A group of local residents gathered Tuesday evening outside state Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian’s district office in San Luis Obispo for a prayer vigil to urge the Republican to extend existing sales, vehicle and income taxes set to expire at the end of the month.
The event was one of five such vigils held outside the district offices of state Republican legislators, including Assemblyman Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita) and Sens. Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach), Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) and Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto).
“We are calling on the Legislature to go ahead and approve the extension of the existing revenues so that we can have a balanced budget without further cuts that would impact our citizens,” said Peter Feng, a spokesman for Stand Up for California, the group that organized the vigils.
Stand Up for California is a coalition of community groups and health and education advocates. Its members include the California Labor Federation, California School Employees Association and the Service Employees International Union in California.
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Achadjian released a statement in response:
“The organizations protesting outside my office and bankrolling expensive media campaigns in my district have every right to have their voices heard; however, my constituents should know that I make decisions based on what I think is best for California and not based on who spends the most money trying to influence me,” he wrote in an email.
“As we approach the constitutional deadline for passage of a state budget, I remain committed to working with the governor and my colleagues in the Legislature to find a budget solution that will preserve necessary programs, without placing an unnecessary burden on hardworking Californians,” he wrote.