May 2018 District Report
This month we celebrated Memorial Day, honoring American military veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom. Let us keep these brave men and women in mind throughout the year. They are among the more than one million soldiers, sailors and fliers who gave their lives in armed conflicts since the birth of the nation.
In the Capitol, I have been working on legislation to provide critical services for constituents such as wildfire protection and early childhood education. My thoughts have also turned to veterans and their families. I advanced a resolution this month supporting a federal effort to restore the crumbling Mare Island Naval Cemetery. My hope is the final resting place for hundreds who served their country can be repaired and respectfully maintained forever.
In this Issue:
- Special Veterans ID Cards Ensure Better Access to Benefits
- June is Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Awareness
- Legislative Update
- In the News: Environmental Restoration & More
As always, my office is available to help you with a state agency or answer any questions you might have. You can contact me by visiting my website.
Senator, 3rd District
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.
Applying for the veteran designation on your driver's license or ID card is easy:
- Stop by your local County Veteran Service Officer with your DD214 for verification. If you need help obtaining your military records, first contact your local County Veteran Service Officer (CVSO).
- Go to www.dmv.ca.gov, or call the DMV at 1-800-777-0133, to make an appointment. Bring the application form verified by your CVSO and the small $5 application fee, in addition to the standard fee for replacing your driver’s license.
Learn more about how to get your new Veterans ID card here.
Each year, millions of vulnerable and older adults are victims of physical and financial abuse and neglect. One in 10 Americans over 60 years of age suffer abuse each year, and the National Center on Elder Abuse concluded in a recent study that 11 percent of all the elder abuse cases in America occur in California.
Adults with developmental disabilities are also victimized at shocking levels. California also has the fastest growing senior population in the nation.
That is why I’ve authored a resolution proclaiming June as Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Awareness Month. To learn more or to report suspected abuse, contact the Attorney General’s Office.
A number of my bills are advancing in the Senate. Let me tell you about two of these important measures.
SB 958 will allow teachers and school district employees in Davis to be exempt from paying a district parcel tax. The thinking behind this bill is that too few of our teachers can afford to live in the community they serve. Housing costs are too high for them. Waiving the tax on land parcels will help make housing more affordable and hopefully encourage teachers and staff to live in Davis. The bill allows the Davis Joint Unified School District to approve the exemption.
Another bill, SB 969, is in response to last year’s devastating wildfires. It requires all newly installed automatic garage door openers to have a battery backup so they will continue working if electric power goes out. They can fail in a disaster. During the October fires, a number of people became trapped in their own garages when they were trying to evacuate. The remains of five people were found in the vicinity of garages after the fires were put out. My bill will help prevent that from happening again.
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 improving the safety of our utilities grid, expanding educational opportunity to younger children and protecting people from data breaches.
Here are some of the latest news stories 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.
- Sen. Dodd Fights to Protect Consumers from Equifax-style Data Breaches
- Supreme Court Ruling Opens Door to Sports Betting
- Officials Lay Out Next Steps in Sonoma Developmental Closure
- Gov. Brown’s Budget Would Save Sonoma County, Santa Rosa Millions in Clean Up
- Effort to Save Historic Mare Island Cemetery Moves Forward
- Senator Dodd Outlines His Transition from County Supervisor to Statehouse
- Senate Approves Dodd’s Bill to Improve Support Services in Disasters
- Senators Dodd and McGuire Face Powerful Lobby with Insurance Bills
- Key permits will allow Putah Creek restoration to move ahead