Last November, 60% of California voters passed Proposition 7, aimed at eliminating the bi-annual tradition of moving clocks back in the fall and forward in the spring.   Daylight saving time was first imposed as a temporary energy saving measure during World War I, and was re-instated during World War II.  After World War II ended, states were allowed to decide the issue, and in 1949, voters approved Proposition 12, permanently establishing daylight saving time in our state.  Since the voters authorized daylight saving time, only the voters could approve any changes. Under the terms of… read more
Access to a quality education is the best way to ensure our students a bright, successful future. But one size does not fit all, and not every student wants to go to a traditional college. Even so, California schools often focus on sending kids to colleges and universities, with less emphasis on trades. We have a skilled worker shortage in California, and we need to make sure that high school students have the opportunity to learn technical skills that can lead to well-paying jobs after they graduate. That’s why Career Technical Education is so important. To help meet this need, last… read more
As a member of the Select Committee on Biotechnology and Co-Chair of the Rare Disease Caucus, I’m always looking for innovative treatments that provide the greatest benefit for patients at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers. That’s why I’m enthusiastic about Project Baby Bear, a $2 million Medi-Cal funded pilot program at several hospitals, including San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital, to provide rapid whole-genome sequencing (rWGS) to seriously ill newborns. To learn more about this trial program, I recently attended a hearing of the Select Committee on Biotechnology with Committee… read more
In 2004, 67% of San Diego County voters approved a 40-year extension of TransNet, a half-cent sales tax for highway, road, and transit projects. Recently, SANDAG proposed making changes to the 2004 ordinance by re-directing funds from several highway projects into mass transit. Since 2004, only 6% of the funds generated by TransNet have been used to build highways, which are used by over 95% of the people, while 66% has been used to construct public transit projects, used by less than 5% of the people. The public transit projects identified for the voters in the 2004 ordinance were front-… read more
The Senate Bill 1 gas tax increase promised to fix our crumbling highways and roads.  That promise was short-lived. Last month, Governor Newsom issued an Executive Order redirecting the state’s $5 billion annual transportation funds from highway/road repairs toward reducing congestion via "strategies designed to encourage people to shift from cars to other modes of transportation” including mass transit, walking and biking, the governor’s executive order said. The order also calls for $61 million to be “held in reserve for priority rail projects.”  Read more here: https://bit.ly/2MCu0QM This… read more
Synchronizing traffic lights will not only reduce the time we sit at traffic lights, but will also reduce tons of emissions with benefits to business and our economy.  In response to a study conducted in Salinas, CA, 5 intersections on their main street had installed traffic signal synchronization and saved 15.8 TONS of GHG emissions in ONE year!  Not to mention the cost benefit ratio of 50:1. Studies show that synchronization projects can reduce traffic delays by up to 30% and in 41 California cities, synchronization resulted in travel time reductions of 6.5% and fuel consumption declined… read more
The 52nd Native American Day was celebrated September 27, as a time to honor and remember the contributions of California’s tribal nations, to recognize their sovereignty and the tremendous challenges they have long faced, along with their remarkable resilience and achievements. San Diego County, with 18 reservations, covering over 190 square miles, has more reservations than any other county in the United States – and 8 of these  are within the 75th Assembly District. Tribal sovereignty is critically important in that we recognize Tribal Governments as sovereign nations separate from the… read more
One-hundred, forty-seven years ago this month, 48 delegates at Colton Hall in Monterrey worked to draft California's first Constitution.  This past week, visitors to the California Museum were treated to a rare public display of both the English and Spanish versions of the original 1849 California Constitution as these documents are typically housed at the California State Archives. Though California was not officially admitted into the Union until September 9, 1850, the people of our Great State were eager to establish a formal government following the United States’ acquisition of the… read more
As the legislature adjourns for the year, I’m happy to report that two significant bills impacting mental health treatments in California are heading to the Governor’s desk.   This session I introduced Assembly Bill 1352, legislation that strengthens the voice of local mental health boards to help meet the needs of the mentally ill. The Bronzan-McCorquodale Act requires county mental health systems to provide services to those with serious emotional disturbance or mental illness. The Act also created local mental health boards, responsible for reviewing community needs and services. The… read more
This session, several important bills were blocked in the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees. While good bills die, others, like allowing felons to serve on juries got support.   The Renter's Tax Credit to help low and middle income renters has not been increased in decades to keep up with the cost of living. Senate Bill 248 (Steve Glazer D - Orinda) would have helped millions. A major priority of the legislature is tackling high housing costs, yet renters were let down. Assembly Bill 211 (Ian Calderon D – Whittier) incentivized college savings by allowing tax deductions for… read more