Letters to the Editor

Family leave, green goals, public colleges

Program can help small employers

State lawmakers are considering expanding the state’s Paid Family Leave program, and while we’re glad to see lawmakers focusing on the issue, a top priority needs to be educating small businesses and their staffs about the program. Unfortunately, a majority of small-business employers and their employees aren’t utilizing the benefits of the program because they simply don’t know it exists. This needs to change.

The program allows workers to take time off to care for a family member and is funded entirely by employee contributions, which means it costs business owners nothing. The upshot for small businesses is that it enables them to provide a benefit to their employees that would be reserved for large businesses only.

Small Business Majority’s polling found strong majorities of owners support programs like California’s. But they need more information to help their workers take advantage of it.

David Chase, Sacramento,

California director of

Small Business Majority

Moving too fast on green goals

Re “‘Green’ energy goals widen” (Page 1A, June 4): I was disappointed to read about the stunt orchestrated by Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León to promote Senate Bill 350. What was he trying to telegraph by gifting a family a used hybrid vehicle – a vehicle most low-income families could not afford?

Is Sacramento planning on handing out car keys to millions of Californians? This is what it would take to achieve a 50 percent reduction in petroleum-based transportation.

Sure, a new car is nice. But this would be difficult to replicate statewide.

Many cannot afford an electric vehicle, nor does it fit the needs of every family or business. Many Californians are unsuited for an electric vehicle, and I suspect this is why only 120,000 are on the road today.

Adopting SB 350 would force Californians to swap out more than 13 million vehicles. It seems the senator is rushing to set a target without laying out practical solutions.

Kirk Uhler, Granite Bay,

chairman, Placer County

Board of Supervisors

Serving the needs of students

Re “Why we fund public colleges” (Insight, June 4): Shawn Hubler’s column was spot-on. I see many of my breakthrough graduates choosing public colleges over private colleges. However, private colleges are often a better choice for many students given the lack of loans built into their financial aid packages. Unfortunately, the counselor-student ratio in most public high schools precludes proper college counseling, and students see public colleges as their only option.

Thinking of winners and losers, I advocate we take a larger perspective and look at the entire landscape of higher education with enough folks to counsel students to the best college for them. This will ensure we are all winners as the college grads return to work in our communities.

Adolfo Mercado, Sacramento

Bribery is good civic policy

Re “FIFA’s Blazer admits bribes for Cup votes” (Page 10A, June 4): When foreign governments pay to influence a decision about where to stage the World Cup, the FBI and Justice Department investigate and officials are charged with bribery and racketeering. When our City Council channels over a quarter of a billion dollars to build an arena so the owner of the basketball team won’t relocate to another city, it is somehow considered an appropriate civic expenditure.

I am confused.

Tom Shragg, Sacramento


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