Please read my October E-Newsletter to learn about what I'm doing on your behalf in the Capitol and at home in the 23rd Senate District.
In this Issue
Democratic Women Legislators outraged by the Governor's budget
On October 8th, after a record setting delay, the State Senate and Assembly were both able to garner the 2/3rds vote necessary to pass a budget. Unlike the Federal Government, the State has to pass a balanced budget every year. The agreed upon budget deal will close California's $18 billion deficit without raising taxes, and without completely decimating the essential programs which keep our state afloat and support the most vulnerable citizens in California (View Summary of Key Provisions Here). Major points of this year's budget include:
- Steep cuts to social services, childcare, healthcare, and in-home supportive services for the elderly and infirm.
- The Legislature was able to restore approximately $2 billion over the Governor's proposed cuts to education; unfortunately a suspension of Proposition 98 – the voter approved initiative to fund schools – was still required. Our schools are faced with 1-2 weeks less of school, as well as larger class sizes, however the Legislature was able to increase K-12 Education spending per pupil this fiscal year, up $53 dollars per pupil from last year. Additionally, the State will be able to begin re-payment of the devastating funding cuts from last year's budget.
- Avoided suspension of several important school programs such as the Fitnessgram program, which is essential to keeping our children healthy, and fighting the childhood obesity epidemic in California.
- $600 million in increased State and Federal funding for Higher Education (CSU's and UC). In fact not only will the State be able to maintain current funding levels for Higher Education without increased taxes, but allocations will be increased from last year's levels.
- Restored funding to Community Mental Health Programs, slated for cuts by the Governor.
- Restored funding for AIDS and family planning programs, slated for cuts by the Governor.
- Pension reforms for new State employees.
- Delayed $1.2 billion in corporate tax cuts for two years, allowing us to minimize cuts to education.
- Unfortunately, no new taxes on oil companies. Of all of the oil-producing states in the nation, California is the only one that does not tax every barrel of oil taken out of the ground. Even Sarah Palin signed a 25 percent oil severance tax while she was governor of Alaska.
Every one of us will be touched by the ongoing impacts of this budget. My Democratic colleagues and I have been forced to cut in areas that we would have never considered if California were not still clawing our way out of one of the worst economic meltdowns in history. However, our ability to soften the blow of these budget cuts was hampered significantly by the requirement of a two-thirds vote. California is one of only three states (and by far the largest) that require a two-thirds vote to pass a budget. To reach the challenging two-thirds vote threshold and the Governor's signature, here are a few of the questionable tradeoffs that were required:
- Additional permanent tax cuts to three big businesses
- Establishing a Secretary of volunteerism in the Governor's office
- Heavy reliance on hopeful revenue projections, including Federal dollars
Our budget woes are far from over, however we have succeeded in maintaining California's foundation, and there are several notable victories for working families in this budget. It will take hard work, important reforms to our institutions, and courage from legislators in Sacramento to change the status quo, but I continue to believe we will be able to get California back on track in the years to come and that our future is still bright.
I am pleased to share with you that many of my key bills have been signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. If you are interested in reviewing other bills from this legislative session or to follow future legislation, please visit www.sen.ca.gov.
Senator Pavley speaking at the bill signing of SB 77
PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy)
One of the most promising new financing mechanisms for property improvements is Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE). PACE is a program for commercial and residential property owners to finance energy retrofits and efficiency measures using bonds or loans, which can then be repaid via assessments that are added to their existing property tax bill.
Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act
The ear-splitting roar of illegally modified motorcycles will be quieted thanks to SB 435, which was signed by motorcycle-riding Governor Schwarzenegger. Thank you to the many homeowners who live in our district, for their support and interest in this law. This Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act gives law enforcement an effective tool for enforcing current anti-tampering and noise level statutes for motorcycles, by requiring that motorcycles maintain their federally required emissions equipment.
Each year, California discharges nearly 4 million acre feet of wastewater into the ocean – more than the State Water Project delivers to the Bay Area, the Central Valley, and Southern California. Much of that water could be recycled. SB 918 will create uniform statewide standards, and accelerate the ability of local communities to tap into this major source by treating and reusing wastewater for industrial or residential purposes.
