Assemblyman Marc Steinorth faces one of the toughest re-election challenges among state legislators this year.
Steinorth, a first-term Republican from Rancho Cucamonga, finished 2,244 votes behind his June primary opponent, Democrat Abigail Medina of San Bernardino. The Democratic Party is targeting Steinorth, along with fellow Republican Assemblyman David Hadley of Torrance, to try to win back the two-thirds supermajority the Democrats enjoyed in the Legislature a couple of years ago.
That’s one good reason to support Steinorth. It’s bad for Californians to have one party so dominant in the Legislature that the opposition party is rendered irrelevant.
There needs to be some give-and-take in state government, lest taxpayers get steamrolled.
But the best reason to endorse Steinorth is that he’s an effective legislator, even as a member of the minority party, who truly represents his district. Remarkably, he has been endorsed by every mayor and every city council member — Democrat or Republican — in his 40th Assembly District. (Yes, that even includes the mayor and every council member in usually fractious San Bernardino.) The legislation that has brought Steinorth the most attention this year is his AB797 “Right to Rescue Act,” which would provide legal immunity to citizens who take necessary action to save a dog in danger of overheating while left in a hot car. His coauthors are three Democrats; the bill awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature. (Steinorth has a soft spot for pets. He personally covered the cost of adoption fees for the first 100 pets adopted at four district animal shelters the weekend of Aug. 5-7.) Brown has signed Steinorth’s bills to continue San Bernardino County’s contract with the Fair Political Practices Commission to enforce the county’s campaign finance ordinance, a bill allowing courts to use digital records, and another to help businesses ensure their properties are ADA compliant. Earlier, the governor signed his bill to make election vote counts more efficient in sprawling San Bernardino County.
Steinorth is co-chair of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee, and he is optimistic about a breakthrough next session on increasing California’s housing stock and making it more affordable. He’s looking for a compromise with Democratic committee Chair David Chiu that would increase not only state-supported affordable housing but also the supply of market-rate housing.
His bill this year to establish a homeowner savings account, allowing people to save money tax-free toward a down payment, died in committee.
So did a good, commonsense bill to create a CEQA exemption for highway repair and maintenance projects on existing infrastructure.
Medina is a good candidate too. She’s been on the San Bernardino City Unified School District board for three years and would emphasize education at the state level. She offers a stark contrast to Steinorth in that she supports the extension of Proposition 30 taxes while he stands against higher taxes.
There’s no good reason for Assembly District 40 voters to change their representative.They should re-elect Assemblyman Marc Steinorthon Nov. 8.