Temperatures are soaring, inside and out of the Capitol lately. June usually brings a flurry of legislative maneuvering, deadlines, and the State Budget, which passed on the constitutionally required day - June 15th.
July begins with a celebration of America’s birth and ends with the last policy committee hearings of the year.
Thank you for reading my monthly eNewsletter. I hope you find it helpful, and will forward it to friends and family so they can sign up as well. You can also follow me on Facebook (link is external) and Twitter (link is external) for the latest news and updates.
Have a great 4th of July holiday!
My Legislation, Your Legislation
As is common practice, many of my bills focus on the needs of my district, and so far are moving steadily through the legislative process. Here is an update:
SB 335 - Places the Nursery Advisory Board into statute, which currently only exists under the direction of the California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary. Unanimously passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee.
SB 372 - Creates a groundwater sustainability agency for specific water contractors as required under State Law. The agency would cover the areas within the boundaries of the Central Canal Water District, Firebaugh Canal Water District, San Luis Canal Company, and the Columbia Canal Company. Recently passed the Assembly Committee on Local Government.
SB 373 - Authorizes the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority to utilize design-build when constructing its Surface Water Supply Project. Design-build is a lower-cost procurement method for public works projects. Will soon be heard in the Assembly Committee on Local Government.
SB 403 - Authorizes the Judicial Council to release certain surplus properties, including the Firebaugh Courthouse so that the Police Department can utilize it in the future. Recently passed the Assembly Committee on Judiciary and will next be heard in the Appropriations Committee.
Other measures can be found by going to my website.
New Committee Assignment
Last week, I was honored to be selected by my colleagues to serve as Vice Chairman of the powerful Joint Committee on Rules. The Committee’s jurisdiction deals with the entire business of both houses of the Legislature, and is expected to oversee a large Capitol improvement project. You can find more information here.
The Governor recently appointed three new members to the UC Board of Regents, but something was missing. None of the members of the Board are from the San Joaquin Valley. That prompted Senator Berryhill and me to ask the Governor to ensure the Valley has a voice, especially given we have the newest and fastest growing university in the system - UC Merced.
Earlier this month, we had several 4-H groups from Merced, San Benito and Stanislaus Counties visit my Capitol Office. We always enjoy seeing these hardworking young people from my district. In May, it was a shock that the Governor cut funding to the 4-H program and Career Technical Education. However, after more than two dozen legislators, myself included, demanded that the budget committees reinstate the funding, it was included in the final budget signed on June 27.
Small Business of the Year
This month, I presented Blues Café and Blue Floral, located in Patterson, with the 12th Senate District’s Small Business of the Year award during a luncheon in Sacramento. Rick Barron, and his wife Leticia Lopez, own and operate the Blues Café, which is connected to their other business Blue Floral in Patterson California. Together, with the occasional help from their son Montaña, they have spent endless hours behind the counter over the last 25 years creating a successful business that is really community-oriented. Congratulations!
Tax Credit for California Businesses
California Competes Tax Credit program is available to businesses of all sizes and industries, with 25% reserved for small business. This tax credit encourages business to stay, expand and create new jobs in California. Applications are being accepted soon, and there is an upcoming workshop in the area to show business owners how to apply.
July 7, Fresno City Hall Council Chambers, 2600 Fresno Street, 2nd Floor, Fresno, CA 93721 For more information and locations, go to GO-Biz or call (916) 322-4051.
Celebrating New Small Businesses
Congratulations to Rayford Shorin-Ryu Karate & Kobudo in Merced and Chillin’ and Grillin’ Alehouse in Hollister for contributing to our communities.
Altamont Corridor Express (ACE Train)
We had a great turn out as the community gathered to celebrate the upcoming expansion of commuter rail service on the ACE Train. The new, extended lines will include stops in Modesto, Ceres and eventually Merced. It is about time we improve the connection between workers who live in the Valley and job centers, with the added benefit of reducing commuter traffic on the 205/580 corridor.
Office Hours In Your Neighborhood
The mobile district office allows my constituents to 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. Appointments are not necessary, but can be made by calling my district offices. Click here for upcoming dates, times and locations.