Senator Pavley watches as children's jewelry is tested at the State Capitol
Ban on Cadmium in Children's Jewelry
SB 929 bans the toxic metal cadmium from children's jewelry. Cadmium is a soft metal used in pigments, electroplating and plastic. It currently ranks seventh on the US Centers for Disease Control and Preventions priority list for the most hazardous substances in the environment. It is a known reproductive toxicant and carcinogen – linked to lung, breast, bladder, prostate, and pancreatic cancer – like lead, cadmium has been shown to cause developmental problems in young children.
Climate Change Adaptation
SB 1006 addresses an oversight in sustainability planning grants through the Strategic Growth Council. It would add Joint Powers Authorities, and special districts, several of which are in our Senate District, to the list of entities eligible for assistance in sustainable community planning.
Physician Assistants Practice Act
SB 1069 ensures that doctors and Physician Assistants can treat as many patients as possible in a timely manner. Physician Assistants will be allowed to increase their responsibilities, and will be able to increase access to care in California especially in rural and underserved areas of the state.
Commercially Sexually Exploited Minors, Los Angeles County Pilot Program
SB 1279 gives statutory authority to the District Attorney's Office of Los Angeles County to develop a pilot project for the purposes of developing a comprehensive, multidisciplinary model to address the needs and effective treatment of commercially sexually exploited minors. Too often these children are treated as criminals rather than as the victims. This is an important first step in changing the way we view the tragic exploitation of minors that takes place across our state.
Land Parcel Consolidation
SB 1319 provides that the act that governs how land is divided into parcels, may be used to provide a voluntary mechanism to merge land parcels on private land for siting renewable energy facilities. It is the first new law on this topic and could become the basis for a more extensive proposal in 2011.
Voting Error Notification
Sponsored by the Secretary of State Debra Bowen, SB 1404 requires voting system vendors and ballot manufacturers to notify the Secretary of State, in writing, of every known problem with their respective voting systems.
Wiretapping of New Technologies for Serious Crimes
This measure is sponsored by the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, and updates California's wiretap law for serious crimes by revising current law to reflect existing and future electronic communication technologies such as contemporaneous e-mail communication, blackberry, text messaging by phone and any other form of two way electronic communication.
Resolution in Support of the Federal ABLE Act
Senate Joint Resolution 31 urges the President and the Congress of the United States to immediately enact the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2009 (ABLE Act). The ABLE Act would create disability savings accounts for individuals with developmental or other disabilities and their families, creating an option for these individuals to start saving for their future financial needs. Learn more about the ABLE Act at www.thomas.gov.
Although the Governor signed ten of my eleven bills, I am disappointed to share with you that he chose to veto one of them.
Product Safety, Persons with Hemophilia and Bleeding Disorders
Sponsored by the Hemophilia Council of California, SB 971 would have established standards of services for entities that deliver blood clotting products and related equipment, storage, supplies, 24 hour on-call assistance and services for the home use for people with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. See Governor's Veto Message Here.
I-405 Construction Update
I-405 construction at the wall north of the Getty Trailhead Photo Courtesy of Metro. © 2010 LACMTA
The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvement Project is in full swing. The project will add 10 miles of HOV/carpool lanes to the Northbound I-405, improve bridge infrastructure, widen lanes and add sound walls. This summer, we saw the demolition of the southern half of the Sunset Bridge, the addition of a dedicated right turn lane at Church and Sepulveda, the start of pile driving at Wilshire loops and many other construction activities. Upcoming work includes widening the Santa Monica Bridge, utility relocation and Sunset Bridge reconstruction. At the time of publication, the demolition of the northern half of the Skirball Bridge is scheduled to begin on October 12th and last for seven nights. Please drive safely and check your route before you leave the house.
Metro Community Relations staff is diligently responding to community input through social media and community meetings. The next community meeting is scheduled for November 11th. Visit the Metro website for meeting locations and project updates.
Alternative Energy Vehicles Expo
AltCar Expo attendees exploring an alternative fuel vehicle
On October 2nd, I moderated the Tech Review and Debate Panel at the Fifth Annual AltCar Expo & Conference, an annual conference hosted by the City of Santa Monica.
