First elected in 2012, Assemblymember Rudy Salas represents the 32nd Assembly District, which is comprised of a part of the city of Bakersfield, the cities of Arvin, Avenal, Corcoran, Delano, Hanford, Lemoore, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco and the communities of Armona, Buttonwillow, Home Garden, Kettleman City, Lamont, Lost Hills, Stratford and Weedpatch.
Since he arrived in Sacramento, Assemblymember Salas has stood by his commitment to take a stand for Central Valley families and the interests of the region. In his first two terms he saved $4 million for Agriculture Education grants that serve Future Farmers of America (FFA) programs in our local schools; secured $15 million in workforce development programs for job training and restored vital funding for disability services for three Independent Living Centers (ILCs) including the Independent Living Center of Kern County. He also authored legislation to prevent the Kern Medical Center from closing its doors and spearheaded legislation to bring more primary care doctors to the Valley.
In the 2017 legislative session, Assemblymember Salas successfully authored legislation to expand the state’s vehicle retirement and replacement programs which previously excluded light-duty trucks. The change will reduce air pollution in the region by allowing Valley families to benefit from existing state-funded incentives to replace older, higher polluting vehicles with newer, more energy-efficient vehicles. Salas also fought to restore $15.4 million in career technical education (CTE) grants for Partnership Academies and CTE student organizations, equipping the students in those programs with the skills needed to be successful in today’s workforce. For the second consecutive year, Assemblymember Salas restored funding in the state budget for ILCs to improve their ability to operate and have long-lasting positive impacts on the thousands of individuals with disabilities and their families.
During his time in the Legislature, Salas has also championed legislation to improve water access, water quality, and water storage which is a major concern for the region’s families and businesses. In 2017, Assemblymember Salas secured $4 million in state funds for the Friant Kern Canal Project to bring stability and flexibility to California’s water system and provide additional water supplies to the region reducing dependence on groundwater wells. He also authored legislation to keep drinking water safe and affordable by expanding state financial assistance to water systems in larger, severely disadvantaged communities, such as the City of Arvin, which requires very costly improvement projects to return to compliance with drinking water standards. Salas has also been a long-time supporter of the Temperance Flat Reservoir Project. As a storage facility, this project will increase regional water supply reliability and operational flexibility once completed.
Similarly, while in office Salas has also been a tireless advocate for public safety funding. As such, he led the charge to re-open local community correctional facilities, partnered with local law enforcement to secure $5 million for Kings County public safety and emergency services, authored legislation to shut down illegal gambling cafes, protected veterans from employment discrimination, and improved pipeline safety in sensitive areas such as homes and schools.
Assemblymember Salas graduated from UCLA with degrees in History and Political Science. Prior to serving in the Assembly, his passion for public service and good governance led him to spend time working at the White House, the State Capitol as a legislative staffer, and ultimately back to the Central Valley where he was a District Director and in 2012 served as the first Latino City Council member in the City of Bakersfield.
Assemblymember Salas has been named “Legislator of the Year” by California 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatchers, California Police Chiefs Association, the American GI Forum of California, the California Issues Forum, the California Latino Capitol Association Foundation, the Foundation for Independent Living Centers, and the California Optometric Association.
He currently serves on the following Assembly Committees: Veterans Affairs; Water, Parks & Wildlife; Governmental Organization; Business and Professions; and is Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. He also serves as Chair of the Select Committee on Early Childhood Development.