Former elected official Bill Lockyer discusses how California is working to fill the education gap.
The state of California is facing an incredible gap between the need to obtain a college degree and an inability to afford one. Bill Lockyer previously worked with elected officials in the Bay Area and beyond to fill the education gap. He discussed the state’s effective ScholarShare program and other efforts being taken to help people access college affordably.
“ScholarShare is our state’s current college savings plan,” Bill Lockyer said. “We’re building on this program and creating new methods of helping citizens obtain college degrees without living their lives in debt.”
Bill Lockyer stated that colleges and universities are currently driving the state of California and its economy. The state is known as one of the most technologically-based in the nation, and the industry is highly competitive. Bill Lockyer believes the higher education system in the state will only become more important as many jobs begin to demand college degrees.
“We need to increase the education level of our younger generations,” Bill Lockyer said. “This is required to help them live comfortable lives with good-paying jobs, and it’s needed to keep California competitive in the global market.”
Bill Lockyer explained that California is a state known for its technological advancements, but it’s also known as one of the most globalized states in the country. He explained that the state has succeeded in creating an education system that promotes equal opportunity for education, but it needs to be brought into financial reach for everyone.
Bill Lockyer added that all families need to have the means to save and invest wisely for the education of their children. The ScholarShare 529 college savings plan allows earnings to grow tax-deferred. Disbursements from a ScholarShare savings plan used for schooling are state and federal tax-free. Bill Lockyer explained that starting the savings plan early and contributing often can be an excellent way to invest in a child’s education.
“The ScholarShare program is now more flexible than ever before,” Bill Lockyer said. “Accounts can easily be opened online, there’s no income limit, no annual fee, and disbursements can be made for nearly all college expenses anywhere in the country.”
However, Bill Lockyer finished by stating that far more needs to be done to diminish the education gap in the state. Only 1.8 percent of young people in the state currently hold ScholarShare accounts and many parents don’t know that these plans exist. The current goal is to work with the state legislature to educate families on these accounts and provide other ways to help Californians invest in their kids’ futures.
Bill Lockyer has enjoyed a state policy career that has spanned decades in the California Capitol and key elected positions. While he no longer runs for office, his views and perspectives are still sought after because of the significant experience he developed on California state policy during his tenure. As a result, what he sees for the next 25 years for the state is sometimes familiar and often critical in issues that still need to be resolved by future leadership.
California, per Bill Lockyer, has the odd situation of simultaneously enjoying some of the most advanced science and technology resources and educational institutions while at the same time struggling to reach sufficient performance numbers in many primary level schools with basic educational requirements. Much of the issue has to do with a disconnected purpose and lack of long-term planning of what education is supposed to deliver from K-8 grades all the way through college. Multiple ideas and prototypes exist, with science, technology, and math being the favorites, but until this umbrella strategy finally gets put in place, Bill Lockyer continues to see the state struggle with its educational paradox well into the 2010s.
On the economic side of things, Bill Lockyer expects California to quickly recover from the pandemic impacts of 2020 and to charge forward over the next decade or two. The pandemic dramatically reshaped the state’s workforce, pushing much of it into the new paradigm of flexible work designs, and that freed up a number of options that will increase employment numbers as well as boost the tax base from income tax collection. However, most importantly, the higher tax brackets grew in size and income, which means the state coffers will realize the benefit of that growth over the next few years. Long-term, however, Bill Lockyer notes the state has to balance growth with smart spending, or it will again be back in the same problem of overweight government services and insufficient revenues to pay for everything.
Law & Order
Bill Lockyer is no stranger to law and order issues. Over his career, he has been instrumental in California trial court reform as well having served as the Attorney General for the state as well. Going forward, the state has a major challenge in how it deals with incarceration. Bill Lockyer notes the current incarceration level has reached 97,000 state prisoners which in turn costs the state close to 10 percent of its state budget to keep contained and supported. All things being kept the same, Bill Lockyer sees the state continues to struggle with a long-standing issue of reforming criminal law or building more prisons. However, the state won’t have the option of doing anything and ignoring the matter.
The state is also likely to swing more swinging back and forth on crime definitions and who should be put in prison. The recent initiatives approved with Proposition 47 reduced many felony crimes to misdemeanors, which Bill Lockyer expects will eventually have a pendulum reaction back the other way as communities get tired of misdemeanor punishments being ineffective.