I was joined by expert panelists from all areas of creating alternative energy vehicles including, the car industry, alternative fuel researchers, consumer marketing experts and state agencies charged with developing an alternative fuel infrastructure. The panelists discussed the newest technologies to be made available to consumers as early as December of this year. The panelists agreed it is critical that we diversify our fuel base. However, they conceded there is no one sure-fire technology that will replace gas combustion engines. Much of the demand for new technologies will be consumer driven, for example a consumer with shorter commute times may choose a plug-in or hydrogen fuel cell, while a consumer looking to drive cross country may choose an electric gas hybrid. The audience came well-informed and prepared to participate in the discussion, with questions focused on how to solve the problem of alternative fuel infrastructure. Panelists from the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission introduced their plan to coordinate the development of alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure technologies throughout the state. I'm excited to say that consumers will likely have many new vehicle choices in the coming years.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I wanted you to be aware of several events in the District. The "Breast Cancer Educational Forum" is sponsored by the City of West Hollywood, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the National Council of Jewish Women. The panelists for this forum include breast surgeons, oncologists and cancer survivors. The event will take place on Tuesday, October 19, from Noon to 2:00 pm, at the National Council of Jewish Women, 543 N Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036. Please RSVP to Ruth Williams, (323) 852-8503 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Breast Cancer Fund is hosting a webinar, "State of Evidence: The Connection between Breast Cancer and the Environment." The webinar will be on October 21 at 4:00 pm, and will explore the science behind exposure to toxic chemicals and diseases like breast cancer. It will also provide meaningful opportunities to ensure that California's Green Chemistry Initiative truly protects public health. For more information and how to register, click here.
A Closer Look at a Field Representative
Jason Levin during a tour of the Van Nuys Airport
Field Representative Jason Levin, San Fernando Valley native, covers his home turf by connecting with community groups, neighborhood councils and constituents. Learn more about Jason's role in my office and some of his background.
Q: What areas do you cover in the 23rd Senate District?
A: I cover the areas of the San Fernando Valley that lie within the City of Los Angeles, essentially north of Mulholland and East of Valley Circle - including Chatsworth, Canoga Park, West Hills, Warner Center, Woodland Hills, Tarzana, Encino, Sherman Oaks (my hometown), Studio City and Universal City.
Q: What experience do you have in the area?
A: I have a personal stake in the betterment of the 23rd Senate District, not just as a Californian, but as a lifelong resident of Sherman Oaks and the San Fernando Valley. I'm a "Valley boy," and it is an honor to serve the interests of my community as a Field Representative in Senator Pavley's office.
Q: Do you have any specific projects that you are working on for the Senator?
A: I am focusing on the Los Angeles River revitalization plan. Senator Pavley's District includes much of the River, including the river headwaters in Canoga Park through Studio City. The River is more than a flood channel. It is important to Senator Pavley that Angelenos are aware of the recreational potential of the river and its value in controlling stormwater and groundwater recharge.
Q: Did you study political science in school?
A: I did not major in political science in college. I got a BA in history from George Washington University in D.C.
Q: What's your favorite spot or activity in the San Fernando Valley?
A: I love eating in one of the many Israeli restaurants lining Ventura Boulevard. One Chicken Schwarma pita, please!
If you are a resident of the area that Jason covers, please feel free to touch base with him at email@example.com.
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Celebrates 30 Years of Protection
Congratulations to CINMS for their commitment to 30 years of preserving our natural resources, View from Inspiration Point. Photo courtesy of NOAA
Malibu Legacy Park Dedication
Senator Pavley spoke at the Legacy Park Ribbon Cutting on Saturday, October 2nd. She congratulated the city for their efforts.
Bill Camarillo, CEO of Agromin, accepts an Environmental Sustainability Award
Each month I recognize a business, person, or organization in my district that is dedicated to preserving our environment by living and working responsibly. This month I'm proud to announce that I presented an Environmental Sustainability Award to Agromin.
Bill Camarillo, CEO, accepted the award on behalf of Agromin. The company is headquartered in Oxnard and has been developing and manufacturing soil products for 30 years. Agromin's products are manufactured in part with recycled yard clippings and green waste that reduces greenhouse gases, saves space in our landfills and helps meet environmental standards. The company continues to promote green living by giving back to the community. Several times a year Agromin provides free bags of compost or other materials to Oxnard residents.
