During a recent meeting at The Signal’s offices, Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, shared what she had achieved during her first term in Sacramento and what she plans to do should she win re-election in 2022.
Valladares said that since entering office, her priorities have been focused on keeping California affordable and the cost of living down for residents — priorities she says will continue should the voters choose her once again this November.
For instance, as a member of the “Problem Solvers Caucus,” a group within the Assembly consisting of Republicans, Democrats and independents, Valladares saw last month her bill, Assembly Bill 2450, pass through the floor of the state Assembly.
AB 2450 would require the California Department of Insurance to evaluate a meaningful way to lower fire insurance costs for home and property owners in high wildfire risk areas.
Quoting former President Ronald Reagan, Valladares said her strategy to achieve success on AB 2450, as well as her other work in a Democrat-dominated state Legislature, was to understand that “there is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
Additionally, as a way to assist parents with young families, Valladares joint-authored a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom that grants access to full-day transitional kindergarten to all 4-year-olds.
Since the rise of gas prices began hurting residents at the pump earlier this year, Valladares said she was an ardent supporter of relieving some of the financial strain on commuters by suspending the state’s gas tax.
Unlike some of the national leaders of her party, Valladares said she believes climate change is real, but that California should be able to keep fuel and home energy costs down by pulling from its own wind, solar and California oil sources.
“We really need to focus on being energy-independent,” she said, adding that she believes that California has the ability to harvest its own energy resources within its own borders, whether that be through mining the state’s own natural resources or investing in nuclear power.
Another focus for her has been — and will continue to be — public safety, she said, highlighting her ongoing advocacy for legislation that would create a statewide, anonymous reporting system for students throughout the state.
While districts like the William S. Hart Union High School District already have such systems, Valladares contended that all school districts throughout California should have a state-subsidized reporting system. If a district already has a system, Valladares said the new program would be paid for by the state, thereby alleviating some of the burden from the already cash-strapped districts throughout California.
In speaking of homelessness and the housing crisis, Valladares said she continues to believe that state and local policy should be “compassionate and empathetic,” but also involve getting people living in unhealthy and dangerous public locations the care they need.
Valladares is slated to square off against Democratic challenger Pilar Schiavo during the Nov. 8 general election to represent Assembly District 40.
This article represents the first meeting held with one of the two Assembly District 40 candidates, and is part of The Signal’s ongoing 2022 General Election coverage. Schiavo has been invited to participate in a meeting with The Signal as well.