Health & Human Services
A key factor that will weigh on the elements above is the state’s safety net. The COVID pandemic brutally exposed how fragile and thin California’s basic health system and social support resources are. The state will have to push and find a solution, from Bill Lockyer’s opinion in solving the universal healthcare and support issue conundrum once and for all. And that will require funding and budget resources to make happen.
Finally, Bill Lockyer sees population growth and development running headlong into resource protection, which will force multiple choices on how to deal with sprawl as well as finally pushing the state hard into smart density planning. California is famous for its natural resources and water, but it will be sorely tested over the next two decades if planning doesn’t start now to develop smarter and better.
Bill Lockyer On New Directions in Education with a Biden Presidency
With a new presidency comes all sorts of new policies, including new policies on education. The Biden-Harris administration is about to face various challenges in the area of education, largely because President Trump had taken a lot of action to minimize federal involvement in education in the United States. The previous administration had focus quite a bit on rolling back different initiatives that had been launched by the Obama administration, concerning student rights, racial equality, and other issues.
Now is an incredibly unique time in history, due to the current pandemic. The schools in the United States are not capable of delivering remote instruction the way that they would need to be to ensure optimal education throughout the pandemic. In addition, the election was fairly close, and the public is clearly divided as to what administration they want and what policies they want, as was the case somewhat while Bill Lockyer held a governmental role in the state of California.
Bill Lockyer and Education in California
Bill Lockyer, former California State Treasurer, has faced different issues regarding education in California. In the state of California, it has been a problem in the past when people were not able to afford college degrees, even in the face of a greater need for one in order to be able to succeed in the modern economy. The universities and colleges of the state of California are significant for the growth of the state economy.
Of course, what happens on a national level regarding education is going to affect every individual state as well. This includes the state of California, in which Bill Lockyer once played a significant governmental role. Every year, the economy becomes more globalized and based on technology, and more people must be able to afford higher education so that they can contribute to the economy as it goes even further in this direction in the coming decades.
The policies implemented by Biden and Harris will trickle down into what happens with each individual state, and they will affect what the replacement of Bill Lockyer has to work with. The replacement of Bill Lockyer has had to deal not only with the issues that were facing the educational system in California before but also the additional compounding challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even though Bill Lockyer may no longer be a California state official, he remains a significant fixture in the state of California. For example, Bill Lockyer has a Bay Trail segment named after him. Bill Lockyer has a long history of success as the State Attorney General and state treasurer. Additionally, Bill Lockyer has had a long trail of political involvement that lasted after his political career in the state of California and will likely continue to last for years to come.
Former California Attorney General, Bill Lockyer worked with Gov. Gavin Newsom to encourage diversity in the state’s highest court. In October 2020, Justice Marty Jenkins became the first openly gay nominee to the California Supreme Court. Jenkins, who came out of retirement for the appointment, held several appointments at the state and federal level. He is the third African-American judge appointed to the court.
Bill Lockyer Celebrates Jenkins Ambition and Drive
Bill Lockyer applauded Jenkins’ ambition. The son of a janitor and clerk at Coit Tower, Jenkins first won the spotlight as a football star for Santa Clara University. He later joined the Seattle Seahawks as a cornerback. His law career began when he attended the University of San Francisco’s law school.
Upon graduation, Jenkins became a district attorney for Alameda County, where he served as a law clerk. A natural leader, Jenkins went on to serve as a prosecutor until his first judicial appointment. His career included time in both federal and appellate courts. Bill Lockyer feels that Jenkins’ diverse career and determination make him an excellent choice to serve on the California Supreme Court. Jenkins is an inspiration for both African American and gay residents of the state. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and finding one with Jenkins’ integrity and success is rare indeed, according to Bill Lockyer.
Bill Lockyer said that he wanted to see Jenkins in the role years before when Gray Davis was governor and Lockyer served as his attorney general. In short, Jenkins wasn’t yet ready to answer the call and responsibility that comes with the job of a California Supreme Court justice. Apparently, Jenkins is now more than ready to face the challenges ahead.
Jenkins Newspaper Route
Bill Lockyer was deeply touched by one of the reasons Jenkins wasn’t ready. He had an important newspaper route to look after. Apparently, a young boy in Jenkins’ neighborhood had the local delivery route. Sometimes, the boy wasn’t able to deliver the paper due to medical issues. Marty Jenkins took on the role of filling in when the real newspaper boy was sick. He didn’t seem to mind the second billing.
