Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, joined other Republican leaders for a press conference Thursday morning in Sacramento with the aim to hold Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration accountable for spending taxpayer money on what they’re calling “failed and defective programs.”
The press conference was led by Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher, R-Yuba City. He and others spoke about tax dollars spent on the state’s homelessness problem, wildfire prevention, fraudulent unemployment claims and, according to Valladares, a child abuse central index that an audit found was missing almost half of all reported child abuse cases.
“Omitting 22,000 people from a database puts infants, babies and children at risk of physical or mental trauma, and even life or death,” Valladares said.
The 20-minute conference, called “Assembly Republicans — Where Did the Money Go?” is available for viewing on the California Assembly Republicans YouTube channel.
Gallagher spoke of $17 million that the state spent on homelessness in the past three years, but he asked why, then, California saw a 7% increase in homelessness between 2019 and 2020.
Assemblyman Devon Mathis, R-Porterville, questioned monies intended to protect California residents from wildfires and whether those funds will be available for the upcoming fire season that runs through the summer months, the fall and into the beginning of winter, adding that the Newsom administration needs to be “clear and transparent.”
And Assemblyman Steven Choi, R-Orange County, called on the Newsom administration to address what Choi said was a failure that occurred when the Employment Development Department paid $20 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims.
Gallagher said he and other Republicans want to make sure that the money Californians are paying in taxes is going toward what they think it’s for. Valladares said she and others demand immediate action from the Newsom administration.
According to Bryan Shroyer, Valladares’ chief of staff, the office had not heard a response from Newsom to the press conference as of Thursday afternoon. Newsom’s office did not return messages seeking a response for this story.