|IN THIS ISSUE:|
|Appointments and Recognitions|
|Mobile Office Hours|
|Passport to Summer|
|District and State Happenings|
One of my number one priorities is traveling throughout the district and visiting with as many people as possible. Last month I had the privilege to participate in several district events, allowing me the opportunity to speak with many of you, discussing issues that impact you and your community.
What I’m hearing the most around the district are concerns about water. I want you to know that I am just as concerned and working hard to develop both short- and long-term solutions that will benefit our district, as well as our entire state.
In last month’s newsletter, I shared with you my new water bond legislation. I, along with Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford), introduced SB 927, legislation that outlines a new water bond package that will increase our state’s water storage and access to clean water.
It also decreases the original $11.1 billion bond by almost $2 billion, eliminating the unnecessary earmarks, keeping water in the bond, and ensuring we have adequate water resources for our growing population.
Additionally, last month I participated in the Firebaugh Water Rally that attracted more than 1,000 people concerned about the State Water Board’s decision of zero water allocation. Before the rally even began, we received word from the Board that they decided to forgo zero-allocation for now. Cannon Michael, president of Bowles Farming, Inc., wrote a great letter to the editor regarding the rally’s impact, as well as the consequences of withholding water and protecting historic water rights.
And while I am pleased to see this modification to the emergency drought order, it is imperative we continue to push the importance of water in our district. We must do all that we can to provide water to the communities that will be most impacted by this drought, and the Central Valley faces dire consequences if water rights are withheld. I appreciate the Administration taking quick action. Without water, we risk repeating what occurred just four years ago when the drought resulted in skyrocketing unemployment, emergency food distributions and over a quarter-million acres of productive farmland fallowed.
I have also been busy working on new legislation based on your feedback and active district involvement. Please continue reading to learn more, and please look at my mobile district office locations and dates. As always, don’t hesitate to contact my office through my website if you have any questions, comments or insight to share.
Help keep your friends and neighbors informed about what’s going on in Sacramento and around the 12th Senate District by forwarding this email so they can sign up to receive my eNewsletters, as well. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and updates.
I introduced several bills last month, including SB 1398, the Salinas River Environmental Stability Act, to ease the clearing of the Salinas River channel. Since clearing practices consisting of removing non-native vegetation, sediment and debris from the Salinas River was halted in 2008, it has become overgrown and inundated with sediment and vegetation. And while California faces one of the driest years on record, one severe rainfall could result in the greatest flooding hazard the Salinas Valley has seen in decades.
This bill has received support from several local leaders in the district, including Monterey County Farm Bureau Executive Director Norm Groot. Norm wrote a letter of support for SB 1398 outlining the importance of this legislation.
I wrote this legislation because I want the Salinas Valley to continue to thrive - in individual health, economy, ecosystem and environment.
Clearing the Salinas River will result in cleaner water and greater flood protection, ensuring a healthy, thriving ecosystem, environment and economy, and provides a streamlined process that will allow for work to begin while ensuring environmental goals are met.
I also recently wrote an article outlining the importance of my proposed legislation, SB 339: Mortgage Forgiveness. Our region was at the epicenter of California’s housing market collapse and is still rebounding from the effects. SB 339 will ensure that state law conforms to federal law, and families who have had their mortgage restructured will not be penalized. You can read the article in the Merced Sun-Star.
In March, I received a perfect score from the National Federation of Independent Businesses/California (NFIB) for my 2013 voting record. As a small business owner, one of my priorities has always been supporting small business growth. Small businesses are the backbone to any economy and to ensure California continues to rebound from the recession, we must continue supporting these independent businesses. This is my second year to receive a 100% and I am pleased the NFIB has again recognized my voting record. Throughout 2014, I will continue to work to improve the small business environment.
Please join my staff for mobile office hours throughout the district, where you can receive personal assistance on a variety of issues, including help with the DMV, the Employment Development Department, or matters involving other state agencies or state legislation.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
City of Gustine
352 5th Street
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Greenfield Civic Center
599 El Camino Real
I am pleased to announce Senators Tom Berryhill, Andy Vidak and I are sponsoring a free Passport to Summer Fair in Fresno on Saturday, May 3.
The fair will provide youth and their parents in the Fresno and Merced areas a one-stop venue to meet with and learn about the wide variety of community organizations in the area currently providing summer and enrichment programs for children and teens. Childcare and activities for the little ones will be available. For more information, please contact our Merced District Office at (209) 726-5495.
WHAT: Passport to Summer Fair
WHEN: Saturday, May 3
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
WHERE: Mosqueda Community Center
4670 E. Butler Avenue
Earlier in March, I was honored to attend Ceres Deputy Police Chief Mike Borges retirement party. He dedicated almost 34 years of his life protecting the town of Ceres and I am very proud to call him a friend.
Last month I participated in the Firebaugh Water Rally that addressed the State Water Board’s decision of zero water allocation and denying water rights for Central Valley farmers. The rally attracted more than 1,000 people and made such a powerful impact, the Board decided to modify the emergency drought order.
I had the privilege to stand with fellow lawmakers and thousands of ag students at the Capitol in support of Assemblyman Salas- AB 2033, legislation preserving the Agriculture Incentive Grant program. If we lose this network, we would negatively impact our next generation of ag students looking for a career in agriculture - an extremely important industry in California.
On March 27, I hosted a Salinas Valley Town Hall discussing the water challenges Salinas Valley faces during California’s driest year on record. We had a great panel participate and I was pleased with the amount of audience participation. It’s great to see so many people actively involved in helping solve this problem. From left to right: Janine Chicourrat, Monterey County Hospitality Association, Janelle Beland, undersecretary, California Natural Resources Agency, Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) and David Chardavoyne, general manager, Monterey County Water Resources Agency.
One of my favorite activities is traveling around the district and visiting with students. Here I am with some students from the Greenfield High School FFA and Ag Science departments. I spoke about the importance of agricultural science, as well as the Agricultural Incentive Grant program. It’s great to see our future in ag is in such capable hands!