|IN THIS ISSUE:|
|Appointments and Recognitions|
|Mobile Office Hours|
|District and State Happenings|
It continues to be a very busy first quarter and I am pleased at the amount of work getting done at the Capitol. I’ve presented several new bills, and continue to focus on short-and long-term solutions addressing our state’s serious water shortage.
As everyone knows, water remains front and center, and I remain committed to taking an active part in placing a new bond on the ballot. The problem with many of the water bonds being presented is that there isn’t enough focus on water storage.
With an archaic water system built 50 years ago to serve a population half our current size, we are nearing an ecological disaster as our reservoirs have a fraction of their normal storage and groundwater is being dangerously overdrafted. What’s more, with the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announcement that the State Water Project allocation has been dropped to zero, it’s imperative we act now and not later.
That’s why earlier this year, 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.
I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with and meeting many of you through various events, coffees and town halls, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your feedback and active involvement with the district and state. Please look at my mobile district office locations and dates in this newsletter. 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 have been very busy creating new legislation based upon your feedback and what you think would benefit the district. In February, I introduced three bills, SB 1255: Revenge Porn 2.0, SB 339: Mortgage Forgiveness and SB 1151: Safer School Zones, the winning submission for my “There Ought to Be a Law” contest.
SB 1255, or Revenge Porn 2.0, expands upon my SB 255, signed last year by Governor Brown, to include what are commonly known on the Internet as “selfies,” images that people take of themselves. I am very proud of this legislation as it provides more protection to revenge porn victims and hopefully paves the way for other states across the United States to follow.
The Central Valley was the hub of California’s housing market collapse, forcing so many homeowners to modify their home loans. I believe penalizing individuals and families who want to keep their homes is detrimental to recovery, and therefore, the economy. This legislation will ensure that state law conforms to federal law, and families who have had their mortgage restructured will not be penalized.
I am also very pleased to announce that Natalie Rios and Wendi Salpa, high school students from Madera, are the winners of my “There Ought to Be a Law” contest. Both Natalie and Wendi wanted to create safer routes for schoolchildren to their schools, and made very valid points in their submissions about reducing the risk of accidents in high-traffic areas around campuses by implementing stricter laws. SB 1151 adds additional fines to school zone violations, deterring drivers from going over the school zone speed limit and ultimately, preventing more pedestrian injuries and deaths.
I am incredibly humbled and privileged to receive both an appointment and recognition in February. I was presented with the United Contractors (UCON) Legislator of the Year Award, as well as appointed as the Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Fairs, Allocations and Classification. As a civil engineer, it was an honor to be recognized by UCON for my efforts in supporting and advancing the interests of the construction industry; and as a member of the Joint Committee on Fairs, Allocations and Classification, it is my privilege to continue to work with the committee and identify how we can give fair organizers the flexibility to not only operate in an efficient manner, but also save money and jobs.
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.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
3:30 - 5 p.m.
King City Chamber of Commerce
200 Broadway, Suite 40
King City, CA
Friday, March 14, 2014
9 - 10:30 a.m.
City of Newman
938 Fresno Street
Friday, March 14, 2014
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
City of Patterson
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
3 - 5 p.m.
GDI Machado Insurance Services
8339 N. Lander Avenue
Earlier in February, I held a morning coffee meeting at The Grill in Newman. I enjoy speaking to people about what’s important to them and appreciate everyone who attended. It’s great to know so many of you care about what happens in your district.
In late January, I, along with Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas), hosted a Cash for College workshop in Hollister where students and parents could learn more about financial aid and grants. It was great to see so many motivated students wanting to attend college.
In February, I had the honor to speak to Merced City Councilmember Josh Pedrozo’s Merced High School civics class at the Capitol about the importance of getting involved with the government process.