As I’d mentioned last month, the legislation I introduced this year is beginning to make its way through the process. April was full of hearings to discuss whether the bills should continue to move forward. May will find more hearings and, mid-month, the Governor will present his revised budget.
As I evaluate my positions on bills that come before the Senate this year, I will make job creation my top priority. I am also going to focus on reducing the regulatory burdens that make it harder to do business in California.
It’s also important that I hear from you. My door is always open, and I appreciate a direct dialogue with you. And if you’re not able to drop by my office, you can contact my office 24/7 through my website if you have any questions, comments or insight to share. 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.
Reducing Your Utility Rates
I am proud to report one of my bills, SB 971, made the Cal Chamber’s Job Creators 2012 list. The goal of the bill was to reduce electricity costs for ratepayers by changing the way utilities can achieve their Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goals. Right now, large hydroelectric facilities, which generate power that is every bit as green as wind or solar, are not included in the program. It unfortunately did not make it past the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications committee, but I’m not giving up. As I told the committee, if you shut the door, I’m going to come through the window.
Here is the closing argument at the hearing:
Early this month, a devastating disease which already destroyed much of Florida’s citrus crops was discovered in Southern California. The disease, commonly known as citrus greening, is carried by an invasive pest called the Asian citrus psyllid. The USDA and CDFA have been very aggressive in instituting programs to eradicate the psyllid, which hopefully succeed. The spread of the psyllid is just a reminder of how important it is that we remain vigilant in combatting invasive pests across the state. Agriculture is a $38 billion industry for the state and invasive pests cost our economy $3 billion every year, affecting every county in the state. I am committed to finding ways to best allocate our limited resources, especially during these tough economic times, to ensure we are fighting the encroachment of invasive species whether it be at our borders, in our waterways, or in our backyards.
In recent years, many different surveys and organizations have named California’s business climate as one of the worst in the nation. This illustration below is one example of why.
SB 1327 is designed streamline the application process for individuals wanting to start a new business. State bureaucracy should not be a burden on small businesses that do not have the resources needed to navigate California’s complex permitting and licensing system. The bill creates one website that has all the information anyone would need to get through state bureaucracy and get their business off the ground.
Vans, the shoe company, is conducting a high school art contest with $50,000 grand prize for the winning school’s art department. The contest is down to the semi-finals and of the 10 California schools in the running, three are from our district!
Orestimba High School in Newman, North Monterey County High School in Castroville, and Merced High School need your support. Go to vans.com/customculture, select “vote now,” and choose the California region. No registration is necessary and voting for the semi-finals closes on May 3.
Around the District
I took a tour of the newly renovated Merced Theatre. Built in 1931, the historic theater
had a gala reopening on April 21 and is a fantastic centerpiece for downtown Merced.
Touring the International Paper factory in Salinas
At the opening ceremonies of the Boy Scouts Jamborall in Turlock
Getting the opportunity to speak to our future political leaders in
UC Merced’s Political Science 190 class.