Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) will be hosting his first live virtual town hall on Wednesday afternoon.
From the State Capitol in Sacramento, Stern will answer constituents’ questions about the $183 billion state budget, which Stern said is “relatively conservative.”
“Part of my job is to tell constituents where tax payer dollars are going,” Stern said to The Signal on Tuesday.
Stern said he welcomes input because he wants to represent the community well and wants to know if the 27th Senate District wants the state to spend or save more.
“People can holler at me for not spending their dollars wisely,” Stern said. “What approach do the people who live in my district want to see us taking?”
The senator anticipates people will ask questions about water infrastructure, education, public safety, mental health and roads, among other subjects.
The budget must be in print for 72 hours before it is finalized and will therefore be approved by midnight on Thursday, Stern cited.
Governor Brown’s proposed budget is different than it was in January when it was first proposed, according to Stern, because the economy is booming. Since then, there has been several billion dollars in stock market growth, he said.
“Our economy is doing really well right now,” Stern said.
If this type of town hall works, Stern said he’ll look to do more online in the future.
“We’re trying to see if we can open up government,” he said. “Folks are trying to live their lives and this is most convenient.”
This sentiment was evident in Stern’s Senate Bill 683, which sought budget transparency, though the bill was killed on the Senate floor.
Senator Stern’s town hall will be live on his Facebook page at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14.
To submit a question in advance of the town hall, visit sd27.senate.ca.gov/askhenry.
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