislaus County on February 17, 2006.
Officer Earl Scott was 36 years old and had been with the CHP for five years. He came from a long line of family members who have worked in the CHP, including his father, two uncles and a cousin.
I am pleased that this resolution passed to honor his memory and remember the unspeakable sacrifice he and his family made to protect our community. I look forward to dedicate the highway in his name on a date of their choosing.
Please join me in honoring and thanking all of our public safety officers for their service to our communities.
2011 Veteran of the Year -
This month, I honored Waterford resident Josh Whitfield as the 2011 Veteran of the Year for the 25th Assembly District during a special lunch at the State Capitol.
Whitfield is from Waterford, California and served in the United States Army from 2005 to 2009 in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for valorous action in combat during a deployment to Iraq in addition to receiving the Purple Heart Decoration, Army Accommodation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal. Since his military service ended in 2009, he has returned to Waterford where he volunteers for various youth programs, advocates for veterans and directs a youth basketball league.
I could not have been more honored to present the Veteran of the Year Award for the 25th Assembly District to Josh Whitfield for his service to our great nation and the sacrifices he made on the field of battle. He served his country with great distinction and pride during his combat deployments. Josh serves as the embodiment of honor and courage that is demonstrated daily by our men and women in uniform.
July 1st = Tax Relief for Californians
On July 1st, Californians will experience some relief when the car and sales taxes drop. The Legislature raised these taxes temporarily in February 2009 in an unsuccessful attempt to solve our budget problems. The one percent increase in the sales tax and the near-doubling of the car tax will disappear as scheduled.
Including the quarter-percent income tax cut that Californians enjoyed earlier this year, the typical family will save about $1,000 in taxes annually. This is an additional $1,000 that families like yours can spend as they choose, rather than surrendering it to Sacramento to spend on bigger government.
Families will also benefit from reinstituting the full Child and Dependent Care Expenses tax credit, which will rise from $99 per filer ($188 for joint filers) to roughly $309. This is more money for families to spend on their household budgets.
In addition to helping taxpayers, the expiration of the February 2009 tax increases will boost the economy and local small businesses in particular. More people buying things will lead to more jobs and taxes being paid, providing additional revenue to support important priorities like education and public safety - without higher taxes.
VIDEO: Olsen discusses the budget
Assemblymember Olsen discusses the need to set priorities during a budget debate on the Assembly floor.