The holiday season is a time for reflection, and this year I have much to be thankful for! Besides being grateful for the support of my family - particularly as I’ve been away from home more than usual - I’m also humbled by the trust you’ve placed in me as your representative in the state Senate.
When I was sworn into office last year, I told you my goal would be to serve as your voice in Sacramento and to fight to get Californians back to work. While we’ve made progress over the course of the last year, there’s still much more to be done, and you can be sure those will continue to be my priorities in the New Year.
I always appreciate feedback about how I’m doing, so please don’t hesitate to contact my office through my website if you have any questions, comments or insight to share. And 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 our eNewsletters as well.
Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season!
Beginning October 1, the state began a massive “realignment” of services – transferring to local governments a whole host of responsibilities, including supervising parolees, managing lower-level offenders, and providing mental health, substance abuse, and child protective services. In this month’s “Ask Anthony” segment, which I hope you’ll take a moment to watch, I discuss a concern a lot of people have about Governor Brown’s realignment plan: that if not executed correctly, it could actually harm public safety. As a former local official, I know firsthand that local communities are often best suited to meet the needs of their residents – but I’m also concerned these massive obligations are being handed off without giving local governments the tools and resources necessary to fulfill them.
Earlier this week, the Senate Agriculture Committee (which I chair) held a hearing at the California Science Center in Los Angeles to highlight the multibillion-dollar toll on California’s economy caused by invasive pest infestations and the importance of coordination between rural and urban communities in stopping these pests. In fact, experts peg the negative economic impact caused by invasive pests at $3 billion every year, making pest prevention a concern for all California communities – not just those in rural areas. Our hearing offered an important opportunity to better understand the harm invasive pests pose to urban landscaping, waterways and public health and to discuss the role urban communities play in pest prevention and control. Read the press release to learn more about this important topic.
The Year In Review
As a small-business owner and a former local official, I came to Sacramento ready to tackle some of the big challenges facing California. This year, I joined my colleagues in proposing a robust package of spending and regulatory reform measures designed to get Sacramento’s fiscal house in order and remove barriers to economic growth. As a result of our continued focus on these issues, the Legislature did pass several bills this year that build on the business reform ideas we championed. I’m also encouraged by Governor Brown’s willingness to embrace our efforts to craft a sustainable, actuarially sound pension system.
Last month, I told you about my scorecard rankings from the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Taxpayers Association. More recently, the California Manufacturers and Technology Association announced its legislator rankings, and I’m pleased to report that I earned a perfect 11-0 score. And as a former mayor, I’m also honored to have earned top marks (95.5 percent overall) from the League of California Cities.
Are you interested in working in the Legislature? The Senate Fellowship Program, one of the nation’s oldest and most distinguished service learning programs, may be for you. Just ask my office’s legislative aide, Christopher Odneal! Jointly sponsored by the California State Senate and the Center for California Studies at the California State University, Sacramento, the Senate Fellowship Program offers college graduates a paid, full-time legislative staff position in the State Capitol for 11 months, beginning in October. Applications for 2012-2013 are now online.
Celebrating the Holiday Season
I believe strongly that constituent service is one of my office’s most important responsibilities, and in this holiday season, it’s especially important to help connect people with the resources they lack. Earlier today, I headed over to King Kennedy Memorial Center in Modesto to distribute 50 Christmas trees to needy families served by Valley Mountain Regional Center and Modesto City Schools. I’ve also had the opportunity to drop by community gatherings in Hilmar, Patterson and Salinas, just to name a few. It’s been a great opportunity to connect with the people in the community and to remind them that our office stands ready to serve. If you’re having trouble with a state agency or have any concerns about a state issue, don’t hesitate to contact one of my district offices.