Huber Discusses Budget, Addresses Constituent Questions in EG Town Hall Meeting

With another state budget fight looming, Assembly Member Allyson Huber discussed budget process problems and addressed constituent concerns...

With another state budget fight looming, Assembly Member Allyson Huber discussed budget process problems and addressed constituent concerns during an Elk Grove town hall meeting Thursday night at Monterey Trail High School.

The meeting was part of a series of meetings the first-term Democrat held throughout the 10th Assembly District over the last several days.

Huber opened the meeting by discussing the budget and her legislative agenda since joining the assembly 18 months ago. Noting that she had not previously held elected office, Huber said her first priority was providing constituent service and seeking solutions to systemic problems.

“My job is to advocate for common sense in the legislature,” Huber said.
Huber said as a member of the oversight committee, she is pushing a bill through that that would establish a so-called sunset review committe. A sunset review would look at various boards and departments to see if they serving the need for which they were originally establish and if that need still exist.

“Long term, we have to have a check and balance on the growth of government,” Huber said.

Budget process 'frustrating'

As for the budget, Huber characterized the process at times as “frustrating” and said she does not fully support either the governor’s or the Democrat leadership’s proposed budgets. Huber said Republicans need to consider taxes and Democrats need to consider limiting the growth of government.

“We are pretty far away from having a budget,” she said.

In her exchange with audience members, Huber discussed items ranging from water issues to state pension costs.

One audience member who self-described himself as “right winger’ scolded farmers for taking a far too big share of water and complained the state does not do enough to crack down on businesses operating in the underground economy. He said the result is much-need tax revenues are not collected and legitimate business owners are put at a distinct disadvantage.

Huber agreed and said the state should do more enforcement to ensure proper collection of revenues.

Another audience member also asked Huber what her position was on November’s proposition that would overturn AB 32, the law requiring reduction of greenhouse gases, the initiative. Sponsored by Republican Assembly Member Dan Logue, the proposition would suspend the far-reaching efforts to reduce emissions until California’s unemployment reaches 5.5 percent for four quarters.

Noting the importance of helping the economy sustain its rebound and efforts said to encourage more employment, Huber said she was concerned about the affect AB32 would have on those efforts. However, Huber added she has not yet taken a position.

Huber ended the night by noting that legislators’ efforts are sometimes correctly viewed by constituents as being out of touch. Her advice to colleagues, “Stop doing the silly bills.”

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