By Karen Brainard
State Assemblyman Brian Jones told Ramona Rotarians that, since the legislative session ended on Sept. 9, he has been in Ramona about once a week speaking “because I just love being up here.”
Jones, who represents the 77th district was the featured speaker at a recent Ramona Rotary Club meeting, held in Sizzler.
Holding up a white flag with a big red star, Jones asked Rotarians if they knew what the flag represents. Some guessed it was from Texas, the lone star state. Jones said the flag design is one that flew in California in 1836 when a group of Englishmen and American nationals rebelled against the rule of the Mexican government. They were tired of a distant and repressive government that ruled “with an iron fist,” said Jones.
For 18 months the flag flew and California was a free nation, he said.
Jones then switched to the current state government and said, “It’s time we change the politics in Sacramento.”
Serving as state assemblyman has been frustrating and disheartening, the former Santee councilman said, but added that he believes the political winds are going to change in California.
Public sector labor unions are ruling the state, he said. “They have way too much control and way too much influence in Sacramento.”
Jones said he wrote Assembly Bill 860 that prohibits corporations and labor unions from deducting money from an employee’s paycheck to be used for political purposes without the employee’s written consent. The bill was in committee and will be introduced in the next legislative session, said a spokesman for his office.
According to Jones, 2,300 bills were introduced in the state legislature this year and about 868 new laws were created. He said one Democrat legislator commented that he tries to come up with new laws every day to improve life in California.
“Folks, I wake up every day to think of 10 laws to repeal,” he told the Rotarians.
Jones said the Republicans were able to prevent $55 billion in tax increases over the next five years. When a Rotarian asked how that was accomplished, Jones said with 28 Republicans and 52 Democrats in the assembly, the Democrats are two seats shy of having a two-thirds majority, which was needed to pass such legislation.
Jones added that if the Democrats reach a two-thirds majority, “they will raise taxes.”
The good news, he said, is that the pendulum has swung so far to one direction in California, it’s time for it to start swinging back.
Jones said he moved with his family to California in 1978, when the golden state was the land of opportunity, people were buying houses and the economy was doing very well.
“In 1978, California was hopping,” said Jones. Now, he noted, many people are leaving the state.