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Assembly speaker speaks to SCV delegation

Posted: March 17, 2014 8:13 p.m.
Updated: March 17, 2014 8:13 p.m.

SACRAMENTO -- Taking a bipartisan approach is crucial to solving the state's problems, Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) told a delegation of people from the Santa Clarita Valley Monday night.

Perez, who will be leaving office at the end of the year, said trying to forge bipartisan cooperation in a state that is overwhelmingly Democratic is one of the accomplishments of which he is most proud.

The Assembly speaker was invited by Assemblyman Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) to speak to the SCV delegation as part of its annual trip to the state capital to talk to legislators and other officials about issues affecting the local area.

"If we are ever going to be successful as a state you have to give everybody a chance to have an impact in the debate," Perez said. "We govern best as a state when everybody has a voice."

Perez spoke to the delegation only hours after Democrats elected Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) to replace him as speaker when he leaves office.

Perez, who took office in 2008, said things are quite different in the state financially than the year he was elected.

"We were tested, the state was at the moment of crisis," Perez said. "It took everybody reaching down deep."

At that time, the state had a $60 billion budget deficit. Now the state has multi-billion - dollar reserves.

Although the state is in better shape financially, Perez cautioned that those governing the state shouldn't make the same mistakes they have made in the past expecting that revenue would continue at high levels. He urged better planning for the future with the implementation of a strategy that includes a rainy day fund.

He said that legislators also must distinguish between volatile revenues such as those from capital gains and money that is more stable.

He also said that money from the temporary Prop. 30 tax increases will also go away and the state needs to plan for that.

Perez said that one of the big issues in the state this year will be water and he hopes the state will pass a bond issue to improve water infrastructure.

He also said he expected "some movement" on getting stronger incentives in the state to keep more filming in California.

The SCV Sacramento trip is put together by KHTS-1220 AM and Assemblyman Scott Wilk.



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