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Friday, Jun 28 2013 11:35 AM

'First Look': Assemblywoman Grove on state issues

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    Assemblywoman Shannon Grove talks about issues facing the state on "First Look with Scott Cox."

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State Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, appeared on "First Look with Scott Cox" Friday and tackled a variety of issues facing the state, from taxes to oil drilling to state-operated developmental centers.

She described the developmental centers as archaic and run-down, and worse yet, unsafe with cases of unexplained injury to clients and rapes.

"It's my big thing," Grove said about the issue, which she wrote about in a community voices piece in Thursday's Californian.

She said the institutions house about 1,500 people at a cost to taxpayers of about $420,000 per person annually. She said this is up 66 percent from only seven years ago. It costs significantly less to allow these individuals to live in the community.

"We gotta get these people out into the community to live vibrant lives," Grove said. She cited a case where a person was diagnosed as being unable to walk, and thus was not given therapy to aid in that effort. But once the person was out of a center, walking began.

Grove said the many problems at the institutions are "swept under the rug."

On other issues:

* Simulcast host Scott Cox expressed concern about various taxes. Grove said, "I vote no on those spending measures."

* Cox brought up high-speed rail, calling it the "choo-choo train." Grove said she voted against it.

* Cox asked about lawmaker pay raises. Grove said if raises come through, she won't keep it if she takes it, instead donating the money to community needs.

* Grove said several bills to stop fracking and drilling died Thursday.

"We do have our wagons circled and we are working on it," Grove said, noting the jobs and importance of the economic ripple effect such work brings.

* Grove pitched her support for Hanford cherry farmer and Republican Andy Vidak, who is running against Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, a Democrat, for the 16th Senate District seat.

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