Taxes were the main topic of conversation when State Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) made an appearance at the weekly meeting on Tuesday afternoon at .
During her 30-minute talk, Corbett concentrated on what's going on in Sacramento, including Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, released earlier this month.
"The budget, it's not very thrilling," Corbett said.
She said Gov. Brown is calling for temporary increases in sales tax by a half cent for the next four years along with income tax increases for high-income earners for the next five years.
The tax increases, Corbett said, are necessary to keep standards high in California's education system.
"For the most part, this money is needed for education, so we don't need to make further cuts," she said.
Corbett said the cuts will be made to state jobs, eliminating nearly 3,000 positions. Brown also proposes slashing $4.2 billion in state-funded programs such as CalWORKS and Cal Grants. She said not all news was negative, however.
"We do know the economy is absolutely improving," Corbett added. Though, she was not able to say how fast.
Her visit came a day before Brown's State of the State address, where he continued to pitch for higher taxes and continued cuts to be voted on the ballot this November.
During the meeting, Corbett also mentioned three bills she is working on getting signed by Brown.
SB 175 would provide a state bid preference for companies using California made solar panels.
"California taxpayers dollars should be spent on California-made solar panels," she said.
SB 823 is a "Made in California" bill that promotes products manufactured in the state. It's supported by various companies like Siemens and Tesla Motors, which are all based in Corbett's district.
Lastly, SB 708 offers aid to those distressed by foreclosures and the mortgage crisis. It requires financing companies to contact property owners before registering foreclosures and allows tenants additional time to move from a foreclosed property.
It also mandates foreclosed properties to continue to be maintained in order to prevent negative impact on the value of neighboring homes.
She stayed to answer a few questions before leaving for her 2 p.m. Senate floor session in Sacramento.
To read up more on these following bills, check the PDFs attached to the right of this article.