June is the month of deadlines at the Capitol. The deadline that legislation must be passed from the house of origin, the State Budget must be passed and signed, and policy committees are required to vote on all fiscal bills. It is a busy month before we go into Summer Recess and then onto August to finish up the two-year Session. Hang on!
Prime Minister of Portugal Visits the Senate
On June 14, I had the honor to welcome the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, to the Senate Floor. It was also an opportunity for the Senate to herald my Senate Concurrent Resolution 135 that declared June 10 as Portugal Day, which celebrates Portuguese national heritage and our Portuguese-American communities throughout the state. Prime Minister Costa’s visit focused on the opportunities for trade, investment, and economic cooperation between Portugal and the State of California.
California State Budget
California’s 2018-19 Budget was passed on June 14 and recently signed by the Governor. It will spend over $138 billion from the General Fund and has an $8.8 billion surplus due in part to California’s strong economy. Much of this surplus will be placed in reserve to plan for an economic downturn. I welcome this robust rainy day fund, but there’s still much left to do, particularly a focus on sustainable water resources and promoting continued economic growth for our region.
Non-Profit of the Year
I was excited to present CASA of Monterey County as my Non-Profit of the Year for the 12th Senate District. Their efforts to protect the interests of hundreds of foster children throughout Monterey County are commendable.
Sciabica Olive Oil — Best of Show
The California State Fair. begins next month (July 13-29), and features the usual carnival rides, shows and other entertainment. Producers of California products have an opportunity to compete and be recognized at the Fair in their specialties, such as wine, beer, olive oil, and cheese.
This year’s Best of Show winner, Sciabica’s California Olive Oil, is located in the Central Valley, and was awarded a Golden Bear for their Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Congratulations! Check-out the list of local fairs below.
My Legislation, Your Legislation
Committee hearings on legislation for the two-year Session are ongoing, and my office is working hard on important legislation. Here is an update:
SB 707 — On the suggestion of a report by the Little Hoover Commission in 2016, this measure creates an advisory group with the specific purpose of studying and overseeing Denti-Cal policies and priorities to raise annual utilization rates among children to the 60% range, and to provide assistance and advice to the Department of Health Care Services, the legislature, and the governor. SB 707 unanimously passed the Assembly Health Committee on June 19, and is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
SB 903 — This bill authorizes StanCOG, a transportation planning agency, to consider population density when allotting transit funds. Since Stanislaus County has relatively fewer residents, some transit providers are disadvantaged when trying to meet the needs of their diverse communities. SB 903 unanimously passed the Assembly and is awaiting final action in the Senate before going to the Governor.
SB 907 — With the support of Merced County, this measure would continue the practice of transferring the duties of the county road commissioner to the Department of Public Works Director. SB 907 unanimously passed committees in the Assembly and awaiting final action on by the entire Assembly.
SB 920 — This bill would continue the practice of allowing persons who are licensed design professionals (architects, engineers and land surveyors) to form limited liability partnerships (LLP). These forms of LLP’s increase the flexibility and stability in this industry. SB 920 unanimously passed Assembly Committees and is awaiting action in the Assembly Floor.
SB 1098 — This bill limits application fees for geologists-in-training, requires fees for licensure exams to be matched to the cost of administering them, and requires the Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists to set all other fees by regulation. SB 1098 passed Assembly Committees and is awaiting action by the entire Assembly.
SB 1417 — This measure replaces the state’s current “one size fits all” minimum franchise tax code with a progressive tax, based on a corporation’s annual gross receipts. This change will ultimately reduce the minimum franchise tax to assist new and struggling businesses and help business owners conform to changes in the federal tax code. SB 1417 was held on suspense in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
SB 1459 — Allows a county agricultural commissioner to include cannabis production data as an addendum alongside his or her crop report that is submitted to the Department of Food and Agriculture. SB 1459 passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee and is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Other measures can be found on my website.
Donate Life — Give Blood
This Friday, June 29, the American Red Cross and other sponsors are holding a blood drive at Three Amigos in Modesto. If you are able, please stop-by and give a pint. My office will also be hosting Mobile Office Hours at that location from 8:00am - 3:00 pm, if you need any assistance with a government agency or information on legislation. Mobile Office Hours held around the District in July can be found here.
Summer Fun! County and Community Fairs
Throughout my District, communities come together to celebrate and have fun at the Fair. 4-H and FFA members show-off what they have done or raised this year, kids play and explore, and everyone enjoys the sights, sounds and food that only a fair can offer. Hope you can join in the fun at these upcoming fairs…
Congratulations to Prime Shine Car Wash for opening their 19th California location in Los Banos.
Office Hours In Your Neighborhood
The mobile district office allows my constituents to 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. Appointments are not necessary, but can be made by calling my district offices. Click here for upcoming dates, times and locations.
Happy Birthday America!