2016 Legislative Update
This year, I’ve introduced legislation that will make positive impacts on Central Valley families. Here’s a quick summary of some of the bills I am moving forward this year:
More Water to the Valley
AB 935 will provide funding for an inter-connector canal expansion project to deliver water to and from the CA Aqueduct.
Bringing Clean Energy & Jobs to the Valley
AB 2630 seeks to unlock renewable energy development and bring needed jobs to the Central and San Joaquin Valley.
Updating California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)
AB 2700 requires the Public Utilities Commission to update the criteria it uses to rank RPS projects to include job creation and the value of maintaining existing baseload resources, like biomass.
Safe School Crossings on Rural Highways
AB 1115 will designate the portion of SR 184, adjacent to Sunset Middle School, as a school zone, making it safe for families to travel to and from school. This is in direct response to several fatal accidents that have occurred at the intersection.
Funding Veterans Service Organizations (VSO’s) and Protecting Veteran Benefits
AB 1596 will help VSO’s in their mission of assisting veterans by making $3 million in one-time funding available to a competitive grant program to be administered by the California Department of Veterans Affairs. The implementation of competitive grants will ensure California veterans receive the benefits they have earned by virtue of their military service.
Surface Storage to Protect Against Future Droughts
AB 1649 will increase surface storage development by requiring the Department of Water Resources, when awarding chapter 8 water bond funds, to give priority to JPAs formed to increase water surface storage projects.
Funding for Disability Services
AB 2565 corrects a long-standing funding inequity for Independent Living Centers (ILCs), allowing them to receive the minimum state base funding. ILCs provide people with various disabilities with the services they need to live self-determined lives.
Streamlining Transportation Projects
AB 2034 will allow Caltrans to continue to participate in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Assignment Program. This federal program allows states to streamline environmental review for transportation projects that use federal funding. This will save the state time and money while fast tracking the delivery of needed transportation improvement projects.
Tougher Laws for Animal Abuse
AB 1951 was introduced after the FBI released a report that showed a direct link between acts of animal cruelty and violence toward others. This bill aligns California’s law with well-established data and federal actions to reduce the number of violent crimes going forward.