E-Newsletter

 
WELCOME

Dear Friend,

I hope you are having a wonderful start to your summer! June is a very important month in the State Legislature, as we finalized our state budget for the year. As California’s economy continues to see increasing revenues, it is important to consider that our state budget is a reflection of our priorities. The State of California is putting its money where its mouth is, so to speak, and investing heavily in education, healthcare, and revitalization of the middle class.

I’m very proud of our advocacy and work in Sacramento, and am pleased to share that the state allocated significant funding for critical projects in the 40th Senate District, including for the Tijuana River Valley cleanup efforts and suicide prevention measures on the Coronado Bridge.

As always, if we can be of assistance to you in the district or the Capitol, please do not hesitate to contact my offices.

Sincerely,

Ben Hueso
State Senator
40th District

WELCOME
Events Calendar
06/03: Committee meetings may resume
06/15:

Budget bill must be passed by midnight

06/16: Father’s Day
06/19 Juneteenth
06/21 Summer Solstice
   
For the complete legislative calendar, please visit: Legislative Calendar

 

IN THE KNOW ...

State Budget Investments in 40th Senate District



The State Legislature recently passed the 2019-2020 state budget, and Governor Newsom signed it this week. This year’s budget advances California’s values while protecting our taxpayers.

The fiscal plan we created will keep the Golden State on sound footing while investing in our future, including by emphasizing early child development with a $500 million investment for childcare infrastructure and workforce development. The budget focuses on the revitalization of California’s middle class with an emphasis on fiscal responsibility. It also provides a record investment in education funding with the highest level of school funding and per pupil funding ever recorded in state history, while also adding 15,000 openings to CSU and UC campuses across the state, all without a tuition increase.

I am very happy to report that the budget includes funding for many critical projects that I have advocated for the 40th Senate District:

  • $15 million for Tijuana River Valley pollution control
  • $5 million for suicide prevention measures on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge
  • $5 million for the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA
  • $2 million to conduct a campus feasibility study for Chula Vista (shared with three other cities)
  • $1.5 million to support the UC Berkeley Labor Center’s research efforts on the future of work.
  • $8.6 million in building modifications at Imperial Valley College
  • $17 million for a new El Centro Courthouse

Mabuhay Festival 2019

I had a great time this month at the 10th annual Mabuhay Festival in National City! It is always such a fun event celebrating our Filipino-American community and honoring Philippine Independence Day.

The Filipino community is the largest Asian population and the third largest ethnic group in San Diego County. Mabuhay Festival celebrates cultural diversity, promotes pride in Filipino cultural heritage, and facilitates a sense of community. This year, I was honored to receive the Mabuhay Bayani Award in recognition of my contributions to the Filipino American community.

UCAN’s Public Servant Award



Happy 35th anniversary to the Utility Consumers' Action Network! Over the past 35 years, UCAN has done tremendous work on behalf of San Diegans and local consumers. Whether it’s saving customers millions of dollars in rates or having wildfire costs paid for by shareholders and not ratepayers, UCAN has played, and continues to serve, a crucial and pivotal role by being the voice for San Diego consumers. As Chair of the California Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications, every day I see the necessity for organizations such as UCAN. Groups like UCAN help inform and develop our understanding of sound public policy.

At their anniversary celebration this month, I was honored to be recognized with the Public Servant Award for my work on behalf of utility ratepayers. I look forward to continuing to work with UCAN to help save ratepayers money.

Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce Member Breakfast



I had the honor of speaking at the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce Member Breakfast about the needs of Otay Mesa and the business community, and to provide an update on state investment in border infrastructure. Investments in border infrastructure are investments in our own economic success.

Caltrans and SANDAG will design, construct and finance a new port of entry in San Diego County, and the first phase of construction is expected to begin this summer. We have also received $82.5 million in SB1 Trade Corridor Enhancement Program funds to address immediate freight efficiency needs along the California-Mexico Border.

However, we know that these investments are only the beginning, and the conversation on border infrastructure must remain front and center for California’s continued prosperity. That is why I have introduced a measure, Senate Bill 558, to create a Commission on California-Mexico Affairs, which will look at what additional policies and mechanisms are necessary to grow California’s economic relationship with Mexico across our shared border and to activate the full economic potential of our binational economy.

