District Report - October 2022
October marks the end of a busy legislative session. I’m happy to say Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 19 of my bills into law.
We’re now considering policy ideas for next year, so please contact one of my offices if you have a proposal.
I’ll be in the district through much of the fall, and I look forward to hearing from you. My next virtual town hall is Nov. 29, and I urge you to join.
In this Issue:
- Legislative Update
- California Earthquake Early Warning System
- Paying for College: Apply for Aid Now
- Wildfire Safety & Emergency Preparedness
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- In the News
As always, I'm available to assist you with our state agencies. You can reach me by visiting my website.
Senator, 3rd District
I’m proud of my legislative package signed into law this session by Gov. Gavin Newsom. My 19 bills address concerns such as wildfire safety, housing and broadband expansion, among other things. Here are a few highlights:
Senate Bill 103 Faithless Electors: Ensures the state’s presidential electors cast ballots for candidates who win the popular vote and do not instead switch candidates or abstain from voting.
SB 561 Surplus Property: Requires an audit of all surplus state property to determine what land might be suitable for housing construction.
SB 717 Broadband: Creates a blueprint for accelerating broadband deployment, including expanded wireless access, in an effort to improve connectivity for all Californians, especially low-income people and the underserved.
SB 852 Climate Resilience Districts: Addresses the effects of climate change, including sea-level rise and wildfire, through creation of local resilience districts to undertake and promote conservation efforts.
SB 846 Diablo Canyon: Extends the sunset of the clean-energy power plant.
SB 856 Wild Pigs: Lifts barriers to hunting the destructive and invasive species whose population is exploding in 56 of 58 counties.
SB 926 Prescribed Fire: Operationalizes $20 million fund to enhance use of this time-tested wildfire prevention tool.
SB 1013 Glass recycling: Adds wine and distilled spirits bottles to California’s recycling program, eliminating millions of bottles from the waste stream.
SB 1107 Auto Liability Insurance: Improves liability coverage for California motorists, protecting people injured in crashes as well those exposed to paying higher medical and vehicle repair bills.
This critically important system offered through the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services can save your life in an earthquake.
It uses ground motion sensors from across the state to detect earthquakes before humans can feel them and send notifications in real time. Warnings are delivered two ways:
- Anyone within the preset shaking intensity threshold zones will automatically receive Wireless Emergency Alerts on their WEA-enabled phone.
- However, the fastest and most reliable way to receive alerts is by downloading the “My Shake” application from the app store or Google Play.
WEA alerts will be issued for more significant earthquakes (magnitude 5 or greater) and the My Shake app is designed to alert the public to a wider range intensity (magnitude 4.5 or greater).
OES encourages all Californians to download the My Shake app so that they can have redundancy and receive alerts from both sources.
The amount of notice you receive will depend how far you are from the origin of the earthquake. For example, during the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, those attending the World Series Game at Candlestick Park would have received 20 seconds of advance notice and residents of the Marina District would have received approximately 22 seconds of advance notice.
Cal OES has established a website for the public to learn more and download the app: http://www.earthquake.ca.gov
The application period for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is required to access most financial aid, is now open. Paying for college can be difficult, but California has always been a leader in providing eligible students with an affordable college education.
The Cal Grant and the Middle-Class Scholarship are two great state programs to help California families afford college:
Cal Grant, a need-based state financial aid program, has been a big part of making college affordable for many California families. Qualified students can receive up to $12,570 in funding to attend almost any college in California – awards vary depending on economic need, grades and the college you attend.
The Middle-Class Scholarship Act is a newer program for students who do not qualify for Cal Grants but are still priced out of college. It offers sliding-scale discounts of up to 40 percent for families who earn $150,000 or less and don't qualify for Cal Grants, which support lower-income students.
Students apply just as they would for a federal loan or a Cal Grant, by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 2. They must also have a C average.
Don't delay! You may apply starting October 1, and the deadline to apply is March 2.
For more information and assistance with your application, please visit the Assembly Democratic Caucus’s Funding Your College Future website.
Ensuring you have defensible space, an emergency plan and emergency kit are critical in preparing for wildfire. I urge residents to visit the Cal Fire website, www.readyforwildfire.org, to learn how you can prepare.
Most fires start in the home and that is why it is important for every home to have a smoke detector. Indeed, according to the California Building Code, all residences must have one. They should be installed on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom.
Additionally, you can:
- Sign up for Nixle alerts by texting your zip code to 888777 or sign up online. This app allows government agencies to send messages to local residents via phone, email and web. Information is delivered almost instantly.
- Download the Ready for Wildifre app, from Cal Fire, which includes safety checklists, customized wildfire texts or push notifications, fire maps, and more.
Many of us have loved ones who have been impacted by breast cancer, which affects one in 15 women in California. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention Month, which is an opportunity to promote early detection and treatment of the disease.
Visit my website to learn about free exams and services available through California’s Every Woman Counts program and the state’s Pink Plate Awareness Program. For help locating a free or low-cost screening mammogram in your area, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.
While California has made meaningful progress in a number of areas over the last year, there is still much work to be done. 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.
- From bridge tolls to feral pigs, these five new laws were inspired by the Bay Area
- Millions of California workers will see increase in family leave benefits under new law
- Reviving the cemetery at SDC
- Newsom OKs deposits on wine and liquor bottles. And yes, boxed wine is included
- Dodd’s housing bill gets signed into law
- Diablo power plant working to extend operations