Beverly Hills 9-11 Memorial Groundbreaking
Senator Pavley participates in the groundbreaking of the 9-11 Memorial
On the morning of September 11, 2010, I attended a memorial dedication and groundbreaking at the Beverly Hills Fire Department. The future memorial will include a large piece of steel from the World Trade Center towers purchased by the Fire Department and the City of Beverly Hills. They are still accepting donations to complete the project. Assemblymember Feuer, Mayor Delshad and Beverly Hills City Councilmembers also participated in this important event. The ceremony was conducted by Fire Chief Tim Scranton and began with a performance by the Beverly Hills High School Madrigals under the direction of Joel Pressman.
CSUCI and Smithsonian Bracero Program
CSU Channel Islands students participated in collecting stories from local braceros
Now through the end of October, take some time to learn about local history. The Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964 exhibit will be visiting the CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) campus. CSUCI students contributed to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History exhibit by collecting oral histories from local Ventura County braceros.
The Bracero Program began as a temporary stopgap measure during World War II to supply Mexican workers with agriculture and railroad jobs. It became a guest worker program that lasted until 1964, and it is estimated that 6.4 million contracts were awarded during the length of the program. The Braceros suffered through poor working conditions, low or no wages and workplace abuse. When the program concluded many Braceros chose to stay in the US through their employers, some remaining locally in Ventura County which today continues to be a thriving agricultural economy. Events in conjunction with the exhibit can be found at the CSUCI website.
Moving Lives Forward – San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center
District Director, Rebekah Rodriguez-Lynn with Consumer of the Year Honoree, Leesa Bloom
Last month marked the National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. In celebration of the month, my staff joined the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center for their event, "Moving Lives Forward". The event honored the 40th Anniversary of the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center, and those who have successfully completed programs through the center. Also honored where businesses and community members that continually support the efforts of the center. Since 1970, this non-profit agency has provided exceptional services to the mental health community, and supported those in need in the San Fernando Valley area.
For more information on resources and rehabilitation and recovery programs in your area, please visit the Recovery Month website. Other treatment options in the 23rd Senate District include CLARE in Santa Monica and Alcoholics Anonymous.
Photo of Ron Schafer
With great sadness I report the sudden passing of Ron Schafer, Superintendent of the Angeles District of California State Parks. Ron passed away unexpectedly on September 15, 2010, after suffering a stroke just a few days prior. Since 2002, Ron has overseen the Angeles District, which encompasses 18 parks in the Los Angeles area. He chaired the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Board since 2008 where he focused his energy on building partnerships and strengthening relationships that helped establish new state parks. Ron's passion, creativity, and relentless pursuit of excellence have left an unforgettable mark on the public lands in my Senate district. I join in extending my most sincere condolences to Ron's family and loved ones. He will be greatly missed.
Connecting with Constituents
Senator Pavley met with David Perez from United Way's Young Leader's Society of Ventura County during monthly Oxnard Office hours
Bob Cobbs, Board of Directors President for the Tri-County Association for the Developmentally Disabled, dropped into Oxnard office hours to meet with Senator Pavley
Save the Date!
Join me at these upcoming events in October
- October 9th – Taste of Encino from 10am – Noon at the Saint Cyril of Jerusalem School (4548 Haskell St., Encino, CA 91436)
Join me at Congressman Sherman's booth
- October 17th – AIDS Walk LA at the closed intersection of San Vicente & Santa Monica Blvds
Join my District Staff at this event
- October 20th – I will be in the Oxnard Office (Oxnard City Hall, 305 W Third St., East Wing, Rm 100, Oxnard, CA) from 11am – 1pm to meet with constituents
Please feel free to stop by
- October 20th – Oxnard Climate Change Town Hall from 7pm – 10pm at the Oxnard Library Room B (251 South A Street, Oxnard CA)
Join Supervisor Zaragoza and myself to discuss "Green Jobs, Climate Change and the Economy"
- October 22nd – I will speak at the Temple Isaiah (10345 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA) the service starts at 7pm re: Assembly Bill 32