And to ensure this economic success continues, I am also working on a proposal to increase California’s presence in Mexico - which will be unveiled at a later time through Senate Bill 738. As always, I welcome your thoughts on this, and all, legislation making its way through the legislative process. Your input is highly valued.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT ...

Citizen of the Month: Valerie Separa Ruiz



This month, I want to honor Valerie Separa Ruiz, Sweetwater District Unified Champion Schools Coordinator, for all her work changing the lives of students throughout the Sweetwater community and beyond.

The Unified Champion Schools program promotes inclusion and acceptance of students with and without intellectual disabilities. The program links developed student athletes alongside students with disabilities - as their peers. Through self-advocacy, friendship, fitness and sports together, students build relationships that help to change the atmosphere of competitive sports and toward inclusion.

The Unified Champion Schools program at Sweetwater Union High School District started in the 2015-2016 school year with exhibition unified basketball games with 11 schools. In 2018, SUHSD became the first Unified School District in Special Olympics Southern California, which means it has at least 20 percent of its schools recognized as Unified Champion Schools. Currently, every high school participated in Unified Champion Schools, and 8 out of 11 middle schools participated. More than 400 middle and high school students throughout the Sweetwater District participate in the Unified Champion Schools program year around.

SUHSD has sporting seasons that run throughout the entire school year and include flag football, soccer, basketball, track & field, and cross-fit. Additionally, schools host at least one spirit week that focuses on inclusion like Special Olympics R-Word Campaign that happens the first week of March. This summer, SUHSD will have a program to allow athletes and partners to stay active. The Summer of Fitness will introduce students to activities like bowling, rowing, and hiking.

Valerie is respected by students, teachers and parents alike for her unparalleled commitment to inclusion and the betterment of all students. Please join me in thanking her and congratulating her on being June 2019 Citizen of the Month!

Nonprofit of the Year: ABC Youth Foundation



The fourth annual California Nonprofits Day was celebrated on June 5 at the State Capitol in Sacramento, honoring organizations statewide as Nonprofits of the Year. This year, our office recognized ABC (Any Body Can) Youth Foundation, an athletic and academic afterschool program located in Central San Diego, as the 40th Senate District’s honoree.

ABC Youth Foundation was established in 1957 by World Boxing Champion Archie Moore with a mission of “empowering San Diego’s inner city youth to face life’s challenges with courage and dignity.” Today, Archie’s son, Billy Moore, runs the organization, and continues to support this mission with afterschool youth boxing, in-house educational tutoring and their “Bridge the Gap” school break program.

By contributing to the academic success and physical wellbeing of inner-city youth, ABC Youth Foundation has greatly enhanced the quality of life in the central San Diego community and instilled a strong sense of pride in the individuals who are associated with it. Billy and his team are beyond deserving of this special public recognition for their longstanding support of our youth.

WHAT'S NEW ...

CalFresh Benefits Expanding



Beginning on June 1, 2019, SSI (Supplemental Security Income)/SSP (State Supplementary Payment) recipients may be eligible for federal food benefits, as is the case in every other state in the country. This historic shift in policy will be a tremendous opportunity to increase food security and reduce hunger and poverty for the estimated 500,000 SSI elderly and disabled recipients, many of whom have relied on local food banks and pantries for their daily nutrition. Visit www.CalFreshFood.org for more information.

Sweetwater Authority Recognized for “Securing Our Water Future” Initiative
 



Sweetwater Authority recently received the American Water Works Association Public Communications Achievement Award for its strategic and comprehensive outreach campaign surrounding the 2018 five-year rate study titled “Securing Our Water Future.”

Sweetwater Authority’s Board of Directors developed the campaign in an effort to engage customers and stakeholders during the 2018 five-year water rate study process. The Authority’s outreach efforts were extensive, inclusive, bilingual, and communicated how the Authority uses water rates to invest in infrastructure and secure water reliability for customers. Congratulations to everyone involved in this campaign and thank you for your work on behalf of utility consumers.

Caltrans Improvements in the 40th Senate District

My staff recently took a tour of the new traffic infrastructure on 1-5/805 at San Ysidro Port of Entry. As an update, at the Port of Entry, Caltrans is working on installing new pavement markings showing the lanes going into Mexico, the last U-turn lane, new overhead signs, rumble bars to slow down traffic, and new striping and flashing signs.

For more information about Caltrans work to date, please visit their website at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/d11/

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