December District Report 2020
With the holidays upon us, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for re-electing me to represent you in the California Senate. And I wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy new year.
Please continue to follow COVID-19 public health directives. It is critical to stop the surge of infections and get our economy back on track. Updates on the vaccination roll out will be the focus of my next virtual town hall on Jan. 12 featuring state schools Superintendent Tony Thurmond.
In the Legislature this year, I had seven bills signed into law during our pandemic-limited session. There is still more work to be done and I look forward to another productive year. A link below seeks your input on future proposals.
In this Issue:
- Latest Town Hall: The Future of Data Privacy
- California May Owe You Money
- Be aware of identity theft at all times - especially during the holidays
- Senate Fellowship Program
- Submit Your Ideas for Legislation
- In the News
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
To remain in contact with you during the coronavirus pandemic, this year I hosted six virtual town halls on a range of topics including public health, wildfire safety, police reform, the future of our country and resources for educators and small businesses. I invited engaging panelists and encouraged your questions via phone and email.
I plan to continue to these town halls in 2021 and will keep you posted on the next virtual event.
Our very last town hall on Dec. 8 raised the issue data privacy in an age where the internet has become a central focus of our everyday lives. One of my panelists, Alastair Mactaggart, was instrumental and helping the Legislature create the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. I was a co-author of that law. Another panelist, Aza Raskin, is a former Silicon Valley worker whose story was featured in the Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma.
A recording of the town hall is here:
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Below 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.
- Dodd begins second term, introduces shutoff bill
- Betty Rhodes, Senior Corner: What you need to know about caregiver protection
- Dodd proposes law to ensure electors cast ballots for true winners
- Interview: Bill Dodd on advancing new bills
- New bill aims to fight college student food insecurity
- Dodd lauded by Disability Rights California