On this week’s episode we wrap up our four-week series of interviews with top legislative leaders, as we sit down (virtually) with House Republican Minority Leader JT Wilcox.
In Wilcox’ view, the 2022 legislative session, which is nearing its mid point, is about cleaning up past legislative mistakes — namely, the state’s long-term care insurance plan, which has been put on hold for 18 months, and policing legislation approved last year that Wilcox said went too far. He believes the Legislature needs to walk back the policing legislation, the results of which he says threaten public safety, as well as building and development regulations which he says bear responsibility for the current lack of housing and homelessness crisis.
We also dive into K-12 education with Rep. Sharon Santos, the Democratic chair of the House Education Committee, and Rep. Alex Ybarra, the ranking Republican on that committee. Santos’ primary focus is making sure schools are safe places for kids and teachers. Ybarra believes its critical that kids stay in school, in person. Both believe that the pandemic has caused learning loss in kids, and has had significant impacts on students’ mental health.