Gaines Gazette: June 1, 2018

Friday, June 1, 2018

Memorial Day Remembrance

Senator Gaines presents a Senate Certificate of Recognition to United States Air Force Chaplain, Lieutenant Colonel Gregory D. Jans for his service during the Fair Oaks Cemetery District's Memorial Day Ceremony
Senator Gaines recognizes United States Air Force Chaplain, Lieutenant Colonel Gregory D. Jans (joined by his family) for his service during the Fair Oaks Cemetery District’s Memorial Day Ceremony.

Senator Gaines presents a Senate Certificate of Recognition to Chairperson Gene Whitehouse and members of the United Auburn Indian Community Tribal Council during their Memorial Day flag raising event.
Senator Gaines presents a Senate Certificate of Recognition to Chairperson Gene Whitehouse and members of the United Auburn Indian Community Tribal Council during their Memorial Day flag raising event.

It was truly a privilege to have participated in the 20th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the Fair Oaks Cemetery District. I also participated in a flag raising ceremony at United Auburn Indian Community Tribal School in recognition of Memorial Day. Both were beautiful ceremonies and an opportunity to express our deep appreciation for all of the fallen soldiers who have given everything to protect our freedoms. To the men and women of the greatest military the world has ever seen - to those with us and those we have lost - I thank you.

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Bills Honoring Veterans

This session, I’m carrying two bills that seek to provide some relief and recognition for those who have honorably served our country.

Senate Constitutional Amendment 19 will allow honorably discharged veterans of any age to transfer their Prop. 13 base-year property tax valuation when they purchase an owner-occupied new or replacement home, making home ownership more affordable and more widely available to veterans. SCA 19 offers a well-deserved benefit to California’s veterans who risk their lives to defend our nation and safeguard our freedom. California’s sky-high property costs are a burden to veterans and their families, and this bill will provide them some relief.

Senate Bill 1357 will create a special “Veteran” license plate for the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The funds generated from the sale of these specialty license plates will continue to go to County Veterans Service Offices. Creating this veteran-designated license plate is just a small token of appreciation and recognition for the service and sacrifices made by our brave members of the military.

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Thoughts On Governor’s Revised Budget

Governor Brown recently released his revised 2018-19 state budget proposal. California taxpayers can barely make ends meet but Governor Brown says the state is sitting on an $8.8 billion budget surplus? That is $8.8 billion of the people’s money and keeping it is one step above robbery. The Governor needs to refund it before he wastes it on his grand-champion, money-wasting High Speed Rail.

This so-called surplus is simply evidence that legislative Democrats have overtaxed Californians. Taxes are driving working-class people out of the state. Taxes are driving small businesses out of the state. Taxes keep fixed-income seniors teetering on the edge of poverty. We need to send any extra funds right back to taxpayer pocketbooks. It’s their money and they overpaid, so it’s our obligation to return it.

He should have followed the 3-step Gaines’ Taxpayer Protection Plan while in office:

  • Refund all surpluses to taxpayers
  • Kill the High Speed Rail
  • Lower taxes immediately following any year with a surplus

This is Governor Brown’s last budget and thankfully so. He’s spent eight years talking about fiscal discipline and prudence while supporting new taxes, fees and spending at every turn. He’s leaving behind a legacy of poverty, massive homelessness, and if he keeps this surplus, theft.

To view the entire revised budget, visit www.ebudget.ca.gov.

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Unity In Community

Senator Gaines visits with Sacramento County Sheriff's Department SWAT Officer Jason Hernandez during the Unity in Community event.
Senator Gaines visits with Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department SWAT Officer Jason Hernandez during the Unity in Community event.

I joined Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones in kicking off the 2018 “Unity in Community” event at Orangevale Community Park. This family-friendly event was a great opportunity for the community to connect with law enforcement and it included a free barbeque lunch as well as demonstrations and displays from Sacramento County Sheriff’s K9 Unit, air operations, SWAT team and the bomb squad.

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Audit Request Of The City Of Lincoln Approved

My request to audit the City of Lincoln has been approved by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. The audit, to be conducted by the California State Auditor, will include a review of the administration of public funds and assets by the city over the past five years.

The legislature plays an important role in ensuring that our local governments are transparent and trustworthy administrators of taxpayer dollars. Recently, information has come to light showing a potential pattern of mismanagement among some at the upper levels of City government in Lincoln. By conducting this audit, important questions can be answered with regard to this local government’s proper stewardship of public funds.

Over the past several years, citizens have challenged the City of Lincoln based on skyrocketing water rates and made some disturbing findings, leading to broader concerns over failure to comply with reporting requirements under state law, and a pattern showing poor internal controls and fund management abilities.

