Sen. Moorlach Responds to Governor’s ‘State of the State’

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Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) whose district covers Newport Beach (seen here speaking at a local Rotary Club meeting in August), issued a statement on Wednesday after the governor’s 2020 State of the State address.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

State Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), whose 37th Senate district covers Newport Beach, issued a statement on Wednesday after California Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered his 2020 State of the State address to a joint session of the California Legislature.

“I want to commend Gov. Newsom for spending so much of his State of the State address on California’s homelessness crisis,” Moorlach said in a prepared statement. “He brought up several reforms I am working on with my colleagues, both Republican and Democrat.”

Moorlach mentioned reforming the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS Act), and the related Senate Bill 640, which he authored.

“[Newsom] correctly said we need to protect civil liberties while bringing help to those who cannot help themselves,” Moorlach said.

In January, Moorlach published a short history of the LPS Act and recommended Newsom contact Dr. Drew Pinsky, a well-known psychiatrist who has been working on this issue for decades.

The senator also mentioned revisiting Senate Bill 50, by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Moorlach co-authored, which encourages high-density housing construction near job centers.

Another issue Newsom brought up in his speech that Moorlach is working on involved making it easier to construct homes through reducing and reforming regulations, such as the California Environmental Quality Act.

He also listed reforming Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act. In 2018, Moorlach co-authored Senate Bill 1206 with then-Senate Majority Leader Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) to put Prop 2 on the ballot.

“It provided $2 billion in funding for housing mentally ill homeless people, without raising taxes,” Moorlach explained. “Voters passed it with a greater margin than any measure that election.”

The Governor mainly addressed homelessness, mental health and housing, Moorlach pointed out, he did not discuss high-speed rail, hardening utility overhead electric lines, hiring independent contractors and hemorrhaging unfunded liabilities.

Although he appreciated Newsom’s comments on homelessness, they don’t agree on everything, Moorlach added in his message.

“Such as his contention that the state’s ‘wall of debt’ disappeared,” Moorlach said. “In fact, now that government balance sheets are required to include retiree medical and Other Post-Employment Benefits, the amount of unfunded liabilities has soared to more than $1 trillion statewide.”

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