SACRAMENTO — State Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Riverside County, wasted no time in responding to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s State of the State Address on Tuesday morning, to say he was disappointed.

Stone

Sen. Jeff Stone (Photo courtesy of Jeff Stone)

“The Governor certainly laid out a lot of broad and ambitious goals.  Like his campaign, his first major policy speech promised something to everybody,” Stone said in a prepared release. “The general tone of the speech was disappointing. It seemed the Governor was more interested in picking a public fight with President Trump than addressing the needs of working California citizens.  We need to remember that California receives a billion dollars of federal funds every single day of the year.”

Stone went to say, “To call the President’s actions to curtail illegal immigration ‘political theater’ is an insult to the millions of legal immigrants who came into this country legally and work hard every day to make California a better place.

“With respect to High Speed Rail, the Governor tried to have it both ways — he admitted it has been a failure, but he committed to keep spending billions on the failed project by changing the project to just a Central Valley commuter train from Merced to Bakersfield.  That’s not what people were promised, and the project should be killed outright.”

On a positive note, Stone said, “I was encouraged to hear about the Governor’s commitment to embark on a reform of the California Environmental Quality Act that has made it too difficult and too costly to build an adequate supply of affordable homes in the state.  I look forward to working with him to bring common sense changes to an outdated CEQA law that benefits the wealthy coastal elites at the expense of Inland Valley working people struggling to make ends meet.

“With respect to water policy, the Governor again tried to straddle the middle.  He came out against the ‘Water Fix’ plan involving two tunnels connecting the Delta to Southern California,  but he supports a single tunnel solution.  He needs to pick a side and either support a safe and reliable water supply that won’t require massive tax increases or decide to cave into environmentalist interest groups and pro-tax radical liberals who want to increase water rates on every Californian.”

The Governor certainly laid out a bold and expensive plan, Stone said.

“He pointed to billions of dollars of additional spending on small, large and gigantic programs. What he didn’t point out is that his spending will require billions of dollars of new and regressive taxes on the people he rightly identified as being priced out of the California dream our Governor pledged to protect and preserve.

“Simply put, the Governor’s policy agenda for California will mean more taxes for people who already can’t afford to live here. It will be an interesting balancing act to see how the Governor is able to satisfy the special interests he clearly made promises to when he ran for Governor without obviously penalizing the hard-working Californians who just want a safe place to live, work and raise their families.”

Stone represents California’s 28th Senate District. The district, which is entirely in Riverside County, stretches from the vineyards of the Temecula Valley to the Colorado River and includes the cities of Blythe, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Murrieta, Temecula, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and Wildomar.