“That’s the kind of guy he is,” Bill Lockyer said.
However, Jenkins has now answered the call, which Lockyer couldn’t be happier about. In an inspiring end to a great San Francisco story, Jenkins will now serve on the state Supreme Court. Bill Lockyer thinks the timing is perfect.
The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Impacted Everyone and This Includes CA, which Bill Lockyer Is Here To Explore
During the past few months, the world has experienced an unprecedented crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone, leading to millions of infections all over the world and hundreds of thousands of deaths in the United States. Bill Lockyer knows that this crisis has impacted CA as well. There are a few specific impacts that this pandemic has had on CA that have to be highlighted.
Bill Lockyer Reviews the Impact of COVID-19 on the Healthcare System in California
First, Bill Lockyer is going to review the impact of the virus on the healthcare system in CA. CA has one of the largest healthcare networks in the country. At the same time, even this network has been pushed to the limit by the pandemic. Bill Lockyer has watched as numerous hospitals have asked for more supplies over and over again as they try to treat everyone who comes to see them. This has been a difficult time and it is great to see the professionals in CA stepping up to work extra hours and pick up extra shifts to ensure that nobody in the state goes without the healthcare they need.
Bill Lockyer Discusses the Effects of COVID-19 on Small Businesses in CA
Of course, Bill Lockyer knows that this public health crisis has created an economic one as well. He has watched as numerous small businesses have watched their revenue dry up in the face of this pandemic. With shelter in place orders, Bill Lockyer knows that it has been hard for businesses to keep their doors open. As a result, they have been forced to close. While the PPP has provided some help to those in need, it has not been enough. It has been sad to watch numerous businesses in the state close, never again to reopen. These businesses need help and there are resources available.
Bill Lockyer Highlights the Impact of COVID-19 on Individuals and Families in CA
Finally, Bill Lockyer also wants to talk about the impact the pandemic has had on the individuals and families of CA. First, there are lots of individuals who have been laid off from their jobs as small businesses and corporations have tried to slash their overhead costs in an effort to stay liquid. This leaves many individuals and families wondering how they are going to make ends meet. Second, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the future of their health as well. Therefore, Bill Lockyer knows that it is easy to understand why mental health concerns in CA have spiked during the past few months. At the same time, help is always available for those who need help. Individuals and families should consider telehealth during this time.
In 1987, then California State Senator Bill Lockyer had a vision. He wanted to build a 500-mile public bike trail that ringed the Bay Area. After two years of campaigning, the plan was approved.
“It took time to have the plan approved, and even more time to put the plan into action,” remembers Bill Lockyer. “But at the time it was one of the biggest things I’d done, and I was so proud of it – still am if I’m being honest. It took twenty years of hard work and dedication to see this thing through to the end.”
As the trail neared the 300-mile mark, local politicians wanted to find a way to honor Bill Lockyer for his contribution to preserving the region’s scenic landscape. “The bike trail was a multi-faceted project,” says Bill Lockyer. “It was meant to bring the community together, promote health, and also to preserve the beauty of the area and protect it from commercial development.”
In a dedication ceremony in May of 2010, a segment of the Bay Trail was named after Bill Lockyer. “It’s a bridge between San Leandro and the Oakland Airport and overlooks a lovely slough,” Bill Lockyer says. “I was honored of course when they told me a section was being named for me. But all the satisfaction I need, I get walking the trail and watching the people of the community enjoying it.”
“Lockyer, in the opinion of everyone–including myself–is responsible for the BayTrail,” said then San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos. “He’s worked on the idea for over twenty years and should be recognized for his work.” Santos lobbied for the naming of the bridge and was supported by former Assemblyman Johan Klehs in his mission.
Bill Lockyer first won a State Assembly seat in 1973 and served in the legislature for twenty-five years after. More than half of that time was spent in the state senate where he was chosen to serve as President Pro Tem in 1994 – the most powerful position in the upper legislative house. In his spare time, Bill Lockyer attended law school classes in Sacramento and eventually received a law degree from the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific.
