California must change course. In a recent survey of American chief executives, California ranked 50th in providing a business-friendly environment. Their finding: over-taxation and burdensome regulation, evidenced by the double-digit unemployment rate and the thousands of small businesses closing their doors. Instead of reversing the tide, current 43rd District Assembly member Mike Gatto has chosen to put liberal party politics and platforms ahead of the needs of his constituents by introducing AB 2540, which would further boost taxes on thousands of small businesses.

Our state legislators create budget shams to hide our real crisis of a $16-billion deficit. They continue to increase unessential spending and beg for more taxes, while cutting funds from public education and creating a harsh business climate. Over the last two years under Gatto’s watch more than $700 million has been cut from public education and increased health and welfare spending by more than $3 billion.

Public education funding continues to shrink, and now California ranks 49th in per-student spending. This is forcing many schools to increase class size, lay off teachers and cut crucial programs. Our youth is California’s No. 1 asset for future job growth. We should prepare students to enter the workforce, thus providing a skilled employee pool that will attract new businesses to California.

I will fight to prevent state legislators from introducing job-killing Assembly bills. Every bill that will alter how businesses operate should be first analyzed to determine the effects it will have on our economy before a vote is taken.

Our residents need jobs! Let’s get back to the basics of attracting and retaining businesses. Our government has grown too big, is too intrusive, and is putting the American dream further and further out of reach for too many.

Greg Krikorian

Glendale

Editor’s note: The writer is a candidate for California State Assembly 43rd District and a board member, Glendale Board of Education