August is undoubtedly one of the Legislature's busiest months, as we finalize legislation in advance of the September 10 end-of-session deadline and start of fall recess. Problems viewing this E-mail? Please click here.
Senator Ben Hueso


 
WELCOME

Dear Friend,

August is undoubtedly one of the Legislature's busiest months, as we finalize legislation in advance of the September 10 end-of-session deadline and start of fall recess. I am proud of the bills my office has supported this year, and look forward to getting them over the finish line and to the Governor's desk for signature. My colleagues in the Legislature and I have tackled important issues such as covid-19 vaccinations, broadband infrastructure improvements, wildfire prevention, universal free school lunches, and more. We are confident that the legislative proposals moved this year will put California on a path to build back boldly from the economic and social impacts of the pandemic.

If you have any comments about bills I will be voting on in the coming weeks, please do not hesitate to share them. I value your opinion and insight on all legislation.

Sincerely,

Ben Hueso
State Senator
40th District

 

WELCOME
Events Calendar
8/3: National Night Out
8/16: Legislature reconvenes from summer recess
8/26: Women's Equality Day
8/27: Last day for fiscal committees to meet
8/30-9/10: Floor session only
   
   
For the complete legislative calendar, please visit: Legislative Calendar

 

IN THE KNOW ...

Restoration of the Old Logan Heights Library

Despite predicting a $54 billion shortfall last year due to the pandemic, our state's finances have not only survived the covid-19 economic crisis but have grown by leaps and bounds. Due to this solid financial footing, this year's state budget is able not only to keep funding existing programs and projects, but also to fund new projects, including $2.4 million I secured toward restoration of the old Logan Heights Library.

Built in 1927, the old Logan Heights Library building is potentially historic and a landmark in the community. For the better part of a century, it was the main library for the area, and provided a home away from home for generations of Barrio Logan and Logan Heights residents. After the new Logan Heights Branch Library opened in December 2009, the old building gradually ceased to be used. Now rated in poor condition, the old Logan Heights Library needs structural upgrades, new plumbing and electrical, updated landscaping and more.

However, the building is far from a total loss, and is in a good location central to the community and adjacent to the new library. Over the years, attempts to sell the property have been blocked, with residents making clear they want it to stay in the community. Now with funding secured, the community can finally start envisioning a new public use for the site. I will provide more information in the coming months on how you can get involved with the planning process!

 

Back-to-School Safety

This month, many California students head back to the classroom for the 2021-22 school year. To best protect students and staff as California starts the school year fully in-person, the California Department of Public Health issued a new public health order this month requiring all teachers and school staff to either show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once per week. This will help give parents confidence that their children will be safe at school, especially until children are eligible to receive the life-saving vaccines.

The State has created a Safe Schools For All Hub that consolidates key resources and information related to COVID-19 and schools. Visit schools.covid19.ca.gov to learn more.

 

Expanded Golden State Stimulus to Start Reaching Californians on August 27

Starting August 27, Californians will begin receiving the second round of Golden State Stimulus payments. These payments are part of a $12 billion state tax rebate program enacted by the Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom to provide direct relief for Californians hit hardest by the pandemic and support the state's economic recovery.

What you'll receive:  California taxpayers with a Social Security Number making $75,000 or less who did not receive a first payment will receive $600. Qualified ITIN filers making $75,000 or less and have one or more dependents will receive $1,000 payment.

For more information about the Golden State Stimulus, including who qualifies or how to receive payment, please visit the Franchise Tax Board's webpages for Help with Golden State Stimulus and Golden State Stimulus II Estimator.

 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT ...

Small Business of the Year: Karina's Mexican Seafood

 

On August 18, the Legislature celebrated California Small Business Day 2021, an annual event organized by the California Small Business Association to recognize and celebrate the vast contributions of small businesses to the state. I was thrilled to recognize Karina's Mexican Seafood, a beloved San Diego family-owned restaurant business, as Small Business of the Year for the 40th Senate District.

Karina's Mexican Seafood began its story in 1981 when Arnulfo Contreras Sr. and his wife, María Inés Curiel, opened a small taco shop in Spring Valley that they named after the eldest of their six children. Mr. and Mrs. Contreras Curiel immigrated from Mexico with hope, motivation, and a vision and, through their hard work, they beat the odds and achieved the American Dream. Since that modest beginning, their six children have worked together to grow and oversee the business, which has expanded into a thriving collection of popular San Diego dining destinations, including Karina's Ceviches & More, Karina's Cantina, Karina's Taco Stand, Saffron Thai, Taka Sushi and Savoie Italian Eatery.

Small businesses like Karina's – grown with love and hard work over generations – are the fabric of our state's economy and part of what has catapulted California to the world's fifth largest economy. The Contreras Curiel family embodies the American and California Dreams and, despite all the challenges and stresses of running a business, still finds unique ways to give back to the community that has helped them grow over the years.

Learn more about Karina's and the Small Business of the Year 2021 award on my website.

 

Citizen of the Month: Ramon Castro

Brawley City Councilman Ramon Castro just returned from the trip of his life. For 45 days, he walked the entire US-Mexico border, hiking up to 15 hours a day in temperatures reaching 120 degrees, facing threats from weather, dogs, wildlife, and physical injuries. He did all this to support and bring awareness to non-U.S. citizen veterans who have been deported, oftentimes for committing minor crimes involving drugs and alcohol or linked to emotional trauma related to their military service.

Ramon's trek started June 28 in San Diego and continued across California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, ending August 11 in Brownsville, Texas. Dubbed "Walk the Line," it was the inaugural event of the American Veterans Homefront Initiative, an organization Ramon recently founded that works to stop deportation of American veterans, help those who have been deported to return to the United States, and streamline the US citizenship process for immigrants serving in the military.

Ramon was born and raised in Brawley, and is a graduate of Brawley Union High School. He served two terms of enlistment in the United States Marine Corps, including participating Operation Iraqi Freedom. After his military career, he completed a five-year electrical apprenticeship at San Diego/Imperial County Electrical Institute and now operates his own small business.

Ramon was elected to the Brawley City Council in 2020 and has already made a lasting impact on the city and Valley region. He also currently serves as President of the Veterans Honor Wall Committee, Executive Board Member of American Legion Post 60 and organizes the annual Veterans Benefits Seminar.

Thank you, Ramon, for bringing awareness to this important issue. Your bravery, dedication and grit are beyond admirable.

 

WHAT'S NEW ...

Get Paid While Earning Your High School Diploma

Urban Corps of San Diego County enrollees learn professional skills working on environmental, construction, recycling and community improvement projects, and have a chance to earn industry-recognized certifications. Must be age 18-26. For more info, visit urbancorpssd.org.

 

Protecting Yourself from Wildfire Smoke

The air pollutants in wildfire smoke are hazardous for your health, and can be especially dangerous for children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with heart or respiratory conditions. As wildfires continue to burn at record-setting paces throughout the state, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with some of the best practices for keeping the air in your home clean. Learn more on the California Air Resources Board website.

 

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California State Senator Ben Hueso - 40th 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) 2021 California State Senate