The arrival of 2019 has ushered in a new Legislature and a new governor. I congratulated Governor Gavin Newsom on his inauguration and wished him well as he takes on the tremendous responsibility of governing our large and diverse state.
My legislative colleagues and I are committed to working with Governor Newsom to protect essential state services, expand job creating opportunities, and ensure that our state is able to pay its financial obligations through a balanced budget. Like I have done with previous governors, I will support policies that I sincerely believe are in the best interests of California, but I will not hesitate to oppose policies that will erode our freedoms and hard-earned dollars.
As always, please contact one of my offices if my staff and I can be of assistance.
Governor Newsom released his 2019-20 budget proposal on January 10th.
I am encouraged by his expanded efforts to pay off debt and build the state’s rainy day fund. However, I am deeply troubled by his plan to withhold gas tax funds for road repairs to local governments that do not meet affordable housing goals. This would be a bait-and-switch on the commitments made by the supporters of the gas tax increase when they argued for its passage.
The last day for bills to be introduced in the Legislature is February 22. I’m currently considering several ideas to address issues regarding opioids, sober living homes, public safety, and more. But here are four bills that I have authored or co-authored so far:
Restoring Voter Registration Choice
I recently introduced Senate Bill 57 to allow individuals to opt-in for voter registration instead of automatically being registered to vote or having to opt-out of the program. Click here to learn more.
Keeping Texting Tax-Free
While a recent effort by unelected bureaucrats at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to tax text messages failed, I want to make sure they cannot do so in the future. That is why I co-authored Assembly Bill 162 (Kiley) that would prohibit the CPUC from taxing text messages or any other technology classified as an “information service” by the federal government.
Helping Students Affected by College Closure
The closure of Brightwood College, which had several locations in California, has disrupted the hopes and dreams of many students. That’s why I’ve co-authored bipartisan legislation (Senate Bill 63) with Senator Bob Hertzberg, Senate President pro Tem Toni G. Atkins, and others to provide some financial relief.
Helping People with Developmental Disabilities
Assembly Bill 192 (Mathis) would use savings generated from the sale or lease of state developmental centers to fund supportive and affordable housing for people with developmental disabilities.
Here are some helpful resources on how to prepare for additional rain storms in the future:
- California Storm Ready - Includes weather updates and tips on how to prepare.
- National Flood Insurance Program - Information on obtaining flood insurance. Insurance is available to homeowners and renters of both residential and commercial properties.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency - Includes checklists to get ready for storms, including information on how to make a family preparedness kit.
- Ready OC - Emergency preparedness information for Orange County residents.
- Ready San Diego - Emergency preparedness information for San Diego County residents.
The events below are just a sample of what’s happening in our beautiful district. While my office strives to include accurate information at the time of publication, event details are subject to change by their organizers.
Laguna Niguel: Pizza with Police
Date: Thursday, January 31
Time: 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: Sea Country Senior and Community Center (24602 Aliso Creek Road, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677)
About: The Laguna Niguel Youth Committee, together with Laguna Niguel Police Services, is hosting this event for 9-12th graders. Break down the barriers by getting to know your local deputies, ask questions about their jobs, and enjoy pizza with other high school students.
Encinitas: Senior Health & Wellness Expo
Date: Saturday, February 2
Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Encinitas Senior Community Park (1140 Oakcrest Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024)
About: This free event will have experts speaking on topics that are important to the senior citizen community.
Rancho Santa Margarita: ZeroTrash RSM
Date: Saturday, February 2
Time: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Cinepolis/Panera Courtyard (30632 Santa Margarita Parkway, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688)
About: ZeroTrash Rancho Santa Margarita is a volunteer group that meets on the “Zero T First Saturday” of each month to rally together to rid the community of litter. All are welcome: parents, children, students, friends, neighbors - anyone interested in keeping RSM clean!
Aliso Viejo: Protect Against Financial Abuse
Date: Thursday, February 7
Time: 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Location: Aliso Viejo Center (31 Santa Barbara Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656)
About: This informative and free program is designed to keep you and your family safe from financial abuse.
Dana Point: Bulky Item Drop Off Event
Date: Saturday, February 9
Time: 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Location: Dana Hills High School (33333 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629)
About: Bulky Item Clean Up events give residents a chance to drop off their bulky items for free instead of taking them to the landfill. Residents can bring e-waste, green waste, large appliances, furniture, and other bulky items that don’t fit in a normal waste container.
Mission Viejo: Oso Fit Community Health Fair & 5K Fun Run
Date: Saturday, February 23
Time: 7:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Location: Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center & Village Green (24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA 92692)
About: The Community Health fair will showcase more than 60 vendors in the wellness industry and inspire you to get fit! The event will feature a quarter and half mile Kids Walk/Run for children of all abilities. Community Health Fair is free.
Oceanside: Free Tax Preparation Event
Date: Saturday, February 23
Time: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Civic Center Library (330 N Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054)
About: Prepare and file your Federal and State income taxes for free with the Turbo Tax Free File Program. Volunteers and experts will be on-hand to provide assistance to qualified individuals. For more information and to make an appointment, call 1.888.268.1666.
Oceanside: Enlisted Recognition Reception
Date: Thursday, February 28
Time: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: 1617 Mission Ave, Oceanside, CA 92058
About: The Oceanside Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee created the Enlisted Recognition Program in 2001 as a way for the business community to recognize the excellence of local enlisted personnel. This event is open to the public.
In addition to many meetings, briefings and other Senate activities, I also:
- Delivered remarks at the swearing-in ceremony of new Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes. I wish him and his colleagues all the best as they work to keep our communities safe.
- Sent a certificate to Heath Dunbar, a student from La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, who was awarded a $2,000 scholarship for creating a winning video explaining how special districts make a difference for California’s communities. My Encinitas staff presented the certificate to Heath on my behalf.
- And more!