“Today, Gov. Schwarzenegger stated the first priority for the coming year is the economy and jobs. The strength of our economy is based on job growth, and I believe our first, second and third priorities should be getting Californians back to work. This is the way we will lead California out of its financial mess.
“The governor is also right that we need to stop throwing sand in the gears of job creation. We must promote and sustain an environment that encourages businesses to succeed and grow. We can and should provide tax relief for California businesses and remove the regulatory chains which stifle our state’s economy.
“We need focus in Sacramento. The focus of every legislator should be job creation. A California with 12.3 percent unemployment and an 81 percent increase in small-business bankruptcies should be unacceptable to every elected official.
“I urge my fellow legislators to join me in properly prioritizing California’s budget. I look forward to working with both Democrats and Republicans to root out waste, fraud and abuse in our system, and I remain committed to fundamental, structural reforms that will not only lead us out of a perpetual budget deficit but create a new system designed to avoid the mistakes which have led us to where we are.”
— Matt Guthrie is a communications director for Sen. Tony Strickland, who represents California Senate District 19.