Monthly Archives: September 2012

Our State Legislature’s Priorities

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September 26  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s Food For Thought . . . Where we place our time and treasure usually reflects where we’ve placed our priorities.

Someone needs to remind our State Legislature.

During the last two weeks of session, with the frenzy of hundreds of bills moving through the process, the issue allocated the most floor time for debate in our state Senate was not about pension reform.  It was not about workers compensation reform.  It was not about regulatory or CEQA reform.  It was not about an action plan to grow jobs, strengthen our economy and help put 2 million unemployed Californians back to work. It was not about strengthening our K-12 education system, which currently defines a school year as 170 days, when numerous competitor nations set their school year at 220 days.

No, the top issue debated by our state senate in the closing days of session – based on time allocated for floor debate – was whether dogs should be used when hunting bears.

Remind me why our state legislature polls with 15 percent support from the public?

Most Senators I know are fine people, doing hard work in challenging times.  But as an institution, our Legislature is not living up to expectations.  Please focus, Sacramento. The issue is jobs and the economy, not bears and dogs.

California’s Roads Have Gone to Pot

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September 19  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . California’s roads have gone to pot.

Pot-holes, that is.

I recently crossed the California border into Arizona.

On the California side, the road conditions on our highways were deplorable . . . cracks, ruts and potholes for miles of endless miles.

On the Arizona side, from the precise moment we crossed the stateline, the highway system was perfect.  We drove hundreds of Arizona highway miles – from the California border to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Phoenix and back to California.

Just how bad are California’s roads?

  • We have 50,000 lane miles in our highway system.  More than one in four need major repair.
  • The annual need for road repairs, just for our highest priorities, exceeds $7.4 billion.  Yet we only have funds to invest $2 billion annually in improvements, leaving $5.4 billion each year unfunded.

As one of nine gubernatorial appointees to the California transportation commission, I sit meeting after meeting frustrated by how much needs to be done, and how little funding we have to do it.  There must be lessons to learn from other states.  A good place to start might be Arizona.