Opinion

Letters: How much would free education cost?

Harris’ free education is costly

Re “Harris has a plan for free college” (Page 7A, Sept. 21): Attorney General Kamala Harris and other Democrats have plans for free college. How much will this cost and how will taxpayers be affected?

Will low grade-point averages and unfinished courses matter? Would a student be required to graduate in a timely manner? Would Harris’ plan pay for remedial classes, which should have been taken in high school?

Will students be responsible for costs associated with entering college and then dropping out? Would it include graduate studies, medical and law schools?

Does this plan exclude the majority of people who are not college-oriented but could enter non-college education or training programs? Questions continue.

John Hightower, Orangevale

Brown should rethink taxes

Re “Tampon, diaper sales taxes survive” (Page 6A, Sept. 14): Of course Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the two bills related to removing taxes on feminine hygiene products and diapers, citing the amount of revenue these items bring to the general fund.

Brown’s insensitivity is due in part to the fact he has no children and has never had a menstrual cycle. The governor touts being a progressive who is aware of the needs of California. But it appears he wants the lowest paid of the population to support the general fund. He should join other states that have stopped taxing women’s bodies and diapers for the babies we deliver.

Pamela West, Fair Oaks

Court reporters aren’t needed

Re “California’s court reporters are long overdue for a raise” (Viewpoints, Sept. 21): As president of her union, Brooke Ryan advocates a raise for her bargaining unit. She does not mention that court reporters have become unnecessary redundancies in most trials due to electronic recording of proceedings. Ryan’s union has been successful in keeping court reporters employed, notwithstanding this duplication and expense.

Dennis Coupe, Granite Bay

Legislature is becoming useless

Re “That encyclopedia coming to your mailbox is a voter guide” (Page 6A, Sept. 20): If the Legislature can’t do what it’s getting paid for, we could save a lot on salaries by closing down that branch of the government.

It appears that none of the initiatives deserve anything but a no vote, if for no other reason than to emphasize the authors’ attempts to scam the voters with a bunch of rhetoric. Which, if any, of the initiatives will improve Californians’ lives?

Leonard R. Cook, West Sacramento

Don’t let arena cloud our humanity

Re “With no tent city, homeless focus shifts” (Ryan Lillis, Sept. 19): Ryan Lillis’ commentary on Sacramento’s failure to marshal resources to address homelessness in our city – where thousands of people face another winter without shelter – suggests that I personally have not taken action to pursue the tent city model adopted by Seattle, noting that no lawsuit has been filed by my office. Litigation is not necessarily a solution.

The dedicated board of Safe Ground Sacramento has attempted to find locations that could work for housing homeless people, scoping out sites with Councilman Eric Guerra and others. It’s time for real action, real commitment by the city. The suffering and hardship of homeless people in our city is wrong and unnecessary. That’s the important point. Let’s not let the arena confuse our priorities.

Mark Merin, Sacramento

Homeless people aren’t going away

Ryan Lillis’ column says downtown advocates are hopeful that with the big crowds expected on arena-event nights, the homeless population will be less visible. Hopeful? This is what hope looks like to the city? Ask a homeless person about hope.

The homeless are not going away, nor should we think we can plan around them hoping for the best. The problem is with the separation of the city and the county. Shuffling the homeless from place to place is expensive, frustrating and humiliating.

There is room at Mather and McClellan, and they are located along mass transit. It’s time the City Council and the county Board of Supervisors come together in a spirit of love rather than convenience and build our homeless homes.

Kathy Stricklin, Sacramento

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