December 2018 District Report

A Message from Bill Dodd

Dear Neighbor,

With this year coming to a close, I’d like to thank you for the privilege of representing you in the California Senate. And I wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season.

We have achieved much over the past 12 months – from improving public education to enhancing wildfire safety. Many of the 17 bills I authored that were signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will take effect Jan. 1. There still more to do, and I look forward to another productive year. I introduced my first bills for 2019 earlier this month. Stay tuned for more proposals aimed at bettering life for all people.

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.

In this Issue:

Sincerely,

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Bill Dodd
Senator, 3rd District

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California May Owe You Money

The State of California is holding over $8 billion in unclaimed property and money. Do you know how to claim your forgotten property?

California's Unclaimed Property Law requires "holders" such as banks, corporations, business associations, and insurance companies to annually report and deliver property to the State Controller's Office after there has been no customer contact for three years. Often the owner forgets that the account exists, moves and does not leave a forwarding address, or the forwarding order expires. In some cases, the owner dies and the heirs have no knowledge of the property.

I encourage you to see if you are owed money by visiting my website or by contacting the State Controller's office at (800) 992-4647. If there are any ways that I can assist you with state agencies or legislative matters, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

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Be Aware of Identity Theft anytime, but especially the holidays!

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States.

California law already includes many protections for consumers; but more is always needed as criminals find new ways to take advantage of the vulnerable.

Last year I passed a new law to help identity theft victims clear their credit quickly and supported numerous measures to stop identity theft. And this year I created a new law to help prevent fraud and identity theft committed by financial institutions. Unfortunately it is impossible to legislate identity theft out of existence, so take steps to protect yourself.

  1. Before you reveal any personally identifying information, find out how it will be used and whether it will be shared with others. Ask if you have a choice about the use of your information. Can you choose to have it kept confidential? Request a copy of all company privacy policies for businesses that you have dealings with both on and off line.
     
  2. Pay close attention to your billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if your bills don't arrive on time. A missing credit card bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your credit card account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks.
     
  3. Do not give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or know who you're dealing with.

If you would like more information on identity theft prevention, visit www.consumer.ftc.gov for information on the latest scams and more tips to avoid fraud.

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Senate Fellowship Program

Established in 1973, the California Senate Fellows (CSF) program is one of the oldest and most distinguished service learning programs in the country. The CSF program grew out of a desire to provide people with insight into the legislative process through experiential learning.

It offers college graduates a paid, full-time legislative staff position in the State Capitol for 11 months. The fellowship program's primary goals include exposing people with diverse life experiences and backgrounds to the legislative process by providing research and other professional staff assistance to the Senate. The CSF program is jointly sponsored by the California State Senate and the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento.

To learn more or to apply, please click here.

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Submit Your Ideas for Legislation

Do you have an idea for a new law or a change to existing law that will help our state better serve the public? All constituents are invited to submit ideas and proposals of their own for a new state law.

The law can cover any issue, from something particular in our neighborhoods to something that can improve the quality of life throughout California. Previous ideas submitted to legislators have included laws that have cracked down on misleading advertising, a bill that enables individuals who vote by mail to confirm their ballots were counted, and a measure that created a pilot program to link the state’s community colleges with local chambers of commerce to promote business development and job creation.

What is your idea? If it is the one selected, you may have the opportunity to travel to Sacramento and testify before a Senate Committee on the merits of the bill. You can submit your ideas online by clicking here. Please include as much detail as possible.

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In the News

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.

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