Your guide to the California treasurer election: Jack Guerrero vs. Fiona Ma

Ma’s priorities in a second term would center on addressing the state’s housing crisis.

She had championed Assembly Bill 140, passed in 2021, which gives the treasurer’s office a say in the direction of the California Dream for All program, which aims to make homeownership, especially for first-time home buyers, more affordable. The bill has been heralded as a valuable tool to help close the racial wealth gap.

She also is focused on streamlining the process for distributing funding for affordable housing projects, which she said could move more efficiently and with more transparency for those applying for bond money and tax credits.

“If we can make that happen, that would be like the crown jewel for housing,” she said.

Guerrero‘s priorities would be lowering taxes and making it easier for entrepreneurs to do business in the state.

He warned of the potential effects of wealthy business owners and investors leaving California in recent years, heading for states with less of a tax burden.

“I fear that the more we push high income earners out of the state the more seriously we’re going to have a hit to our revenue base as a state and of course if these are business owners leaving the state, you know, they’re going to take the jobs with them as well,” Guerrero said.

Ma admitted that California is not the easiest state to do business in, but said many remain because of other factors, such as California’s weather, diversity and overall entrepreneurial spirit and “our can-do attitude.”

She pointed to the low- and middle-income earners who are also leaving California, in even greater numbers than the wealthy, because of high costs of living, a reality that is driving her to focus on affordable housing.

Guerrero said he intends to help low-income Californians through training programs for joining the workforce and for the government to offer incentives to encourage investment in the private sector to address areas of need.

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