April is the month we celebrate diversity and recognize our individual differences. It is the exploration of race, ethnicity, gender, age, socio-economic status and religious beliefs in a nurturing and inviting environment that allows all of us to gain a deeper understanding of each other. Problems viewing this E-mail? Please click here.
Senator Ben Hueso
April 2016 Newsletter


WELCOME


Dear Friend,

April is the month we celebrate diversity and recognize our individual differences. It is the exploration of race, ethnicity, gender, age, socio-economic status and religious beliefs in a nurturing and inviting environment that allows all of us to gain a deeper understanding of each other. I encourage you to gain a greater appreciation of those around you and the similarities that unite us. Last month, I celebrated six remarkable women who in their own right achieved great success in their careers. They come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, but share the same characteristics of hard work, dedication and commitment.

April is also a very busy month in the Legislature. I'm working on a number of proposals to improve the quality of our lives. I've been working on easier lending opportunities, stronger consumer protections and hiring credits for employers of troubled youth.

To learn more about the legislation that I am working on, please visit my website at: http://sd40.senate.ca.gov. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Ben Hueso
State Senator
40th District


CALENDAR

Events Calendar
4/1: April Fool's Day
4/4: San Diego Padres Home Opener
4/7:

World Health Day

4/18:

Tax Day for 2016

4/22:

Earth Day

4/27:

Administrative Professional's Day


For more legislative dates visit our Legislative Calendar

IN THE KNOW ...

State Senator Ben Hueso Introduces Legislation to Enhance Consumer Protections and Safety in Ride-Hailing Services

State Senator Ben Hueso, Chair of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, introduced a measure that will strengthen regulatory oversight of ride-hailing services, which are technology enabled transportation services, while supporting their continued growth. Senate Bill 1035 addresses some of the existing shortcomings of the regulatory oversight of these services. The bill requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to assess and determine public safety, consumer protections and enforcement.

During the committee hearing Senator Hueso stated, "As Chair of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, it is my duty to protect the consumer and ensure that public safety is maintained. It is my goal to create rules and regulations that are fair and balanced, while ensuring safe transportation choices for consumers. I strongly believe Senate Bill 1035 addresses the need for more information regarding appropriate criminal background checks, adequate insurance, data access to support local transportation planning and accessibility for the disabled population. In addition to strengthening regulatory oversight, the bill addresses a major gap in the current regulatory scheme which is the need for enforcement."

While the growth of these new technology-enabled services, estimated at over 100,000 in California, is proving popular among consumers, there are a number of areas that need further regulatory review to ensure adequate safety and consumer protections. These include ensuring insurance coverage is providing the necessary protection for drivers, passengers and the public. In addition, the bill ensures that those who manage traffic on our streets have access to the necessary data about these services to allow them to plan appropriately.

Unfortunately, the agency tasked with licensing these services, the CPUC, lacks the adequate enforcement capacity and is unlikely to gain it anytime soon. The CPUC has 22 staff inspectors for all the transportation-for-hire services they license, including limos, tour buses, household good movers and ride-hailing services. Last year, they had a total of 12 stings on California roads for the over 11,000 permitted carriers and 100,000 plus ride-hailing services. Considering that most of the ride-hailing activities are occurring on local streets, SB 1035 provides local law enforcement some of the tools it needs to properly enforce the CPUC regulations and rules.


Senator Hueso Introduces Equal Gender Pricing Bill

Gender Pricing

Graphic Source: "From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer," Report of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, Page 7, December 2015.

Senator Ben Hueso introduced legislation that would prohibit businesses from charging customers different prices for similar goods on the basis of gender. SB 899 also requires retailers and grocers to notify customers of their right not to be charged differently for similar products.

During his speech he expressed, "It is unfair that female products are priced higher than men's. Why are retailers pulling extra money from women when data already shows that they earn about 84 cents for every dollar men earn? This needs to change. It's about time we stand up to the retailers and fight for equal product pricing for all."

In December 2015, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs conducted a study on the gender pricing of goods marketed to both men and women. The study looked across multiple industries, which included toys and accessories, children and adult clothing, and personal and home health care products for seniors. Across the sample, the department found that women's products cost more 42% of the time, while men's products cost more 18% percent of the time.


Senator Hueso Establishes Business Tax Credit Incentive for Hiring Youth

Senator Hueso at America's Finest Charter School

State Senator Ben Hueso introduced Senate Bill 1216 which will establish a business tax credit for employers who hire high-risk youth, ages 18-25, who have been convicted of a crime and have completed a work readiness program through a qualified job training provider.

During the presentation, Senator Hueso stated, "We need to open the doors of opportunity for our high-risk youth by helping them enter the workforce. Senate Bill 1216 will incentivize California businesses and help our high-risk youth become fully employed, functional members of society."

Research indicates that the first 14 months are critical for a convicted felon's successful transition back into the community, and a lack of state help with job placement or continued rehabilitation increases the chances that they will re-offend.

