Holiday celebrations began in the State Capitol in1869. Though the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington DC is well-known, many may not be aware that a similar ceremony continues to take place each December in Sacramento at our State Capitol. Past Governors decorated the Capitol with wreaths and their offices with trees, but in 1931 the tree was moved from the Governor’s office to the Rotunda and later to a spot near the Lt. Governor’s office, where it remained until 1984. Concerns about fire safety resulted in the tree being moved outside, where it has remained ever since.… read more
Bills passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor usually go into effect on January 1st of the following year. For better or worse, here are just a few new laws that go into effect New Year’s Day: Laws impacting businesses include an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour for businesses with less than 25 employees. Previously, only larger companies were required to pay the increased amount. Another new law requires California businesses with more than 15 employees to make pay scales for each job publicly available to all employees. Still another law prevents companies from… read more
On December 5th the Legislature met for a formal organizational session. The main purpose was to swear in members for the 2023-2024 session, which reconvenes on January 4th. Despite the day’s formalities, my Caucus introduced a package of bills to address many significant problems that are affecting all Californians. The rising cost of living was addressed through legislation lowering income tax rates to help working families afford child care, expanding the renter’s tax credit, and lowering income tax rates for the middle class. Other legislation imposes a gasoline tax holiday, and suspends… read more
California has 30% of the nation’s homeless and over half of its unsheltered homeless. $17 billion has been thrown at the problem, yet homeless numbers continue to grow. Between 2019 and 2022, the homeless population increased by over 22,000. We have become a national embarrassment. So what can be done? Last session, my caucus introduced a comprehensive bill package with real Homelessness Solutions. The package included 15 significant pieces of legislation designed to deal with the root causes of homelessness, including substance use disorders, mental illness, affordable housing. If passed,… read more
As the Assemblymember for the new 75th Assembly district, I want to reach out and let you know how my office can be of assistance to you.  We are honored and excited to be able to represent you in Sacramento and we are here to be of assistance. Helping people navigate the state’s massive bureaucracy is an important function of my District Office (DO). The most common constituent issues involve state agencies like the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Employment Development Department (EDD). For example, during the pandemic we were able to assist over 3,000 constituents with problems… read more
November is Native American Heritage Month, a national celebration recognizing Tribal history and sovereignty.  San Diego County is home to more Indian reservations than any other county in the United States. These sovereign tribal governments all lie within the 75th Assembly District, and as their representative in Sacramento, the commemoration has special significance for me. Self-government is essential so that tribes can protect their unique cultures and identities to enrich the economic, cultural and social fabric of our state and nation. History has not been easy on Native Americans,… read more
Thanks to support from voters like you, I have been re-elected to serve the people of San Diego County’s 75th Assembly District. The boundary lines have changed and I have many new constituents along with many continuing constituents. The district now includes most of rural northern and eastern San Diego County, along with the cities of Poway and Santee, and the Scripps Ranch neighborhood of San Diego. I am honored by your support and look forward to serving you. The 75th Assembly District is one of the most geographically diverse areas in the state. We have subtropical valleys filled with… read more
Redistricting has changed electoral boundaries throughout California, I regret to say that I will no longer be serving you as Temecula’s representative in the California State Assembly. I love Temecula and its people; you have a great city with lots of good things happening.  You have honored me with your support for the past ten years. I am deeply grateful, and more than a little sad. I will continue to represent the 75th Assembly District, which is now located entirely within San Diego County. The district includes the eastern two-thirds of San Diego County, and stretches from the… read more
Redistricting has rearranged legislative boundaries throughout California, including the 75th Assembly District that I have represented for the past 10 years. The current district includes the cities of Escondido, San Marcos and Temecula, along with Bonsall, Fallbrook, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley and Valley Center. But that’s changing. Escondido and San Marcos will now be located in the 76th Assembly District, and Temecula will be in the 71st. The 75th has been expanded to the east, now taking in most of rural northern and eastern San Diego County from the Riverside County line to the… read more
When the Legislature convenes for the 2023-2024 session December 5th, some big issues will be waiting for us. They include crime, the cost of living, water supply  – these problems and many more need immediate attention. According to a recent report from the Attorney General’s office, violent crime increased by 6.7% from 2020 to 2021. Property crimes increased 3%, the total arrest rate decreased 7.3%, adults on probation are at the lowest level since 1980, and the total number of full-time criminal justice personnel decreased by 2.7%. So crime rose, but law enforcement personnel, arrests and… read more