There are over 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States. About 5,100 babies are born with Down syndrome each year, about one in every 772 births, making it the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. In 1866, an English doctor named John Langdon Down published a scholarly work describing persons with Down syndrome, which earned him recognition as the syndrome’s “father.” Later research determined that the syndrome is caused by a full or partial copy of chromosome 21, which alters the course of the person’s development. Discoveries about the chromosomal causes of… read more
California is the country’s leading agricultural state, followed by Iowa, Nebraska, Texas and Kansas. This year, March 21st was declared AG Day in the State Capitol to help recognize the vital contributions of agriculture to the state’s economy. According to the Department of Agriculture, California has 69,000 farms. Those farms lead the nation in production of avocados, grapes, lemons, melons, peaches and strawberries, and only Florida produces more oranges. After Texas, we are the second-largest producer of livestock products Much of that bounty lies right here in the 75th Assembly… read more
California’s high-speed rail project keeps chugging along, despite cost overruns, construction delays, and forgotten promises. In 2008, voters passed Prop.1A, a $9.5 billion bond measure to help finance high-speed rail. Promises included keeping costs under $40 billion, the state’s maximum investment would be 30%, funding from federal, private and local sources would pay the rest. Additional taxpayer subsidies were prohibited, and construction could not begin until all revenues were in hand for the first segment. But never mind all that. Construction began without the promised funding, and… read more
Gas prices are rising again and some are predicting $7 gas by this summer. We can’t let that happen. The Governor has called a Special Joint Legislative Session to deal with the problem, but the proposals on the table would make matters worse. According to the California Energy Commission, costs at the pump are the result of several factors, including the cost of crude oil, California’s isolated fuel market, and switching back and forth from winter to summer blends. Other factors include costly regulations and the overall cost of doing business in California. Add to this our astronomical… read more
Gas prices are rising again and Californians need relief. Completely eliminating our highest-in-the-nation gas tax would be an important step, but that’s a non-starter as far as the Sacramento majority is concerned. But, with the Governor’s approval, other steps can be taken immediately. Last week my colleagues and I wrote a letter to the Governor asking him to take concrete steps to help reduce the gasoline price spikes we’ve seen in recent weeks and to reduce or eliminate the cost increases likely to occur this summer. First of all, we ask that the transition from winter to summer-blend… read more
San Diego County has more tribal governments than any other county in the nation. Since these communities are all located within the 75th Assembly District, tribal issues are very important to me, especially regarding their safety and prosperity. With approximately 110 federally recognized tribes, California is home to more Native American and Alaska Native people than any other state. Four in five Native American and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime, and one in 130 Native American children are likely to go missing every year. According to the Center for… read more
For years California has had the nation’s highest energy costs. Recent price increases for natural gas have added to the misery, and have led to renewed interest in the California Public Utilities Commission, which has held hearings on the price increases under its authority to regulate and oversee utilities.   The CPUC was created in 1911 when voters approved a constitutional amendment to reorganize the Railroad Commission. Commission authority was expanded in 1912 to cover utilities such as gas, electric and telephone companies, and in 1946, voters approved renaming the Railroad Commission… read more
Public safety should be government’s top priority. That’s why I’m supporting a new legislative initiative in Sacramento that will enhance public safety by restoring felony penalties for many crimes now plaguing California. Obviously, serious crimes demand serious consequences. One day last week, Border Patrol agents seized fentanyl, cocaine and heroin valued at $4 million from smugglers on I-8 in San Diego County, and near the Murrieta Border Patrol checkpoint in Riverside County. In 2021 fentanyl was responsible for over 6,000 deaths in California alone. Unbelievably, the Sacramento… read more
In 2014 voters approved a $7.5 billion water bond, which included $2.7 billion for construction of new dams and reservoirs. Unfortunately, few projects are underway, or even being planned.  Our largest dams and reservoirs were built before 1979, most between 1945 and 1968, when our population was less than half its current size.  I have long supported efforts to increase water storage and conveyance capacity, to expand water recycling, and increase use of desalination. However, bureaucratic hurdles have delayed or prevented most new projects for decades. One example is the proposed Sites… read more
Most business of the Legislature is conducted by committees. Committees have jurisdiction over specific policy areas, and usually have a Democratic chair and Republican vice chair. Most legislation must pass several committees before a final vote on the Assembly floor. This session, Assembly Speaker Rendon has appointed me to six standing committees. Ensuring access to affordable healthcare, including covering pre-existing conditions, expanding mental health/substance use disorder treatments and children’s healthcare are important parts of my healthcare  advocacy in Sacramento. I look… read more