District Report - May 2017

Friday, May 26 2017

Protecting Consumers – Victims Deserve Their Date in Court

The first bill I introduced in the Senate has focused on helping the victims of fraud and identity theft committed by their financial institution. The bill was in response to the Wells Fargo scandal, where millions of fake accounts were fraudulently opened without consent, using consumer’s personal information from existing accounts. My bill helps ensure victims of bank fraud can have their day in court and get compensated for their damage.

Had SB 33 been in place, Wells Fargo’s multiyear campaign of deceit could have become public and prevented from spreading. My bill would help victims by eliminating the use of forced arbitration clauses in contracts that were fraudulently created by financial institutions. Such contracts prevent consumers from having their day in court to recover damages. At this press conference, Treasurer John Chain and leading consumer advocates voiced their support for my bill.

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Legislative Update

Recently, two bills of mine that I would like to highlight have been passed in the Senate and are now moving on to the Assembly.

SB 365 is special legislation I have introduced that would allow Solano County to establish a regional park and open space district. This would enable the county to bypass a more lengthy procedure by simply introducing the park district by resolution for voter approval, requiring a simple majority. Parks and open space designations are an important way we can help preserve our beautiful lands for future generations.

My other bill focuses on giving mobilehome owners the opportunity to share their home to defray their costs. Currently, mobilehome owners living in mobilehome parks have limited ability to rent a room in their home to help cover their costs of space rent. Seniors and those on fixed incomes often struggle to afford the increasing costs of housing. Giving homeowners the option to open up their homes will increase the availability of affordable housing, while helping keep people in their homes.

For more information on other legislation I am authoring, please check out the links below:

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Special Veterans Identification Cards and Access to Benefits

 

Through their service to our country, veterans have earned a wide range of benefits. However, it can be difficult to verify their service in order to acquire those benefits. In fact, not having proof of military service is one of the biggest obstacles veterans face gaining access to resources, benefits, and services.

Under a new California law veterans can apply for a California driver’s license or ID card with a “Veteran” designation. The new Veteran ID provides proof of military service, making it easier for California veterans to access benefits and services. Learn how to get your new Veterans ID card here.


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In the News

While California has made meaningful progress in a number of areas over the last year, there is still much work to be done in a number of critical areas. Of particular importance this year is ensuring that California maintains and expands our progress towards affordable healthcare coverage for all, environmental stewardship, educational opportunity, and protections for hardworking immigrants.

Here is some of the latest news coverage that may be of interest to you. As always, please contact my office if you have any questions about state policy or want to express your position or ideas for legislation.

 

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