Last week, Governor Brown gave his first State of the State address since being sworn in as our state's 39th governor - and I think it's safe to say that the state of our state is gloomy. All eyes are on our dismal economy and on a budget crisis that never seems to improve. Add to that the recent jobs report that showed unemployment as high as 20 percent in some parts of the 12th Senate district, and it's easy to see why people all across California have been calling for Sacramento to get to work and start being more responsive to the constituents we were elected to represent.
My commitment to public service started long before I was sworn in as a state senator on December 6, but you can be absolutely sure that my first priority over the next four years will be to act as your eyes, ears and voice in Sacramento. This newsletter is one way I'm working to keep an open dialogue with you, and I hope you'll remember that my door is always open. Please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at cannella.cssrc.us.
We've got a lot of work ahead of us, but I'm confident that, with your help, we will build a better future for our families, for our communities and for the state we love.
I don't think anyone can argue about the urgency of addressing our state's massive budget crisis. However, I'm extremely concerned that Sacramento is once again putting off some of the tough decisions necessary in order to address our $25 billion budget deficit. Local governments in particular have a lot at stake in this process, and we need to make sure the solutions we implement aren't creating new, bigger problems down the line. What was your reaction to the speech? Send me an e-mail and tell me what you think.
Our district offices in Modesto, Merced and Salinas are now open! Under the leadership of District Director Chris Tyler, we've got staff hard at work in your community. Have concerns about what's going on in Sacramento? Need help navigating a state agency? Have a suggestion for a bill? We're here to serve you, and we're looking forward to hearing from you. Click here to find out how to get in touch with an office near you.
I had the honor of commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Habitat for Humanity, Stanislaus County volunteers who are building homes for low-income families at Hope Village in west Modesto. On this national day of service, we worked side-by-side with Hope Village residents and more than 100 Kaiser Permanente employees to help raise a wall for one of the homes. What a terrific opportunity to honor Dr. King's legacy and continued commitment to "the beloved community."
Photo Caption: State Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) with Mariela De Leon, Health and Wellness Director at Kaiser Permanente greets volunteers helping construct a home at Habitat for Humanity, Stanislaus County's Hope Village in West Modesto.
Photo Credit: Chris Tyler, Office of Senator Anthony Cannella
Are you or someone you know planning on attending college, university, or career or technical school in California next year? Through Cal Grants, students can get up to $11,124 a year to pay for college expenses at any qualifying California institution, and free Cash for College workshops can help you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Cal Grant GPA Verification Form required to apply. Cash for College workshops are taking place across the 12 th Senate district in February; find one near you by visiting www.calgrants.org.
In an attempt to save trees and lower costs, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) recently announced that it will no longer mail out printed tax booklets to taxpayers automatically. You can still request that hard-copy booklets be sent to your home, or you can find the most commonly used forms at local libraries and post offices. All information will also be available online at FTB's website; to receive tax booklets, get forms, download instructions, file your taxes or track your return, visit www.ftb.ca.gov.
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 2011-2012 are due February 23.