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Senator Ben Hueso


Dear Friend,

I hope you had a wonderful holiday celebrating with friends and family on the Fourth of July.

June was another very productive month in Sacramento, and I'm pleased to share with you many updates regarding state funding and support for projects in Senate District 40. Through hard work and advocacy, we were able to secure millions of dollars for critical economic and public health projects that will have long-lasting beneficial impacts in our community.

Some highlights include:

-     Proposition 68: the approved bond measure that includes $200 million for Salton Sea projects, as well as the state budget allocation of $30 million to the California Department of Water Resources for 1,000 acres of new habitat construction at the Salton Sea

-     $2 million from the state budget to help Sweetwater Union High School District build a new competitive swimming pool at Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach

-     More than $1.5 million in Community Air Grants Program Awards from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to be used for identifying, evaluating, and reducing air pollution and exposure to harmful emissions in California's most-impacted communities, including the Imperial Valley and San Ysidro

-     $40,338,000 allocation in the state budget to fund a new El Centro Area California Highway Patrol Office

-     $6,244,000 from the state budget to support the Veterans Resource Center grant program, allowing community college districts and campuses to apply for grants to provide veterans and active duty members of the military with the necessary resources to help them succeed academically

As always, if you have any questions or need any support from my office, please e-mail or call my staff.


Ben Hueso
State Senator
40th District

Events Calendar
7/04: Independence Day

Last day for policy committees to meet and report bills; summer recess begins upon adjournment

8/06: Legislature reconvenes
For the complete legislative calendar, please visit: Legislative Calendar

Update on State Funding for the Salton Sea


In June, we held a press conference in Imperial Valley to discuss the regional impacts of state funding recently allocated to the Salton Sea. Topics included Proposition 68, the approved bond measure that includes $200 million for Salton Sea projects, as well as the state budget, which  allocates $30 million to the California Department of Water Resources for 1,000 acres of new habitat construction at the Salton Sea. These new allocations will significantly boost the State's efforts to build wetlands around the shrinking Salton Sea, and to alleviate increasing threats to wildlife resources and air quality in the region.

There remains much work to be done to address the mounting environmental, economic and public health threats posed by increasing salinity and reduced flows at the Salton Sea. However, these projects make me optimistic that our advocacy for the Salton Sea is becoming a priority, not only for Imperial Valley, but for Californians across the state.

Mar Vista High School Receives $2 million State Budget Allocation for New Community Pool


The state budget, passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown in June, included a $2 million allocation to the Sweetwater Union High School District to help fund necessary upgrades to the existing competitive swimming pool at Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach. This effort is a great example of government working together at all levels to produce a result benefiting thousands of students and residents in the South Bay.

Late last year, Sweetwater Union High School District came to me and asked for help with the Mar Vista swimming pool. The pool was facing closure due to multiple structural cracks, pipe breakages, and other drainage and structural problems. The students and residents in the region, most of whom are economically disadvantaged, were going to be left without a pool facility.

The existing pool was built in 1967 and serves four schools' water polo and swim teams, including Mar Vista High, San Ysidro High, Southwest High and Montgomery High. In addition, residents from the City of San Diego and Imperial Beach utilize the pool for recreational activities during the off-season. Approximately 8,500 students have access to the facility and about 1,000 adults and seniors.

Alongside my colleagues at the legislature and with the support of Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins and Assemblymember Todd Gloria, we were able to secure the $2 million the school district needed to begin construction on a state-of-the-art swimming pool, so that our residents and students can continue to use the pool facility. I'm very excited to see the new pool when completed and hope to be one of the first to dive in!


Nonprofit of the Year: Casa Familiar


On June 6, the third annual California Nonprofits Day was celebrated at the State Capitol in Sacramento. This year's 40th District Nonprofit of the Year honoree was Casa Familiar, a community development agency in San Ysidro that empowers residents in South San Diego to take an active role in the civic engagement, sustainability and quality of life issues affecting their region.

The diversity of South San Diego County and the border region is an integral part of the 40th Senate District, and Casa Familiar greatly enhances this by offering innovative programs that are just as diverse as the residents they serve. The organization provides more than 40 bilingual programs and services at six different sites, including programs geared toward Civic Engagement, Health and Social Services, Arts and Culture, and Education.

Casa Familiar has been a fixture in the South Bay community for more than 40 years and is beyond deserving of this special public recognition for its longstanding support of our residents. Please join me in congratulating the organization on this distinction, as well as thanking them for the continuous support for and work on behalf of the residents of our district.

Small Business of the Year: Rico's on 3rd

ben-hueso-Ricos on 3rd-1

June 19 was California Small Business Day 2018, and a celebration in Sacramento honored organizations statewide as Small Businesses of the Year. Rico's on 3rd, a family-owned and operated hair salon located in Chula Vista, was selected as the 40th Senate District's 2018 Small Business of the Year. Through its philanthropic efforts, Rico's on 3rd has been an exemplary corporate citizen, displaying excellence in civic leadership while helping meet the needs of the community.

Rico's on 3rd benefits from owner Snooky Rico's 36 years of experience as a hair stylist, as well as the talents of her daughters, Andrea and Raquel, who have followed in their mother's footsteps working as stylists in the salon. Snooky opened the current storefront about 10 years ago with her late sister and business partner, Fifi Diaz. After Fifi's unfortunate passing, the business has remained steadfast in its commitment to giving back to the community that has supported it, and to honoring Fifi's legacy and keeping her memory alive.

Herself a breast cancer survivor, Snooky Rico turned her personal battle into an opportunity to help and comfort other patients and, with her daughters, she created the nonprofit program "Loving You Through It" to provide dignity and strength to others battling cancer. Through this program, the family donates free services including head shaving, wig styling, and makeup and head scarf tutorials in an effort to help oncology patients build confidence, as well as to provide hope, compassion, encouragement, and support during and after chemotherapy. Rico's on 3rd was most recently named a Wig Bank for the American Cancer Society. The business also volunteers their services to children at hospitals, homeless shelters, the Barnhart Cancer Center and more.

I am proud to support small businesses like Rico's on 3rd, and take great pleasure in congratulating them on their selection as the 40th District 2018 Small Business of the Year.


California Latino Caucus Foundation 2018 Scholarship Recipients

The California Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation (CLLCF) recently announced the recipients of its fourth annual CLLCF Scholarship Program. This year 60 students across California were selected to receive a 2018 CLLCF Scholarship, continuing the Foundation's commitment to helping students in California further their education.

The CLLCF received over 900 applications from throughout the state this year - more than double the applications compared to 2017. Winners were selected from the highly-competitive pool of applicants, and evaluated using the following criteria: academic performance, personal statements, extracurricular activities, leadership positions held, special awards and honors received, and work history. Each winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship for educational purposes.

If you are interested in learning more about the Foundation or the Scholarship Program, please visit http://www.cllcf.org.

CAL FIRE Urban and Community Forestry Program Grant Project Awards

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has awarded four grants for urban forestry projects to entities in our district for a total of $3,645,500 in state funding.

CAL FIRE's California Climate Investments Initiative aims to continue efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy and improve public health and the environment - particularly in disadvantaged communities. In furtherance of this goal, nearly $17.5 million in grants are being awarded throughout the state to cities, counties, local districts and non-profit entities. In total, 23 grant applicants will receive funding to plant nearly 26,000 trees in urban communities and engage residents through planned outreach and education.

For more information about the awarded grant projects, please visit the CAL FIRE website at: http://www.fire.ca.gov/

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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) 2018 California State Senate