January 2017 - District Report
A Message from Bill Dodd
I hope your New Year is off to a great start. This month I introduced legislation to combat fake news by teaching media literacy in our schools. We need to support public education and empower our young people to make informed decisions. Governor Brown recently released his draft budget and gave his annual State of the State Address. I will be working to build our rainy day fund while investing in public services that are vital for the future of our state, like education and roads. We need to defend the progress we’ve made in recent years and continue moving in the right direction.
In this Issue:
- Combating Fake News Epidemic with Media Literacy Bill
- Small Business Resources & Tax Credits
- Become a Blood Donor
- Paying for College – Apply for Aid Now
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
This month I introduced a new bill to incorporate media literacy education into school curriculums. Media literacy is the ability to analyze and evaluate information consumed from various media outlets such as websites or social networking sites. Adolescents can spend up to nine hours a day absorbing media from these various sources.
The rise of fake and misleading news is deeply concerning. Even more concerning is the lack of education provided to ensure that people can distinguish what is fact and what’s not. A recent Stanford study found that 82 percent of middle school students struggled to distinguish advertisements from news stories. By giving students the proper tools to analyze the media they consume, we can empower them to make informed decisions.
The prevalence of fake news garnered national attention in the recent election where, in the final months of the Presidential campaign, false and misleading stories from hoax websites outperformed actual news stories in terms of social media engagement. The practice of advertisements masquerading as news has also seen an increase in recent years.
Under my bill (SB 135), the California Board of Education’s Instructional Quality Commission will be responsible for developing the framework for incorporating media literacy into school curriculums. The legislation will also see that media literacy training opportunities are made available for teachers in California.
When small businesses thrive, California thrives. California’s 3.4 million small businesses are critical to the state’s economy. As a small business owner for over 25 years, I know that starting and maintaining a small business can be challenging.
The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has compiled valuable resources available for those currently in business and for those looking to do business in California.
GO-Biz administers the California Competes Tax Credit, which will be accepting applications from businesses that plan to add jobs and/or make new investments in California. The state will be awarding tens of millions of dollars in tax credits this fiscal year to small, medium and large companies across the state.
I hope to see local businesses take advantage of this opportunity and apply for these state resources through the California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC). Over $68 million will be available during this next application round, which takes place from March 6, 2017 through March 27, 2017. More information is available on the Go-Biz website.
Every two seconds, someone needs blood. Every single day, patients across the country receive a total of over 32,000 units. This year alone, as many as four million patients will require blood transfusions.
Many people do not realize that blood is needed by patients every single day of the year, not just in times of national crisis. To a child battling sickle cell anemia, a grandmother fighting leukemia or a father waiting for a liver transplant, having a safe supply of blood available is critical.
The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors contribute nearly all of the blood used for patient care in the United States.
Anyone interested in giving blood can find out where the nearest blood collection facility is located by calling my office at (707) 454-3808.
Paying for college can be challenging, but the Cal Grant and the Middle Class Scholarship are two great state programs to help California families afford college. Community College students may also be eligible for the Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver.
Cal Grant, a need-based state financial aid program, has been a big part of making college affordable for many California families. The financial eligibility requirements can be met by many typical California families. Qualified students can receive up to $12,240 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 program for students who do not qualify for Cal Grants but still need help paying for college. It offers sliding-scale discounts of up to 40 percent for families who earn $156,000 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! The deadline to submit your FAFSA is March 2.
To learn more or find a Cash for College workshop near you, visit the Student Aid Commission’s website.