Op-Eds

Earlier this session I spoke on the Assembly Floor on House Resolution 7 (HR 7), that I jointly authored with Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D – San Bernardino). HR 7 declares January Human Trafficking Awareness Month in California, part of a nationwide effort to combat this growing menace. A form of modern slavery, human trafficking has grown 842% in the United States since 2007. Worldwide… read more
It’s easier to prevent wildfires than to control them once they’ve started. That’s why I introduced Assembly Bill 19, which will provide $25 million for vegetation management along county-maintained roads.   Auto-related wildfires are a major problem in California. In 2016 and 2017, almost 25% of local wildfires were vehicle-related. The Carr Fire, the state’s seventh largest, began when sparks… read more
In 2018 Governor Brown signed two bills which will have a major impact on water use in our state. AB 1668 and SB 606, which I opposed, created stringent water use mandates for all Californians.   One regulation involves a 55 gallon per day indoor water use limit. Contrary to some news reports, this is not an individual mandate. No one will be told they can’t take a shower or do laundry on the… read more
The State Legislature returns January 6 to complete the 2019-2020 session. 80 Assemblymembers and 40 Senators will gather in the State Capitol to begin work on some of the most consequential issues that have ever faced California.    It’s likely that around 3,000 bills will be introduced over the next few weeks. All legislation must be submitted to the Office of Legislative Counsel by January 24… read more
Effective January 1st, hundreds of new laws went into effect. Some you may have heard about, but others possibly not. Several of the new laws impact veterans. Among these are legislation that makes honorably discharged veterans exempt from paying state or local business license fees for selling or providing services, if the veteran is sole proprietor. Another law exempts automotive adaptive… read more
This year I was principal co-author of AB 128 (Gloria), which requires any person purchasing a horse at auction, many of which are rounded up on public lands, to sign a sworn statement that the animal won’t be sold for slaughter.  Since 1971, federal law has required the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to manage wild horses. While the BLM has prohibited the sale of healthy horses to… read more
With the recent heavy rains, our water supply may not be at the top of everyone’s worry list. Even so, last week the San Diego County Water Authority gave an update on the future of water in our region. The County Water Authority was created by the Legislature in 1944. Its 24 member agencies provide about 75% of our water and serve 3.3 million people. But only 17% of our water comes from local… read more
Last week I gave the keynote speech at the State of Reform Health Policy Conference in San Diego, one of the largest, most diverse gatherings of health care executives and policy makers in California. Health care is one of my passions, and as a member of the Assembly Health Committee, I was thrilled to be invited.   Mental health is a major topic. One in six California adults experience some form… read more
We’re entering the holiday season, and many people could use a little extra cash. You might be interested to know that California is sitting on unclaimed properties valued at over $9 billion. Please visit claimit.ca.gov to see if any of that money belongs to you.  Why does California have so much unclaimed property? Under our Unclaimed Property Law, businesses like banks and insurance companies… read more
California has many powerful state agencies that impact the lives of millions. One of the most powerful, but perhaps less known or understood, is the California Public Utilities Commission.   The CPUC was created in 1911 after a constitutional amendment was approved by voters to reorganize the Railroad Commission, which was established decades earlier to regulate the state’s powerful railroad… read more