Your guide to California's Assembly District 43 race: Eastern San Fernando Valley

One recent survey from the Public Policy Institute of California found that nearly 2 in 3 Californians expect bad economic times over the next 12 months. A strong majority of residents said they were less comfortable making a major purchase and other household purchases compared with six months ago.

All candidates in the 43rd District said that if elected, they would work to limit regulatory red tape to decrease costs to consumers. All but two candidates — Rodriguez and Walter García — said they would support pausing or repealing the state’s gas tax, something Republicans in Sacramento have unsuccessfully proposed many times since Democrats (and one Republican) raised the gas tax in 2017 to pay for road repairs. California’s gas taxes are the steepest in the nation, now standing at 57.9 cents per gallon, according to the state Department of Finance.

“The gas tax has raised the price of gas and car registration to absurd levels,” Victoria Garcia said.

Beyond that, there is little agreement among the candidates about how the state can defray the rising costs of groceries, child care and more while grappling with an estimated budget deficit of between $38 billion and $68 billion in the upcoming fiscal year.

Walter García said he would support the state dipping into its rainy-day fund to close the deficit, rather than cutting programs that support the environment and the state’s social safety net programs.

“There is a lot of good that the state is doing, in terms of ensuring that folks who are less privileged are able to make ends meet,” he said.

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