Betty Arenson | Be Careful Who You Vote for

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary

The one thing everyone seems to agree on is that whom we vote for to occupy a seat in our government, on every level, is important. For California’s 25th Congressional District race, the candidates are Christy Smith, who has occupied a state Assembly seat for 21 months, and Mike Garcia, who has been the sitting congressman for three-plus months. 

Here’s some of Christy Smith’s voting record.

Smith voted FOR the following in 2019:

Senate Bill 78 (Assembly vote 57-14), mandated purchase of health insurance with financial penalty to taxpayers for non-compliance.

Assembly Bill 414, requires each person and dependent to “maintain minimum essential coverage.” Non-compliance begets a financial penalty and requires the Franchise Tax Board to report to the Legislature on specified information regarding a list of specified data. 

AB 1162, “prohibits single-use plastics for personal care products at lodging establishments.” Considering the state of the state, this was a priority? 

AB 979, “requires corporations to have directors from under-represented groups,” i.e., orders to not choose the best candidate for the position but one who fits the PC form’s check-boxes. Depending on the size of the board, the mandate could be 50%. Noncompliance triggers a fine by the Secretary of State.

SB 1 (Assembly passed 48-22), rescinds federal freeze on environmental regulations. No doubt, the “greens” and all attendant environmental groups love this.

SB 61 (Assembly passed 55-22), prohibits purchasing more than one gun per month. 

AB 1669, increases firearm purchase fees.

AB 1282 (Assembly passed 61-16), prohibits prisons from working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement contractors.

AB 4, authorizes Medi-Cal benefits to undocumented immigrants.

 AB 32, prohibits prisons and ICE detention centers.

AB 163, requires state oversight of unaccompanied minors.

AB 101, prohibits citizens’ right to appeal the building of homeless navigation centers. (Chapter 159 (1): “…to increase the supply of transitional housing available to persons previously incarcerated for felony and misdemeanor convictions and funded with moneys appropriated for that purpose in the annual Budget Act or other measure…)” This is only one part of the usual wordy verbiage. Homeowners should have every opportunity to “appeal” any decision they see negatively affecting their neighborhoods.

AB 3121, establishes a task force for reparations to African Americans. By its title, it’s a hot potato. What about other ethnic groups that have been enslaved? Where do the reparations stop? There will be a huge “research” cost with a task force for extensively searching old records and studying who needs to pay the reparations and who should get them. The efforts of research and reporting will involve the Regents of the University of California to assemble. You need to read the text of this bill. 

AB 1850, amends worker classification for self-employed individuals.

AB 5, worker status: employees and independent contractors. This law is so bad, about three dozen Band-Aid bills were introduced to stop the bleeding. It robs people of their rights to choose when they want or are able to work. Smith recently stated AB 5 did not harm any California jobs. Incredible!

Christy Smith did NOT cast a vote (although present: no commitment) on:

AB 134, establishes safe drinking fund.

AB 1593, authorizes certain tax breaks for undocumented immigrants. How about tax breaks for hard-working taxpayers?

SB 145 (Assembly passed 41-25), exempts certain persons convicted of certain offenses involving minors from mandatory sex registration. (The text reads like a sex-ed class.) 

AB 2147 (Assembly passed 51-12), authorizes certain defendants who participate in the California Conservation Camp program to file petitions for relief. Bill title: “Convictions: expungement: incarcerated individual hand crews.” 

AB 1253, increases income taxes for people who earn more than $1 million per year. Taxpayers need to know where their elected representatives fall on taxation.

AB 1950, limits lengths of probation terms. Considering crime rates and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “open the jails,” we should know our elected officials’ stances on topics like this.

AB 2570, establishes the false claims act. People need to be accountable for making false statements on documents, especially for personal or monetary gains.

AB 51, prohibits forced employment arbitration agreements. Another dark moment for employers’ choice.

AB 3216, expands medical leave protections for workers during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020). The bill requires (defined) “employees” who have left the job for up to 12 months to be considered priority rehires by the (defined) “employer.”

Smith recently said a fence-riding no-vote-recorded (NVR) is the same as a “no” vote. Then why didn’t she take a stand? Imagine the aforementioned with her “no” vote.

Christy Smith sponsored/co-sponsored: 

AB 1505, establishes public oversight of charter schools, i.e., drive much-wanted charter schools out of business. 

SB 223, authorizes medical cannabis on K-12 campuses. Inviting more drugs on campus. The 18-year-old can show his/her “legitimate” physician authorization and use.

By contrast (a sampling) Mike Garcia in two months at the federal level:

Co-sponsored the JUSTICE ACT.

Co-signed a letter reaffirming America’s support for Israel.

Introduced an amendment to extend the WIIN ACT providing federal support for California’s water infrastructure.

Helped hundreds of constituents in the 25th with backlogged cases as we had no representation with a vacant seat for over six months.

Supported full military funding in the National Defense Authorization Act.

Sponsored an amendment to fund a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration program for early detection of wildfires.

Was appointed to the House Committee of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Was appointed to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. 

Betty Arenson is a Santa Clarita resident. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.

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