It’s been a busy year on the legislative front and since session has ended I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time out in the First Senate District meeting with my constituents.
I’ve encountered many wonderful people and have received great comments, suggestions and feedback from citizens with concerns about our state. I look forward to following up on some of the ideas that were generated and continuing the dialogue on how we can make California a better place to live, work and raise our families.
The holidays are upon us and I wanted to take the time to wish you and your families a safe and joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year!
2017 is going to be an exciting year and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that await us. I will continue to keep you updated on important developments and the latest news taking place here at the Capitol.
It is an honor to serve you in the Senate.
Last legislative session I took dead aim at tax-crazy California with a group of bills that would have made it easier for California families to keep more of the money they earn. I wanted to increase the dependent tax credit, increase the standard deduction, and also create a “tax-free weekend” to give parents just a little help buying all the clothes, books, computers and backpacks their kids need to succeed in school.
I knew that the dependent credit and standard exemption faced uphill battles, but I can’t believe that legislators in Sacramento wouldn’t sign off on the pro-child, pro-education, pro-family tax holiday. Incredibly, even the California Teachers Association opposed the bill! It’s a good reminder that government and groups that depend on it put collecting more tax dollars above everything else.
I’ll be back this session with some ideas to help families and businesses thrive by lowering their taxes and making government fairer by holding it accountable for its mistakes.
I’ll also be fighting for our veterans, many of whom are being financially victimized by the federal government, and I have an idea for how to help our dramatically underfunded pension system. Stay tuned for updates on all of this legislation as it moves ahead.
And please remember, I am open to legislative ideas, thoughts and suggestions and I encourage you to email them to me for consideration at email@example.com. Let me hear from you!
Senator Gaines speaks at the memorial service of Modoc Sheriff’s Deputy Jack Hopkins in Modoc County.
On October 19, Sheriff’s Deputy Jack Hopkins of Modoc County responded to a disturbance call and was shot and killed in the line of duty. He was only 31 years old and was truly a hero. I am praying for his family and friends and his law enforcement brothers and sisters in this time of loss.
I have an immense amount of respect for the job the men and women of law enforcement do. They deserve our deepest thanks for risking their lives to protect us. It sickens me and saddens me that we’ve lost six law enforcement officers in California in the past five months. Public safety is the first and highest obligation of government. We need safe schools, safe businesses, safe neighborhoods, to grow our economy and raise our families.
California is moving in the wrong direction and is getting softer and softer on crime. First it was Assembly Bill 109, then Proposition 47 and now Proposition 57. If you add all those together, you get more predators out on the street making victims out of you and me and our neighbors. This will have terrible consequences for the state, and crime is already shooting up in California. I believe in rehabilitation, but not at the expense of public safety. We need a culture that respects the law and law enforcement, or we are going to see more crime and more senseless deaths. I’ll do everything I can to be tough on crime and keep our state safe.
Last month, I called on the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) to create a special task force to aid California National Guard veterans who may need to file amended tax returns resulting from the resolution of the recent bonus scandal and am pleased to hear they are moving forward. I want these veterans to have FTB staff specifically dedicated to their plight so they are not mired in bureaucracy when trying to resolve their tax status. I appreciate the FTB working with these service men and women to ensure our veterans are being honored for their service and not suffering from this betrayal at the hands of the Pentagon.
The FTB reports that they have reached out to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requesting information on the IRS interpretation of the federal tax consequences of the bonus repayment and are awaiting a response.
The FTB is also awaiting the final decision from the Department of Defense regarding the repayment of bonuses. Once the appropriate information is received, the FTB will take action to notify taxpayers and tax professionals of the appropriate tax treatment.
Senator Gaines and Assemblywoman Gaines hand out 200 Thanksgiving turkeys to area nonprofits, including Twin Lakes Food Bank in Folsom.
’Tis the season for giving, and what better way to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday than by giving turkeys to those in need. I was proud to partner with Golden State Water Company for the 26th annual “Operation Gobble” program ― an event that provided 200 fresh Thanksgiving turkeys to local non-profits in the Sacramento area. I’m so proud to be associated with this event that delivered a Thanksgiving meal to local families who may have otherwise gone without.
The Legislative Analyst’s Office recently released the state’s fiscal outlook for 2017-18, which highlighted an increased level of uncertainty and volatility for our state’s economic future.
This doesn’t come as a surprise. Earlier this year, Governor Brown and the Department of Finance warned that another recession is inevitable and should be planned for. This report is just further evidence that we must get government spending under control. We should be dedicating our resources to paying down debt and liabilities and further increasing the rainy day fund. Our budget picture can change dramatically in just one year, proving that California needs to be a model of prudent, careful spending.
The Legislative Analyst’s Office fiscal outlook for 2017-18 can be found here: http://www.lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/3507/1
Signage for the Richard “Dick” Dickerson Memorial Highway is unveiled in Redding.
I was pleased to support legislation to name a section of Highway 44 in Redding in memory of Richard “Dick” Dickerson, who served as a member of the California State Assembly from 1998-2002. Dickerson died in Redding on September 29, 2014, after several months of illness. Deeply involved in his community, Dick served on the Board of Directors of the Shasta County Youth Violence Prevention Council and twice served as Chair of the United Way Campaign. He was past president of the Shasta County Peace Officers Association, Redding Rodeo Association Board of Directors and the Emergency Services Foundation. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. Dick was an able legislator and a thoughtful man. It is right that his memory is honored in the City he called home.
Senator Gaines celebrates the winners of the 2016 Blue Ribbon Awards in South Lake Tahoe.
The Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce held their 2016 Blue Ribbon Awards ceremony last month, where businesses and individuals were nominated and seven winners were selected in different categories including customer service, public agency service, green business, entrepreneurism, experience, geotourism and tourism. Congratulations to all the deserving winners listed below. I was able to present Senate Certificates of Recognition to all of the businesses that are making significant contributions to the South Shore economy. Keep up the great work!
- Customer Service Award – Tommy Walker
- Public Agency Service Award – Jody Filgo
- Wendell Award for a Green Business – Tahoe Mountain Lab
- Entrepreneur Award – Debbie Brown, Cold Water Brewery & Grill
- Experience Award – Alpine Sierra Tours
- Geotourism Award – Taylor Creek Visitor Center
- Tourism Award – The Loft
Senator Gaines congratulates Kyle Murchison, a correctional officer at the time and now a deputy sheriff trainee, who was recognized for his efforts in saving an inmate’s life.
I had the honor of recognizing local law enforcement officers at the annual Placer Law Enforcement Agencies (PLEA) awards ceremony. PLEA is a group comprised of the leaders of all law enforcement agencies in Placer County. Each year, PLEA recognizes some of the meritorious actions taken by the men and women who serve in law enforcement in Placer County. Congratulations to all of the recipients!