Summer 2015 - State Budget Passage, Legislative Updates, and Upcoming Events
Happy summer! In this newsletter, I update you on some of the legislation I've authored this year, let you know about the passage of the state budget, and provide information about upcoming events in the 29th Assembly District. Please don't hesitate to contact my office if I can help you.
State Budget Update
In June, the Legislature passed, and Governor Brown signed a balanced, on-time, fiscally responsible budget that invests in public schools, makes college more affordable, and prioritizes the needs of the most vulnerable Californians. We reinvested in our students with new funding to K-12 schools and early childhood education, and students at UC and CSU schools will enjoy more financial aid opportunities and lower tuition. We are helping lift more Californians out of poverty by allocating $380 million to benefit our state's poorest working families through a statewide Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). As author of Assembly Bill 43, a comprehensive EITC proposal that provides a framework to extend the EITC to low- and middle-income working families in future budgets, I am pleased that we took this major step toward addressing poverty.
Additionally, the budget includes $10 million in funding for my Assembly Bill 988 to promote education about the environment and outdoor recreation, prioritizing opportunities for underserved and at-risk students. The budget also includes nearly $10 million for my Assembly Bill 403, which reforms placement options for foster youth and provides new, targeted services for youth and families.
Overall, my voice, and by extension, the voices of my constituents in the 29th Assembly District, was heard throughout the budget process.
AB 988 (Stone/Atkins) Outdoor Education: This measure establishes an Outdoor Environmental Education Program under the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The bill prioritizes grants to organizations that work to increase the ability of underserved and at-risk populations to participate in outdoor recreation and educational activities. Priority is given to programs that emphasize service learning, promote environmental stewardship, or integrate instruction in science, technology, engineering and mathematic subjects. In many underserved communities, outdoor environmental education and recreation programs are the only exposure kids have to nature and the environment. Students have memorable real-world experiences with the environment, which increases interest in science and environmental stewardship. The measure is currently being considered by the Senate.
AB 848 (Stone) Medical Services for Detoxification Facilities: This bill solves a problem that was brought to my attention by detoxification facilities in my district, and it ensures the safety of people seeking alcohol and drug rehabilitation services. The measure allows residential detoxification facilities to provide 24-hour medical services to their clients. A detoxification facility should be able to provide the best possible care for vulnerable people struggling to overcome addictions. People who are working to get sober should have their needs met through the programs where they are seeking help, including medical treatment related to their addiction and recovery. This bill is currently under consideration in the Senate.
Updates on other key legislation: AB 403, my foster care reform bill that gives families who provide foster care targeted training and support so that they are better prepared to care for youth living with them and advances the state's long-standing goal to move away from the use of long-term group home care, is being considered for passage in the Senate. Now that the budget includes an Earned Income Tax Credit for California's poorest working families, I amended my AB 43 to provide a framework to extend the EITC to low- and middle-income working families in future budgets.
2015 Small Business of the Year - 29th Assembly District
I'm pleased to announce the 2015 Small Business of the Year for the 29th Assembly District, locally-owned and operated Internet service provider Cruzio. Cruzio and its employees have served our community for nearly twenty-five years. As a major contributor toward increasing local Internet infrastructure, Cruzio is helping make Santa Cruz County a leader for technology and entrepreneurism.
Cruzio serves over 9,000 businesses and homes in Santa Cruz County, making it one of the largest independent ISPs in California. It was co-founded by Peggy Dolgenos and Chris Neklason, both of whom continue to own and operate the company today.
The small business contributes to the community, models eco-friendly business decisions, and provides good wages for its employees. It offers competitive prices, provides services in Spanish and English, and donates services to dozens of local nonprofit and government organizations. Congratulations Cruzio!
Upcoming Events in the 29th DistrictSmall Business Social Media Workshop - July 15
Facebook, the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, and Assemblymember Mark Stone invite you to join experts from Facebook's Small Business Team as they share best practices, success stories, and strategies for how to grow, manage, and understand your small business identity on Facebook. Learn how to reach the right audience for your business and turn them into loyal customers. This event is free and open to the public.
Wednesday, July 15
9:30 - 11 AM
Hilton Garden Inn
1000 Aguajito Road, Monterey, CA 93940
Please RSVP here. For more information, call my Monterey District Office at (831) 649-2832.Monterey Area Business Tax Credits: Go-Biz California Competes Workshops - July 22
The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and I are hosting a workshop on the California Competes Tax Credit. Small, medium, and large businesses are encouraged to attend the workshop and receive instructions on how to apply for this tax credit program. The California Competes Program has tax credits available during the 2015-16 fiscal year for businesses that want to expand in or relocate to California. Come and learn how your business can apply for available tax credits. The workshop and the program are free and available to businesses of all sizes throughout the state.
Wednesday, July 22
10 - 11:30 AM
Oldemeyer Center - Blackhorse Room
986 Hilby Avenue, Seaside, CA 93955
Workshop Co-Hosts include the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Seaside - Sand City - Del Rey Oaks Chambers of Commerce, Monterey County African American Chamber of Commerce, Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce, and the Monterey County Business Council.
Please RSVP here. For more information, call my Monterey District Office at (831) 649-2832.California Business Assistance Forum – July 22
State Senator Bill Monning, the Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Center at Cabrillo College, the Santa Cruz County Business Council and I have invited representatives from Covered California and the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to increase your awareness and understanding of healthcare coverage options and tax credits available to businesses of all sizes.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
2 - 3:30 PM
Santa Cruz County Office of Education
400 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
For more information, call my Santa Cruz District Office at (831) 425-1503.SuperKids Summer Bash Health and Wellness Fair – July 25
San Jose families - are you looking to have fun and learn more about living a healthy lifestyle this summer? Come join San Jose City Councilmember Ash Kalra and me at the SuperKids Summer Bash health and wellness fair. Kids and families can have fun while learning about nutrition, personal safety, sports, exercise, and more. Among the fun activities:
-FREE BIKE HELMET GIVEAWAYS!
-Meet Gigante from the San Jose Giants!
-Try out gymnastics, soccer & basketball programs!
-Receive free dental screenings!
-Learn to save seeds, and then take them home to start your own veggie garden!
-Food trucks featuring delicious, healthy choices will be selling on site!
Saturday, July 25
10 AM - 1 PM
Southside Community Center
5585 Cottle Road, San Jose, CA 95123
For more information about the SuperKids Summer Bash, call my Cruz District Office at (831) 425-1503.
Contacting My Office: Sharing Your Views, Getting Assistance, and Visiting My Office
Do you need assistance with a state agency like the DMV, Employment Development Department, or Franchise Tax Board? Do you have questions about state legislation? Would you like to share a concern or suggestion with one of your state representatives?
I have two district offices to serve Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties and mobile office hours in Santa Clara County.
Santa Cruz County District Office
701 Ocean Street, 318-B
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Tel: (831) 425-1503
Fax: (831) 425-2570
Monterey County District Office
99 Pacific Street, Ste 575G
Monterey, CA 93940
Tel: (831) 649-2832
Fax: (831) 649-2935
Santa Clara County Mobile Office Hours
Times and locations vary. Contact the Santa Cruz District Office at (831) 425-1503 for more information.