SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblyman Devon Mathis, Republican Whip, (R-Visalia) issued the following statement in response to the release of Gov. Newsom’s budget proposal:
California state budget breaks record, tops $220 billion, but we also have to remember California has a staggering number of homeless people compared with the rest of the country. The homeless population last year was almost 130,000, nearly a quarter of the national total, federal data showed. Homelessness is also a more visible part of life in California. A vast majority of its homeless people are unsheltered, living under freeways, in parks and on the street.
California depends on a reliable supply of clean water to our farms and families, but the state has allowed its infrastructure to deteriorate. While our population has grown dramatically, we have not built a new reservoir in decades. We need to make investments in our water infrastructure that increase storage, help people conserve and improve our ability to weather the next drought.
The Public Policy Institute of California found that Proposition 47 of 2014, which reclassified certain theft offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, resulted in a 9% rise in larceny and theft, primarily due to an increase in vehicle burglary. People don’t feel safe anymore. It’s time to invest in public safety, give law enforcement the resources to do their job, reform irresponsible policies and ensure safety in our neighborhoods. We need to start prioritizing victims and stop giving passes to dangerous criminals.
Despite talk of fiscal prudence, our budget is not on a sustainable path. Even a moderate economic downturn could mean disaster. Assembly Republicans want to ensure a strong and stable safety net for vulnerable Californians, improve our schools and keep our neighborhoods safe. To do that we need to spend wisely and not repeat past mistakes.