John Chiang, California’s State Treasurer, is a democrat running for Governor. Today, Chiang answered tough questions about how the state will be managing your money.
Chiang said California could see a recession hit at any point. "The California government needs to act like the families and individuals that we represent. We need to have responsible budgeting. We need to have not just a short term vision, but a long term vision in plan," Chiang said about how to prepare for an economic downturn.
Chiang said he understands the struggles immigrant families and the working class face. Chiang’s parents migrated to the United States with very little, and could barely speak English. "I want to make sure that the opportunity, the ladder, to reach for your dreams is as strong as ever," he said about how his upbringing motivated him.
Chiang emphasized the importance of having more affordable housing. "We need to build more work force housing. Teachers should be able to live in the communities they teach in," he said. Some local council members agree with Chiang about the need for more affordable housing. "The City of Indio is no different from anyone else, we do not have a lot of affordable housing and in places we need it," said Councilman Glenn Miller with the City of Indio.
Chiang didn’t shy away from addressing his stance on legalized marijuana. He said the money the cannabis industry will bring in for California is important, but it also comes with consequences. "There’s a great possibility of underground or criminal activity, if we don’t have the proper banking operations or procedures in place," Chiang explained.
Those in the cannabis industry said they appreciated Chiang supporting their needs. "I appreciate people addressing the issues, especially from a banking perspective. It’s something that a lot people in this industry are worried about, and there’s not a lot of direction in where it’s headed," explained Kenneth Churchill, the CEO of West Coast Cannabis Club.
Chiang said he also wants to reduce interest rates on student loans to help young people get out of debt by offering lenders cash if they lower interest rates for students.