|IN THIS ISSUE:|
|Mobile Office Hours|
|District and State Happenings|
April was a very productive and busy month at the Capitol and around the district. Several of my bills received unanimous, bipartisan support in their committee hearings, and I continue to work closely with fellow legislators, working hard to develop solutions that will benefit our district and our state.
Last month, Governor Brown and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced Merced County as being one of three new pilot programs for the new Employment Credit program, which offers substantial tax credits for businesses hiring new employees that are located in disadvantaged communities with high unemployment rates.
This is very good news for Merced County, and I am proud that this pilot program is a direct result of my hiring tax credit legislation, SB 90. It is important we provide assistance to attract businesses to our more depressed regions as California emerges from the recession. Launching this pilot project creates greater incentives for business owners to take advantage of the benefits of relocating or expanding their businesses.
As we continue to experience the worst drought in California history, the major issue remains water. In January of this year, I introduced SB 927 with Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford), a $9.2 billion water bond that focused on water storage, protecting the Delta water supply and providing clean drinking water with $400 million going to disadvantaged communities who currently cannot drink the water out of their taps.
While SB 927 received bipartisan support, it did not pass the Senate Natural Resources and Water committee. However, it is imperative we pass a water bond this November. As the drought continues to take its toll on our state, we simply can’t afford not to rebuild our current, extremely archaic water system.
That said, I am supporting other water bond proposals that meet the same goals of SB 927, including AB 2686 by Assemblyman Perea and SB 1250 by Senator Hueso. I encourage you to learn more about these proposals. We must keep water in the water bond, ensuring we have adequate water resources for our growing population.
For a full legislative update, please continue reading below. As always, if you have questions, comments or insight you’d like to share, you can contact me through my website.
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I announced several bills last month, including SB 1151, legislation proposed by my “There Ought to Be a Law” contest winners, Natalie Rios and Wendi Salpa, Madera South High School students who suggested creating safer routes for kids to get to their schools. Sponsored by the Alliance for Community Research and Development and the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program, SB 1151 adds an additional fine to school zone violations, deterring drivers from going over the school zone speed limit and, ultimately, preventing more pedestrian injuries and deaths. In addition, fine revenue will be designated for school zone safety projects under the Active Transportation Program. I had the privilege of presenting this legislation with Wendi at the Capitol in late April and the bill received unanimous, bipartisan support.
I also introduced SB 1339, legislation resulting from a year-long CNN and Center for Investigative Reporting investigation that exposed a widespread “rehab racket” in the Drug Medi-Cal (DMC) outpatient treatment program. SB 1339 will combat DMC fraud and taxpayer abuse by providing the Department of Health Care Services administration or a contracted county with owner/medical director criminal background information.
Additionally, I’m very proud that my “Revenge Porn 2.0” legislation, SB 1255, unanimously passed out of committee in late April. SB 1255 modifies the current law to include what is commonly known on the Internet as a “selfie,” an image someone takes of themselves, and strengthens the penalties for those who commit the crime, ultimately protecting a greater number of victims.
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.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Fire Department Portables
525 Monterey Street
Earlier in April, high school student Wendi Salpa from Madera and one of the winners from my “There Ought to be a Law” contest, visited the Capitol and testified on SB 1151, legislation resulting from her entry. She did a great job and received unanimous support.
Last month, I spoke in support of a new water bond, SB 1250, by Senator Hueso. His bill provides the funding needed for storage, Delta protection and clean drinking water.
I participated in my hometown “Love Ceres” event last month and was so happy to see everyone take such an active role in our community. Read what Mike Borges had to say about this fantastic event in his letter to the editor published in the Ceres Courier.
In early April, I was invited to participate in the Madera County Economic Development Commission and Madera Chamber of Commerce “Eggs and Issues” event. I really enjoy doing these events as it gives me a unique opportunity to find out more about what is important to you.