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State should focus on roads instead of creating retirement plans
September 28, 2016
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León’s Senate Bill 1234 – or the Secure Choice Act – is a noble effort to impose a defined contribution plan into your budget, but it is neither “secure” nor a “choice.”
NEW Op-Ed: Misplaced Priorities in State Capitol
September 18, 2016
Instead of passing feel-good legislation with little impact, like SB32, the Legislature needs to focus on the issues we can fix — issues like paying down debt, putting more money away in our state’s Rainy Day Fund and prioritizing practical transportation needs over a costly high-speed rail project and a severely mismanaged Caltrans.
The Desensitization of Debt -- An Accountant's Analysis of Propositions 51 & 53
August 30, 2016
In the 2016 June Primary, 81 percent of local tax and bond measures were passed by the California electorate. That, of course, would seem to make a pretty significant statement about the mood of these voters have in regards to incurring future debt and establishing additional local taxes. This November, they will have two chances to reassert fiscal prudence and make a significant statement about long-term debt.
7-Step Fix for 'Mismanaged' Caltrans
August 15, 2016
It has chosen to pay $500 million per year for unnecessary Caltrans staffing over making Caltrans the best department of transportation in the nation. There’s no question that Caltrans is bloated and mismanaged and is not held accountable. But what to do with a mismanaged Caltrans?
Addressing O.C. mental health crisis
July 31, 2016
Also published at The Orange County Register As a business major, and then a practicing C.P.A., I never imagined that I would spend much of my time in public office focusing on the mental health crisis we are facing in the U.S. The importance of addressing mental illness hit me front and center...
Resist the "Pothole Tax"
June 3, 2016
Last week, Will Kempton, Executive Director of Transportation California and former Director of Caltrans published a response to Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, in a Fox & Hounds piece stating that, “…in spite of all the recent audits and criticism, the organization [Caltrans] employs competent people who want to serve the public well.” In the same piece he highlighted the need to address California’s transportation funding crisis and provided one solution: Raise your taxes even higher.
Pensions drowning California and its cities
January 25, 2016
As the result of years of discussions over how best to account for the growing unfunded liabilities owed by government pensions systems, municipalities for the first time ever must include the unfunded actuarial accrued liability of their defined-benefit pension plans in their annual financial reports.
Governor's Budget: Early Battle Lines on Taxes
January 8, 2016
Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown released his 2016-17 budget proposal to the legislature, and in that budget he anticipates approximately $7.6 billion in new spending over the previous year’s approved budget. The fact that we have increased revenues to the state should be good news for California taxpayers, as the additional funds should take away any pressure to raise taxes. But, that’s not how Sacramento logic works.
6 Key Measures of California's Fiscal Health
January 7, 2016
1. California's Net Financial Position CA’s “net” financial position is a $117 billion deficit, ($3,014 per person) according to the most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) . This figure should be positive for healthy organizations. It’s derived by tallying the state government’s...
2016 Legislative Priorities Town Hall Presentation
December 1, 2015
On December 1, 2015, my staff and I gave a first look at my priorities for the 2016 legislative session in Sacramento.
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