We’re in the last month of a two-year legislative session. During August, we’ll be voting on approximately 1,200 bills, over 500 in the Assembly and about 700 in the Senate.
California’s spending priorities are often seriously out-of-whack. We spend billions on a bullet train to nowhere that few will ever ride, yet we refuse to spend available funds on new dams, reservoirs and aqueducts during repeated periods of drought. Once-in-a-while though, we get it right.
Supply chain problems have been negatively impacting California and the rest of the nation for months. Look at any new car lot and you see the lack of inventory. Even buying products at the store is difficult.  A big part of the problem has been the backup caused by the lack of trucks to move products from the ports to markets and consumers throughout the United States. Now the problem may become much worse.
Tribal fire departments are an integral part of California’s wildfire defense. The growing cooperation between Cal Fire, and local and tribal fire departments throughout California is testimony to the dedication of our first responders who safeguard our lives and our homes every day.
Last week, the Governor and his Supermajority allies in the Legislature agreed on final budget trailer bills for the new Fiscal Year. Spending will reach a record $307 billion. While I have concerns about many of the budget’s priorities, there is some good news.
California agriculture produces one-third of the country’s vegetables, two-thirds of its fruits and nuts, and generates around $50 billion in annual revenue. We are the nation’s breadbasket, and we help feed much of the world by exporting over $20 billion in agricultural commodities every year. According to the San Diego County Farm Bureau, the County’s agricultural production ranks 19th out of over 3,000 counties nationwide.
California still has the highest gasoline prices in the U.S. along with the highest gas taxes. Gasoline is averaging $6.40 per gallon across California, inflation is escalating, people are hurting.
Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) is one of the most effective tools available for treating severely mentally ill persons. Legislation known as Laura’s Law was introduced in 2001 to make AOT available for persons who meet specified criteria for involuntary commitment, such as presenting a danger to themselves or others, or who are gravely disabled. My subsequent legislation, AB 59, extended the sunset date of Laura’s Law, and a majority of California’s 58 counties are now participating.
What happens to Sexually Violent Predators (SVPs) once they’ve served their sentences? Apparently, they get dumped in rural San Diego County.
California’s main Capitol building in Sacramento was completed in 1874. It is a historic treasure, but after World War II it became obvious it wasn’t large enough to handle the needs of our growing state. An annex attached to the Capitol was completed in 1952, and at approximately 325,000 square feet, the space problem was solved for decades.