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Celebrity Waiter Luncheon

Senator Gaines waits on tables during the 2018 Celebrity Waiter Luncheon in Lincoln.
Senator Gaines waits on tables during the 2018 Celebrity Waiter Luncheon in Lincoln.

I had so much fun serving tables at the Lighthouse Counseling & Family Resource Center’s 2018 Celebrity Waiter Luncheon in Lincoln! Proceeds go towards ensuring that Placer County residents get the services they needed to successfully navigate their life challenges. Congratulations to the Lighthouse Counseling & Family Resource Center on another great event and for making a difference in our community.

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Bills To Help Overtaxed Californians Fail In Committee

I'm disappointment that two of my bills, Senate Bills 995 and 996 that would have provided some relief to overtaxed Californians, failed in the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance.

We have the highest income tax brackets of any state, top-five gas taxes, highest corporate tax in the western states, the list goes on and on. With a surplus in the billions and sky-high taxes, it would make sense for the legislature to ease the burden on California families and businesses. Apparently that’s beyond the realm of logical thinking for my legislative Democrat colleagues.

Senate Bill 995 would have increased the standard deduction for California personal income tax filers by $1,500 for single filers and $3,000 for joint filers.

Senate Bill 996 would have lowered California’s corporate income tax from 8.84 percent to 6.84 percent. This would have dropped California from the ninth highest tax rate to the twenty-fifth highest tax rate in the country.

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Supporting Mother-Baby Friendly Workplaces

Senator Gaines presents a Senate Resolution to representatives from Intel in recognition of their family-friendly workplace policies.
Senator Gaines presents a Senate Resolution to representatives from Intel in recognition of their family-friendly workplace policies.

Each May, the California Breastfeeding Coalition recognizes businesses for their efforts to create family-friendly workplaces. The Mother-Baby Friendly Workplace Awards are given to businesses that have exemplary support for women who breastfeed. I was proud to celebrate with Intel and Panera Bread in my Senate District on their award. Keep up the great work!

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’Tis The Season For County Fairs

It’s that time of year again - county fair season! Ferris wheels are in full swing and the scent of funnel cakes and corndogs can be smelled as soon as you reach the fairground gates. Below is a list of fairs that are scheduled to take place throughout my district this summer. If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly activity, I encourage you to go out and support your local fair.

FAIR DATE LOCATION
El Dorado County Fair June 14-17 www.eldoradocountyfair.org
Shasta District Fair June 20-23 https://www.shastadistrictfair
andeventcenter.com
Placer County Fair June 21-24 www.placercountyfair.org
California Exposition & State Fair July 13-29 www.calexpo.com
Lassen County Fair July 18-22 www.lassencountyfair.org
Nevada County Fair August 8-12 www.nevadacountyfair.com
Siskiyou Golden Fair August 8-12 www.sisqfair.com
Plumas-Sierra County Fair August 8-12 www.plumas-sierracountyfair.net
Modoc District Fair August 16-19 www.modocfair.com
Gold Country Fair September 6-9 www.goldcountryfair.com
Tulelake-Butte Valley Fair September 6-9 www.tbvfair.com

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Helping Families Save For College On National 529 College Savings Plan Day

May 29th marked National 529 College Savings Plan Day and I’m proud to be carrying Senate Bill 1218, legislation that will help families save money for college by making contributions to 529 plans tax deductible in California.

The cost to send kids to college has skyrocketed over the past several decades. Students who work, receive scholarships and/or financial aid, and get help from their parents still manage to graduate with tens of thousands of dollars racked up in student loans. My hope is that by allowing the ability to deduct 529 contributions, it will increase savings and decrease the amount needed in student loans.

According to a new survey by the investment firm Edward Jones, only 29 percent of Americans even know that 529 plans are an education savings tool.

A 529 savings plan is an investment account meant for college tuition and other higher-education costs. The plans are usually sponsored by states and offer various benefits. Many states give the account owner full or partial state income tax deductions for their contributions to the state’s 529 plans. California is currently one of only nine states that do not offer a state income tax deduction or tax credit for contributions to the state’s 529 college savings plan.

Senate Bill 1218 will make contributions to 529 plans of up to $3,000 per individual filer and $6,000 per joint filers tax deductible each year in California.

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Don’t Forget To Vote June 5

Senator Gaines joins Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and Citrus Heights Police Chief Ron Lawrence at the “Cast Your Vote#8221; event to educate the public on the new Sacramento County voting process this election.
Senator Gaines joins Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and Citrus Heights Police Chief Ron Lawrence at the “Cast Your Vote” event to educate the public on the new Sacramento County voting process this election.

On Tuesday, June 5th, Californians will again have the opportunity to make their voices heard. I encourage every eligible Californian to participate in this election for the health and future of our democracy. Visit your nearest polling station before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day to make your vote count!

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