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Assemblyman Bill Berryhill focuses on getting out of recession, Valley water

Assemblyman Bill Berryhill focuses on getting out of recession, Valley water

Assemblyman Bill Berryhill visits with children at Neil Hafley Preschool in Manteca.


POSTED October 23, 2009 8:54 p.m.
With about 200 to 300 bills coming through their office every couple of days, most Assembly members have to come in with a focus in order to keep away from distractions with the chaos of papers that clutter their desks.    
As the 26th District Assemblyman Bill Berryhill is trying to keep his focus on job creation with the bad economy and water issues, more specifically the Delta in the Central Valley.
“Making budget cuts is horriable,” Berryhill said. “I didn’t vote for any of it.”  
Keeping his eye on the economy, Berryhill is focusing on a bill package coming out called the Economy Recovery Act with about 20 bills inside, Berryhill said. They are expecting to put the package together in December.     
One of the bills will be working on his main concern with the regulation agencies, he said. When he was looking at the economy and the things being cut along with businesses going under, he did a little more research to figure out why this was happening.  
“We are making brutal budget cuts to education and law enforcement when at the same time the regulation agencies aren’t being touched,” Berryhill said.  
Berryhill believes the problem with the regulation agencies are that they are going after businesses really aggressively with fines, which is driving people out of business because they can’t keep up.
A regulation agency is an independent governmental commission established by a legislative act that sets standards in a specific field in the private sector of the economy. Some examples of regulation agencies are the Food and Drug Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  
Berryhill said regulation agencies weren’t taking the cuts from the down economy, because they have special funds from fees and fines that can’t be touched. One of the bills in this package will roll the agencies funds into general funding so they will be affected by the economy as well. By rolling their money into general funds there will be an additional $7 billion in the general funds, according to Berryhill’s count.   
“I am not saying we are eliminating agencies or anything like that,” Berryhill said. “I am saying they need to take cuts too.”  
He isn’t happy about the cuts he has had to make as an Assemblymen “but it is what it is and you have to deal the cards you are dealt and you have to live within your means,” he said.  
Berryhill has a solution to get out of the down economy and it is through job creation, he said. He believes the worse thing the government can do right now is to tax their way out of the economy.  
“If you have tax cuts it generates more money,” Berryhill said. “So the least we can do is not raise taxes right now.”  
Another way Berryhill says he can help increase revenue is through an expected bill that will use all natural resources like they did in Alaska with oil, to generate more money and put those funds into education spending to replace the cuts that are being made, he said.  
His other focus besides the economy is the water supply, especially in the Central Valley, Berryhill said. He is working on his Berryhill Clean Water Pathways to create a permanent fix through the Delta.
“We need to come up with solutions to get the water flowing again,” he said.  
He wants to get the water down to Southern California and thinks it is “morally wrong as a state to not get water down to fertile ground,” Berryhill said.   
With a full plate, Berryhill keeps his focus on the Central Valley values with good water sources, the work ethic shown in this region, and keeping the government out of the Central Valley, he said.  
“Here in the Valley, we believe to keep the government out of our way,” Berryhill said. “They continue to put their fingers in places where they don’t need to be.”  
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail mmartens@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015. 

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