Op Eds by Bill

November 14, 2013

The Tribune’s recent editorial entitled, “Soda tax is well meaning but unfair”, about my efforts to combat childhood obesity in Senate Bill (SB) 622 missed the mark.  Calling the proposal unfair for singling out one unhealthful product is analogous to what we heard from the tobacco industry more than 25 years ago.  The sad truth is that the unique and proven harm from liquid sugar, combined with aggressive marketing targeted at children, create a dangerous mixture.

June 05, 2013

The beverage industry is in a real bind. On one hand, the major drink manufacturers that produce soda, energy drinks, sweet teas and sports drinks are an American success story. They have made some of the most iconic products in the world and have developed some of the most ingenious ad campaigns. They have found ways to sell their products everywhere, increase portion sizes, keep prices low, and expand product lines in response to changing consumer tastes.


May 07, 2013

Efforts to qualify a county ballot measure focused on land-use policies at the former Fort Ord have provoked confusion, debate and highly emotional responses. It is time to set the record straight.

The stakes are high as the deadline to apply for the Federal Cemetery Grant, through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is Aug. 15. We have been working diligently at the federal, state and local levels to make the proposed veterans cemetery a reality. Unfortunately, political infighting and constant delays have put this partnership at risk.

May 02, 2013

The partial implementation of the federal health care reform, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has been historic.  Already children with pre-existing medical conditions can no longer be denied health insurance coverage, insurers can no longer put lifetime caps on benefits, and over 400,000 Californians under 26 years of age have gained health insurance coverage under a parent’s plan.  Additional ACA patient protections and expanded eligibility will take effect in January 2014.

October 02, 2012

Gov. Jerry Brown had approximately 700 bills awaiting his signature as the Sept. 30 bill-signing deadline approached. Which of your bills was signed during this last-minute rush, and were there any bills that didn't get signed that you feel should have been?

September 04, 2012

With the fall election drawing near, what is the outlook for Gov. Brown’s tax initiative on the November ballot? What are the possible outcomes if it does or does not pass?

The Governor’s proposed tax initiative, Proposition 30, would establish a temporary personal income tax increase on the state’s wealthiest taxpayers for seven years and an increase on all purchases made in California of one-quarter of one percent for four years in order to fund K-12 education, higher education, and public safety.

July 31, 2012

Good Times recently sat down with Assemblymember Bill Monning to explore what’s going on in Sacramento. Monning visited GT headquarters on Friday, July 20, just a few hours after news of the State Parks scandal broke. The State Parks Director had resigned and her second in command was fired after a $54 million unreported surplus was discovered in two separate State Parks accounts. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation.

June 21, 2012

You serve as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Health, where, among other things, you have focused on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). What is the latest with this act, and what is happening in this area at the national level?

Each year, seven out of 10 American deaths are caused by chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. These same chronic diseases account for more than 75 percent of our nation's healthcare spending. The most distressing part is that these diseases could have been prevented.

May 15, 2012

Can you provide an update about the on going meetings you have been convening to establish a process for the development of the California Coastal Trail along the Big Sur coast?

When completed, the California Coastal Trail will provide a continuous public trail along the coastline from Oregon to Mexico. Predating my involvement, a committee of local community members took the initiative to compile a document that synthesizes the criteria by which the Coastal Trail should be established adjacent to the Big Sur coastline.