As California’s chief financial officer and independent fiscal watchdog, Betty maintains the highest standards of professionalism and ethics in the Controller’s office relating to the management and oversight of the State’s finances. Often speaking of her office as one that minds the store for our Golden State, Betty will continue seeking ways to improve operational efficiency and excellence. Paramount to Betty’s service and leadership as Controller is maintaining fiscal and financial integrity and accountability.
Additionally, Betty is keenly aware that as a prominent global economy, California is home to high rates of poverty, including that for children. The economy in our Golden State, even experiencing the longest recovery after any recent downturn and leading the nation in job creation, still leaves many communities behind. We can build a more robust economy by recognizing the social and technological changes that are affecting the nature of work and jobs and ensuring the economic opportunities of the future include those for women, young adults, and our underserved communities including rural communities and communities of color. As Controller, Betty will do her part to build a working economy that is centered on social equity and sustainability. This includes:
Developing a fair tax structure that works to facilitate sound fiscal management and support job creation through economic development and sustained economic growth.
Recognizing California’s current tax structure is outdated and inefficient and not sustainable, Betty will lead the public discussions on comprehensive tax reform that she understands must be a thoughtful initiative that recognizes that every Californian is a stakeholder in reform.
Assuring retirement security.
With the increased life expectancy of the 65-years-and older population and many retiring with Social Security benefits as the sole source of retirement income, California joins the rest of the United States in the retirement security crisis. Betty will work to design the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Plan for private sector workers who do not have employer-sponsored retirement savings programs as well as to sustain the State’s public pension funds for public sector workers and educators — while minimizing the exposure to taxpayers.
Combatting climate change.
California is a leader nationally and globally in addressing the effects of climate change, setting high goals for greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Whether working with California’s ports to green their operations, the maritime industries to confront sea level rise, approving financial assistance for pollution control, or pressing on companies in our pension funds’ investment portfolios on tackling climate risk in their businesses, Betty will act along with parties in California, across the nation, and around the world to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, address severe water supply and quality challenges, and focus on those communities most adversely affected by the effects of climate change.
Providing affordable housing.
Cited as the key public policy issue that if left unaddressed will continue to be a drag on sustaining California’s economic recovery, affordable housing now not only includes meeting the demands of low-income working Californians, but also workforce housing needs and the needs of the growing numbers of homeless Californians. Betty will advocate for increasing affordable housing tax credits that leverage other sources of financing for affordable housing; examine ways to reduce the costs of building affordable housing while at the same time ensuring the sustainability of these units; and seek ways to make the finite financial resources work smarter to meet California’s affordable housing needs.