May 2014 Newsletter
Governor Brown declared a state of emergency in light of the devastating fires affecting our region. If you are called upon to evacuate, please do so immediately. For non-emergency assistance please dial 2-1-1 and to get the latest verified updates on county fires, please go to http://www.sdcountyemergency.com/updates/. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected. Please stay vigilant and keep safe.
This week, Governor Brown released his May Revised Budget. The May Revision includes $107.8 billion in General Fund expenditures with forecasted state revenues increasing by $2.4 billion. The revised spending plan directs higher revenues towards covering increased costs in healthcare services for low-income Californians through Medi-Cal, proposes to address unfunded liabilities in the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), and includes $10 billion in new Proposition 98 resources for schools this year, including $4.5 billion to continue the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula.
As California's revenues rebound from the economic recession, it is critical that we not ignore the need for funding in areas that help prepare for our future, secure our infrastructure and maintain public safety. This includes keeping college tuition affordable, increasing Medi-Cal reimbursement rates and ensuring IHSS workers are adequately compensated.
The Governor's budget still needs careful review, but in general we are pleased with the state's continued recovery and our current commitments to education, increasing reserves and paying down our pension debt. Moving forward, the Senate will use its five budget subcommittees to review the Governor's May Revise in detail. The Budget and Fiscal Review Committee - as currently noticed - has released their hearing schedule. You can check the Senate's public hearing schedule in the Daily File or call our office for updates.
In closing, our Community Spotlight now highlights Timothy Bradley. Mr. Bradley has spent countless hours volunteering as a youth mentor at the local Coachella Valley Boys & Girls Club and is an assistant coach for the All American Junior Pee-Wee Youth Football Association. Professionally, Mr. Bradley is an accomplished boxer and recently fought Manny Pacquaio for the WBO welterweight title. Join me in congratulating Mr. Bradley for his accomplishments and dedication to public service!
As always, please feel free to contact our office with any questions you may have about our legislative process or about the information that you find in this newsletter.
Community Spotlight: Timothy Bradley
In the community Mr. Bradley is well respected beyond his professional career. He is a role model to many young people in the Coachella Valley and to the constituents of the 40th State Senate District. He regularly volunteers his time at local school districts where he speaks to students about the importance of education and the dedication required to reach one's childhood dreams. Mr. Bradley is married to Monica and recently a second child early this year.
Thank you, Mr. Bradley for your commitment to our children and our district!
Sister States: Jalisco, México and California
This month we celebrated the sister state relationship between Jalisco, Mexico and California. The sister state relationship is promotes a mutually beneficial economic relationship in the areas of high technology manufacturing, education, agriculture, tourism and other important industries. During a ceremony on the Senate Floor, I presented the Consul General of México in Sacramento with a Resolution commemorating this relationship.
In the year 2000, the California State Legislature extended an invitation to the people of the State of Jalisco, Mexico, to join with California in a sister state relationship (relación de hermandad). This act established a formal declaration of friendship between the two states. Fourteen years have gone by since the State of Jalisco, Mexico became one of California's sister states. It was an honor and a fitting tribute to commemorate this relationship and the mutually beneficial outcomes of this declaration with my colleagues at the State Capitol.
Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion
The California State Senate approved my Senate Concurrent Resolution 107 (SCR 107) commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. SCR 107 proclaims June 6, 2014, as D-Day Remembrance Day and urges Governor Jerry Brown to instruct all state agencies to fly the flag of the United States and the flag of California at half-mast on that day, in recognition of the heroism and sacrifices of the participants in those landings.
During the presentation of the resolution on the Senate floor, which included a formal posting of the colors by the California Military Department's Veterans Honors Program Color Guard, I had the honor to
recognize many World War Two veterans in attendance. Even after 70 years, the extraordinary heroism and sacrifice documented on D-Day continues to captivate the hearts and minds of Americans. We have an obligation to never forget that the freedoms we enjoy every day are secured by those who serve and have served in our armed forces.
On June 6, 1944 the United States and Allied Forces launched Operation Overlord (D-Day); an airborne and amphibious assault from England into German-occupied Normandy, France. The resulting combat was among the bloodiest and most pivotal of World War Two, and the names of its battle sites, such as Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, and the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, have been embedded into United States military history.
Despite the terrible cost in human life, the ultimately successful execution of the D-Day invasion led directly to the liberation of Western Europe, the fall of Adolf Hitler and the defeat of Nazi Germany during the subsequent 11 months.
CAA Interim Emergency Drinking Water
On March 1, 2014, Governor Brown approved a $687.4-million emergency drought relief package to take effect immediately. As a result of the Governor's action, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) approved $4 million in funding from the Cleanup and Abatement Account (CAA) to provide interim replacement drinking water for economically disadvantaged communities with contaminated water supplies.
In an effort to distribute funds as quickly and efficiently as possible, the State Water Board will coordinate with the Regional Water Quality Control Boards, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) district offices, the Office of Emergency Services, and other stakeholders (e.g. environmental justice groups, community assistance groups, etc.) to identify those disadvantaged communities that are most at-risk and would benefit from financial assistance.
If you are interested in applying for this funding, please see How to Apply below. If you need additional information, please email: DFA-CAA-DW-DroughtFund@waterboards.ca.gov
Even with April Rain, Governor Affirms Drought Status
With California's driest months ahead, on April 25 Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an executive order to strengthen the state's ability to manage water and habitat effectively in drought conditions. He also called on all Californians to double their efforts to conserve water.
Please remember that the driest months are still to come in California and the current extreme drought conditions will not improve. The cuts red tape to help get water to farmers more quickly, ensure communities have safe drinking water, protect vulnerable species and prepare for an extreme fire season. All Californians are encouraged to reduce their water use by 20 percent.
Visit SaveOurH2O.org to find out how everyone can do their part, and visit Drought.CA.Gov to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought.