The 2016-17 state budget has successfully passed the Legislature and I am thrilled to share with you that it includes a large appropriation of funds for the Salton Sea, a strong allocation for the New River Calexico and monies for the clean-up of Goat Canyon in San Diego.Problems viewing this E-mail? Please click here.
Senator Ben Hueso
June 2016 Newsletter


WELCOME


Dear Friend,

The 2016-17 state budget has successfully passed the Legislature and I am thrilled to share with you that it includes a large appropriation of funds for the Salton Sea, a strong allocation for the New River Calexico and monies for the clean-up of Goat Canyon in San Diego. Learn more about the budget in an article below.

In addition to budget work in Sacramento, the month of June also includes our celebration of Father's Day. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all fathers an outstanding day and thank them for helping bring up fine young men and women. Enjoy your day!

As always please feel free to contact my office with any questions you may have. I encourage you to stay active and participate in the legislative process.

Sincerely,

Ben Hueso
State Senator
40th District


CALENDAR

Events Calendar
6/1:

Running Day

6/4:

Rock n Roll Marathon

6/7:

Primary Election Day

6/8:

World Ocean Day

6/19:

Father's Day

6/30:

End of the Fiscal Year


For more legislative dates visit our Legislative Calendar

IN THE KNOW ...

$46,000 in Grant Funding Awarded to
Ballington Academy

Senator Hueso presenting check

Senator Hueso presented Ballington Academy for the Arts and Sciences of El Centro a check for over $46,000 under the Charter School Facility Grant Program. The funding will go towards facility improvements and lease expenses.

"It is with great honor that I present over $46,000 dollars to Ballington Academy, said Senator Hueso. "I am thrilled that this funding will improve the learning environment for the students. Our children can continue to learn in a comfortable setting and take advantage of the arts and science programs that greatly add to their foundation of learning."

The Charter School Facility Grant Program was enacted by SB 740 in 2001, and provides funding assistance to charter schools for rent and lease expenditures that meet specific eligibility criteria. The law was updated in 2015 by the state budget bill, codified in statute by Assembly Bill (AB 104).


Senator Hueso Pushed for Schools to Adopt
Reading Plan for Struggling Readers

Senator Hueso with kids

Senator Ben Hueso, Superintendent of South Bay Union School District Dr. Katie McNamara, Assistant Superintendent Cindy Wagner and Principal of Nicoloff Elementary Rigo Lara discussed the importance and benefits of Senate Bill 1145, which requires teachers and parents of struggling readers to work together to formulate a reading plan from kindergarten through the third grade.

At the event Senator Hueso expressed, "Reading is the foundation of learning and it develops the mind. Senate Bill 1145 will ensure that our schools are fully equipped to support students struggling with reading and empower them a tailored reading plan. I strongly believe that this legislation is imperative for the future of our state."

According to the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress Report, 72 percent of California fourth graders are not reading proficiently, and unfortunately, our public schools often do not have the resources to reach every student. Requiring the Golden State Reading Guarantee Act will ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to succeed.

Dr. McNamara, Superintendent of South Bay Union School said, "As educators, we know that reading is essential for academic success in all subject areas. South Bay Union is committed to providing our students with frequent opportunities to read, as well as ensuring that students have access to informative and engaging books that are appropriate for each child's reading level. We are very proud of the work we have done this year to assess student reading levels and adjust instruction based on the results. We thank Senator Hueso for his ongoing support of education and for sponsoring a Senate Bill that highlights the importance of reading."


Senator Hueso Urges Congress to Appropriate
$248 Million for Calexico Border

Senator Hueso speaking

Senator Ben Hueso, joined by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia and Imperial County Supervisors John Renison and Ray Castillo, urged Congress to appropriate $248 million to complete Phase II of the Calexico West Land Port of Entry Reconfiguration and Expansion project.

"We need to continue to push for infrastructure improvements in our ports of entry, said Hueso. "By expanding Calexico's Port of Entry, we have a greater opportunity to improve our economic prosperity and success. These enhancements will broaden our options and will transform the way we travel by making it more convenient, fast and accessible."

Phase II funding 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 includes additional site-work, an expanded pedestrian processing facility, administrative offices and six additional northbound Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) inspection lanes.

"The inclusion of $248 million in funding for Phase II of the Calexico West Land Port of Entry reconfiguration and expansion project in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill will bring the needed resources to our border region in order to enhance the quality of life to our residents," said Assembly member Eduardo Garcia, co-author of SJR 22. "It is our goal to create greater opportunities to address a series of issues that are affecting not only the economic vitality opportunities in the region, but more importantly, the public health and well-being of the people that live here."

Senate Joint Resolution 22 has bipartisan support and is currently on the Assembly Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy Committee.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT ...

Denise Thornburg, CCRN Recognized for her
Selfless Commitment to the Community
Senator Hueso with Denise Thornburg

Senator Ben Hueso commended Ms. Denise Thornburg for her dedication and selfless commitment to the community of Imperial County. Denise graduated in 1973 from Imperial Valley College's first class of the Registered Nursing program. When she started the nursing program there were 38 students and of that 30 successfully graduated. She has been an active Registered Nurse for 43 years and has mentored and taught others on the skills of Intensive Care Nursing. This April, she was recognized by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for being one of 397 RNs nationwide to hold the CCRN, an advanced nursing specialty certification, for over 30 years.

Denise's advice to new nurses is to work hard on organizational skills, befriend your coworkers and not to expect nursing to be easy. A good nurse should always strive to be an asset.

Senator Hueso is extremely proud of honoring Ms. Denise Thornburg and wishes her the best in her retirement.

WHAT'S NEW ...

"Gender Pricing" Bill Passes the Senate

Products displayed with different prices

Senate Bill 899, which will prohibit business establishments from charging customers different prices for similar or like goods on the basis of gender, has passed the State Senate.

"I want to thank my Senate colleagues for supporting Senate Bill 899 and for recognizing that gender pricing inequality does in fact exist in retail stores," said Senator Hueso after the Senate passed the bill. "We need to continue the fight against this practice by raising awareness and ultimately eliminate unfair pricing based on gender. I will continue to diligently work with my Assembly colleagues as the bill moves through its respective committees to support this measure which is aimed at protecting the consumer and will create 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 percent of the time while men's products cost more 19 percent percent of the time.

Since 1996, California has protected consumers against gender price discrimination in the service industry. This bill provides those same protections to both genders on the pricing of consumer goods.

Senate Bill 899 now heads to the Assembly.


Senate Establishes Business Tax Credit for
Hiring High-Risk Youth

Senator Hueso with youth

Senator Ben Hueso announced that 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, passed the State Senate.

During the senate vote he stated, "I want to thank my Senate colleagues for supporting Senate Bill 1216 and for recognizing that this measure will 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. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Assembly to pass this very important legislative proposal that will allow our youth to transition into productive adults."

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

An employee who qualifies under this bill proposal is an individual who meets all of the following requirements: (1) receives starting wages that are at least 150 percent of the minimum wage, (2) is hired by the qualified taxpayer on or after January 1, 2017, (3) works no less than an average of 35 hours per week, (4) and the individual is an ex-offender previously convicted of a felony who is, at the time of hiring, between 18-25 years of age and who demonstrates documented completion of a work readiness program from a qualified job training provider.

Senate Bill 1216 now moves to the Assembly for further consideration.


How to Save Energy & Stay Cool!

Energy Upgrade California with Bear

Did you know that 31 percent of energy use in the home is used for heating and cooling in California? Adding insulation, blocking leaks, and replacing old equipment can help reduce energy use and save money.

With the hottest summer months right around the corner, here are three easy tricks to survive the summer:

  1. Close curtains and drapes. As simple as this may seem, closing your curtains can reduce indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees and save up to 7 percent on your monthly bill.

  2. Use weather stripping and caulking. Filling gaps around doors and windows with caulk, spray foam, and batting is one of the quickest and cost-effective ways to reduce wasteful air leakage.

  3. Use ceiling fans. Setting your thermostat to 78 degrees and using a ceiling fan is a great alternative to air conditioning. By moving the air around, a ceiling fan can make a room feel 3-7 degrees cooler.

  4. Bright Idea! When it gets extra hot, try your own personal mister. A spray bottle with water can instantly cool you down!

Share your bright ideas here: brightideas@energycenter.org. Energy Upgrade California has compiled more tips on ways to stay cool here. Find more ways to save energy at home and at work here: www.EnergyUpgradeCA.org.


Legislature Adopts 2016-17 State Budget

Both houses of the State Legislature adopted the 2016-17 State Budget and budget trailer bills will be taken up over the next few sessions. The budget builds on six years of responsible state spending and fiscal management. It contains record levels of K-12 per-pupil spending, invests in public higher education, saves in the rainy day fund and focuses on significant issues of poverty, including housing and childcare.

A responsible and prudent budget

Saves an unprecedented $6 billion+ into the state's rainy day fund and reserve, while dedicating nearly $3 billion to paying off debt.

 

Record investment in K-12 Education

Education remains the state's top spending priority, with record funding levels for K-12 schools, with an increase of more than $3600 per student over the past five years.

 

Reaffirms our commitment to higher education

Targeted investments in UC and CSU open 7,000 new spaces for in-state students. Additionally, we invested $200 million to fund programs at K-12 schools to better prepare low-income students for college.

 

Helps working families stay on the job

The budget invests $427 million to help pay child care providers.

 

Starts kids on the right track

The budget prioritizes access to early care and education by investing $100 million to create 9,000 additional slots in preschool over the next three years.

 

No Place Like Home

Invests $2 billion towards emergency shelter, temporary housing and support programs for homeless who are mentally ill. Makes sure that children and families in the CalWORKs and foster care systems have access to additional assistance. Learn more:http://focus.senate.ca.gov/homelessness

 

Repeals a decades-long unjust cap on aid

Puts an end to the Maximum Family Grant rule and opens up aid to 130,000 children in 95,000 families across California.

 

Gun violence research

Creates a firearms violence research center at the University of California to study the root cause and impact of gun violence.

Governor Brown has until June 30 to sign the final budget.



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