Issues Burton Will Address In Sacramento
Without feedback, there is no growth. As your State Assemblyman, I will work to ensure your government is responsive, reflective, and accountable so that it may improve. I want to make the frustrating stories of dealing with the state a thing of the past with comprehensive reform. I will make sure information is made public, and recommendations assessed to improve government.
JOBS AND ECONOMY
With participation in the workforce at its lowest point in 4 decades, we’re adding the wrong jobs and potentially courting the wrong businesses. Government’s main job is to keep its citizens safe, not tax companies until they leave or keep them from opening in our community. I’ll fight to attract companies to the San Gabriel Valley and keep them here. Also, I’ll reduce red-tape and make most transactions businesses must conduct with the area available digitally. I will also work to create partnerships between local businesses and our local high schools to ensure that our children have quality jobs waiting for them when they graduate.
Government’s first and most important duty is public safety. Violent crime is up 5.2% across Los Angeles County and with the recent passage of Proposition 57, there will be an estimated 16,000 violent criminals being released into our communities. That’s why we need leaders who know what it takes to fight crime and keep our neighborhoods safe. As a Deputy Sheriff and Sergeant (now retired) with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, I’ve done just that, for the past 29 years.
The Revolving Door Trifecta of Crime
Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed this reform bill into law in April 2011 in an effort to lessen overcrowding in state prison. This reform removed nonviolent offenders from state prisons to county jails or placed them under county supervision rather than parole.
Our uninformed voters in California approved this measure in November 2014. This measure downgraded drug possession and some thefts from felonies to misdemeanors and allowed tens of thousands of former offenders to remove felonies from their records. This allows repeat offenders to break the law with little consequence.
Truth: This measure was masked as the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.” In fact, this measure reduces the penalties for many serious crimes like gun theft, possession of date rape drugs, and identity fraud that will lead to more crime and more criminals in our neighborhoods. This measure puts your neighborhoods at risk. Of the 3,177 offenders in state prison who would be eligible for re-sentencing under Prop 47, only 77 are first-time offenders. This Proposition provides no supervision, accountability, or treatment for addicted offenders.
It sought to accomplish three things:
- Grant a parole hearing to nonviolent felons who’ve served the full sentence for their primary offense.
- Offer sentence credit to inmates who engage in rehabilitative and educational programs.
- Allow judges to decide whether a juvenile should be tried as an adult.
Truth: Masked as the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016, and supported by two thirds of California voters, Prop 57 allows violent, convicted felons to receive parole after serving only a small portion of their sentences. This proposition is not limited just to nonviolent offenders. It will release a host of violent criminals convicted of violent crimes back into our communities without any consequences or supervision. We are all aware that our communities have experienced a steady crime increase in almost all categories. (Smash and Grab Robberies and others.)
Since the signing of AB 109 in April 2011, Prop 47 in 2014, and Prop 57 in 2016, violent crime has been on the rise in California. The residents of Los Angeles County are feeling the surge. With limited patrol resources, officers are continuing to respond from call to call and once a suspect is arrested, is released on a “No Bail” to go right back out and commit additional crimes against victims.
I will work WITH our Law Enforcement/Public Safety officials to make sure they have the laws and tools to combat this revolving door of repeat offenders. I will make sure that our District Attorneys ENFORCE the laws on the books and not their own progressive ideologies that have hurt our quality-of-life issues in our homes, communities, and businesses. It is time to put VICTIMS of crimes first! I will work to change these holes in the laws to make sure we have programs for offenders to get back on the right track and stop offending. Without these types of programs, this revolving door will keep turning these repeat offenders right back out committing more crimes and victims in their path.
I support school choice for all our children to get the best education available to them.
We must return spending and curriculum decisions to local school boards. Sacramento has no business telling us here, in the San Gabriel Valley, how to run our schools. That’s why we elect local school boards – giving parents greater access to basic decision makers. I will remain resolute in my efforts to provide parents with greater control over their children’s future.
The people of Los Angeles County are being directly and indirectly affected by the homeless crisis. According to the Los Angeles County Homeless Count, ten years ago, the homeless count was approximately 40,000 and today that number doubled to approximately 80,000. Various measures, including Measure H, have passed to help the homeless. While billions of dollars are designated to help the homeless, in the last ten years, six and a half billion dollars was designated to the homeless, and no progress was made.
We must work together with our community partners already being paid for by our Measure H funds and distribute those funds properly. We must have a positive impact on the homeless crisis in Los Angeles County, while enhancing public safety and preserving the rights and dignity of persons experiencing homelessness. We must provide consultation, advocacy, transportation, and intensive case management in order to empower individuals to develop their goals, become self-sufficient, and successfully transition to stable community living.
This approach is simple, yet effective, with local law enforcement partners, such as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) as a model, to develop a collaborative response designed to address the concerns of the community and the needs of the homeless. Resources from the Department of Public Works, Department of Veteran’s Affairs, mental health service providers, medical service providers, and public and private homeless shelters, working together to provide a long-term solution to homelessness.
NO NEW TAXES
Across California, government at all levels has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Voters across Los Angeles County just passed Measure M which would create a .5% sales tax increase that will cost taxpayers $870 million, annually, and has no sunset. On the tails of that monumental increase, the Board of Supervisors has placed yet ANOTHER tax increase – this one would cost the taxpayers an additional $355 million a year.
STOP RUNAWAY GOVERNMENT SPENDING
Stop Runaway Government Spending: The government must stop spending more than it takes in. The government must stop spending money on frivolous projects while our roads and schools continue to deteriorate. Adding another tax to our fuel is hurting our hard-working residents and is not being spent where it was promised. We already have a “road tax” in place, use it to repair our roads, not new taxes!
Our elected leaders work for us and when people work for us we expect them to provide consistent updates on their work product – the State of California is no exception. As your State Assemblyman, I will incorporate several measures to enhance transparency. At the end of the day I work for you and I want you to be satisfied that your government is being a good steward of the revenue you’ve entrusted us with.
California has one of the highest income tax rate and the highest sales tax rate. It’s no wonder we also have one of the highest unemployment rates. California is rated at number 48 out of our 50 states as the worst state to run a business. We need to fix this and get business back to California for more jobs in our communities.
We must get serious about this problem, or we’ll never solve it. The fact is, solving this problem starts by controlling our borders, first and foremost. I support fortifying the border with Mexico to protect Americans from drug and gang violence. A secure nation is every citizen’s right. We must always remember to treat everyone with compassion, but we cannot allow compassion to drive misguided policy.