Bill Lockyer went on to serve as the California State Treasurer and the Attorney General of California. Now the retired politician entertains himself by keeping up with California politics, finally reading his vast collection of mysteries and historical non-fiction, and spending time with his loving family.
Former elected official and attorney Bill Lockyer discusses the elimination of the State of California’s DNA lab backlog.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, / July 27, 2020 / Bill Lockyer, former California Attorney General, recalls an important state even that happened nearly 20 years ago. In June of 2001, Bill Lockyer was able to announce that an enormous backlog of unanalyzed blood samples from convicted felons had been eliminated.
Bill Lockyer explained that the state was storing roughly 100,000 blood samples from felons throughout the years. He added that while these samples were sitting in storage they were not be analyzed or compared to the DNA collected at crime scenes. These samples, which would become useful in countless investigations, were bound to sit in storage forever before Bill Lockyer was elected.
Bill Lockyer added that this was a major highlight in his career, as his administration was able to find evidence for more cold cases than the previous seven years combined. Lockyer explained that his team was making one cold hit per week, while previous teams simply held the samples in storage. He added that a “cold hit” is when one of the analyzed DNA profiles from the DNA lab backlog is matched to a DNA profile extracted from a crime scene.
Bill Lockyer took office in 1999, and set himself the goal of eliminating the backlog of DNA samples by mid-2001. Critics said this was an impossible task, but Lockyer was able to accomplish the task before its deadline. The press release announcing the DNA lab backlog had been eliminated was published on June 25, 2001.
By that date, Bill Lockyer stated that 41 suspects had been identified using the Department of Justice’s DNA Convinced Felon Databank since its formation in 1994. However, 20 of the cold hits were made under the administration of Lockyer. Three of those 20 hits were in homicide cases that had been cold for more than 15 years. Bill Lockyer continues to pride himself on finding closure for these families and justice for those harmed.
This DNA lab is also a creator of employment opportunities for California citizens with more than 120 positions held. Bill Lockyer holding the Attorney General position led to a serious cleaning up of the DNA lab backlog, and he hopes it will never become as backed up as it did. During these years the more than 100,000 blood samples were sitting in storage, dozens of criminals who should have been behind bars were walking free. Lockyer helped set a positive precedent for future administrations.
Bill Lockyer Explains and Analyzes how the Wind is Blowing in California for the 2020 General Election
The 2020 US general election is a significant one, with tensions high among both parties. Bill Lockyer explains how things appear to be going in California for the election.
There is a lot on the line in the United States, with the 2020 general election being a clash between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump, as well as many political races going on down ticket from the Presidential race. California is one state that has a number of races going on, with the highest number of House of Representatives seats up for contention in 2020 compared to any other state. Bill Lockyer explains what the stakes are in this race and how the wind appears to be blowing.
Bill Lockyer explains the direction the California 2020 general election appears to be going
To get it out of the way, the race between Biden and Trump is entirely moot. Trump is deeply unpopular in the state, which has been fairly solidly blue for many years now. There are still areas that tend to vote conservative more than liberal, Bill Lockyer explains, but overall, the elections tend to favor the left. The House of Representatives saw a fairly strong swing in 2018, with a number of seats flipped in a surprise upset in many cases. In one case, Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican who once held the seat in Orange County since 1989, lost it in 2018, though it was very close, and his competitor — Democrat Harley Rouda — raised a lot of money to achieve this success, aided by a 4 million dollar donation from Michael Bloomberg. Because of how close this race was, Bill Lockyer notes that the Orange County race, as well as other close races in California, are going to be contentious this year as well.
Similarly, some of the seats where Republicans had a close win are also going to be contentious, such as the one held by Devin Nunes, representing the 22nd district of California since 2013, Bill Lockyer notes. Nunes had the closest race of his career in his career, going 53% to his competitor’s 47%, and whether Trump manages to increase Republican turnout or increase Democratic opposition may make his 2020 reelection more or less certain than it was two years ago. Overall, the most competitive seats in California this year — Democrats TJ Cox, Gil Cisneros, and Harley Rouda are projecting blue, as is the seat controlled by Republican Mike Garcia, Bill Lockyer points out. Outside of the House and the Presidency, California is relatively easygoing this time around, Bill Lockyer notes. This time around, there are no elections being held for the U.S. Senate seats, nor is the position of Governor up for grabs (having been won by Gavin Newsom in 2018), Bill Lockyer notes.