"For young people who have made mistakes and paid their debt to society, one of the last hurdles is reentry into the workforce," expressed Rob Chávez, CEO for the Urban Corps of San Diego County, a youth job training and high school education program. "It's hard enough being a job seeker; having a prior conviction can be debilitating when job hunting with little to no real-world working experience. We believe in second chances. SB 1216 rewards employers who invest in the future of our community by investing in second chances for youth."


State Senator Ben Hueso Addresses Students at America's Finest Charter School

Senator Hueso at America's Finest Charter School

Senator Ben Hueso addressed the 4-8th grade students of America's Finest Charter School on the fundamentals of Civics and Government.

During his speech, Senator Hueso stated, "We need to engage our students to learn more about our government system and what it means to be part of the democratic process. Educating our children now on these fundamentals will empower them to become leaders in the future. I am very excited to address the students and prepare them for their trip to Sacramento."

The students are currently studying about California government and are planning a trip to Sacramento in June. Most of the 29 students have never traveled by plane.

America's Finest Charter School's vision is to accelerate student's academic achievement and cultivate a sense of helping others by providing an education based on the best teaching and learning theories. We will provide every student with research-based teaching strategies to develop their academic potential.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT ...

Senator Hueso Celebrated Women of Year Honorees

Senator Hueso Commends Elizabeth Ann Predmore for her Selfless Commitment to the Community

Senator Ben Hueso honored outstanding women in celebration of the 2016 Women of the Year Awards, an annual tribute to exceptional women from his district. The awardees were recognized in the categories of education, civic engagement, health, arts and culture, business and the environment. The honorees were: (1) Dr. Karen Janney, Superintendent, Sweetwater School District; (2) Marla Cooper, Lead Organizer, Juneteenth Celebration; (3) Myleen Abuan, Program Coordinator, Operation Samahan; (4) Claudia Sandoval, Celebrity Chef and Philanthropist; (5) Alejandra Mier y Teran, Executive Director, Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce; and (6) Leslie Reynolds, Executive Director, Groundwork San Diego.

During the celebration Senator Hueso stated, "I am honored to be presenting these outstanding women with the 2016 Women of the Year Award. They have proven that dedication and hard work can lead to exceptional results. They have raised the bar in many ways and I am thrilled to celebrate their passion. I commend and respect them for all that they do for our community."

The Annual Women of the Year event is considered a prestigious recognition for women throughout the State of California. The event brings together dynamic women who are inspirational and remarkable leaders.

Senator Hueso continued, "This celebration allows me to thank each of these women who have inspired us through their selfless commitment and dedication to their community. It is with a deep sense of respect that I pay tribute to each of you today."

Every March, Senator Ben Hueso recognizes remarkable women from his district during Women's History Month. This year's celebration recognizes women who have profoundly affected their community while demonstrating their commitment through their service.

WHAT'S NEW ...

Senator Ben Hueso Urges Congress to Appropriate $248 Million in Funding for Calexico Port of Entry

Border

Senator Ben Hueso introduced Senate Joint Resolution 22, which urges Congress to appropriate $248 million in funding to complete Phase II of the Calexico West Land Port of Entry Reconfiguration and Expansion project.

Senator Hueso stated, "We need to continue to push for infrastructure improvements in our ports of entry. Reducing barriers to cross-border travel and trade is to everyone's benefit. By expanding Calexico's Port of Entry, we as Californians have a greater opportunity to improve our economic prosperity and success. These enhancements will not only broaden our options but will also transform the way we travel by making it more convenient, fast and accessible."

Phase II will ensure completion of the project, which will improve domestic supply chains, strengthen our national security, reduce the Port's carbon footprint, and facilitate economic growth, not only for the Imperial County and California, but for the entire nation. The project will include additional site-work, an expanded pedestrian processing facility, administrative offices, and six additional northbound Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) inspection lanes.

The General Accountability Office and the Department of Homeland Security estimate that $6 billion in border infrastructure is needed to fulfill their mission of preventing unlawful entry and smuggling while facilitating legitimate trade and tourism.

California exports to Mexico amounted to $26.8 billion in 2015, a 5.5 percent increase from 2014. Computers and electronic products remained California's largest exports, accounting for 25.1 percent of all California exports to Mexico. Exports of transportation equipment and machinery from California to Mexico grew to total almost $5 billion; with chemicals and electrical equipment continuing to be strong export sectors as well.



California State Senator Ben Hueso - Fortieth Senate District
Representing portions of San Diego County and all of Imperial County.
Web site: http://sd40.senate.ca.gov/
Contact: Senator Ben Hueso
Capitol Office
State Capitol, Room 4035
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4040
Fax: (916) 651-4940
Chula Vista Office
303 H Street., Suite 200
Chula Vista, CA 91910
Phone: (619) 409-7690
Fax: (619) 409-7688
El Centro
1224 State Street, Suite D
El Centro, CA 92243
Phone: (760) 335-3442
Fax: (760) 335-3444


California State Senate Majority Caucus (c) 2017 California State Senate