Please read my November 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
Legislative Update: Creating Jobs & Protecting Children
Senator Pavley joins Legislative and Business Leaders to Unveil Regulatory Reform measures (at the podium is California Chamber of Commerce Pres. Allan Zaremberg)
As I speak to constituents throughout my Senate District, despite people's different viewpoints and backgrounds, there are always common themes. People are worried about jobs, they are concerned about public safety and they want our children to be protected from danger, to grow up in a healthy environment and to receive a good education. I focus on legislation that furthers those goals and I'm pleased to announce that Governor Brown has signed many of my bills that are designed to create jobs, protect our most vulnerable citizens and improve public safety.
My SB 617 - Regulatory Reform bill is called a "job creator" by business leaders and was supported by the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Manufacturers and Technology Association. This measure requires state agencies to complete a more rigorous assessment of the economic impacts, including the benefits, of major regulations before they are adopted. Many regulations in our state are important safeguards for our air, our water, and the health of our citizens. But we must look at how new regulations accomplish their objective in the most cost effective way, and how we can protect the environment, workers and public health, while making it easier and less expensive to do business in California.
Protecting Children from BPA and Lead
Despite intensive lobbying by the American Chemistry Council, a bill I worked on for the past three years - which will ban toxic BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups - has been signed into law. This has been a real David and Goliath fight and I'm thrilled the governor chose infants over industry. This year I co-authored AB 1319 with Assemblymember Betsy Butler (D-Marina Del Rey). BPA is a hormone-disrupting chemical that has been linked to early puberty, childhood obesity, breast cancer and neurological and behavioral changes including autism and hyperactivity. There is no reason for manufacturers to use BPA in products for our most vulnerable citizens when there are safe alternatives.
On the same day the governor signed the BPA bill, he also signed my bill to crack down on lead in children's jewelry. I carried the original bill in 2006 that banned lead in jewelry. But some companies exploited a loophole to repeatedly violate the law while incurring few penalties. My SB 646 - Lead Enforcement bill will close that enforcement loophole and protect children from the dangers of lead.
My other bills that are aimed at children's health and education and were signed by the governor include:
SB 502 - Hospital Infant Feeding Act - Seeks to improve infant nutrition in California hospitals by requiring hospitals with a perinatal unit to have a posted infant feeding policy that promotes breastfeeding.
Sponsor: CA Women, Infants and Children's Association.
SB 381 - Inter-District School Transfers - Ensures that California students continue to be allowed to attend school in the district where a parent or guardian is employed, rather than where the student resides (until 2017).
In last month's e-newsletter I told you about my SB 179 - Sexually Violent Predator bill, which was sponsored by the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office and signed by the governor. It will protect the public from sexually violent predators by requiring that those sex predators serve their court-ordered parole after they are released from state hospital custody and into the community.
My other public safety measures signed by the governor include:
SB 723 - Domestic Violence Prevention - Allows criminal courts to issue protective orders for up to 10 years based on any domestic violence misdemeanor or felony conviction.
Sponsor: LA District Attorney and California District Attorneys Association
SB 61 - Wiretap Extension - Extends the January 2012 sunset on California's wiretap law, which includes both telephonic and electronic technology, to January 2015. Last year I updated California's wiretap law to include all electronic technology such as e-mail and texting.
Sponsor: Los Angeles District Attorney
Unfortunately, the governor vetoed another measure aimed at protecting senior citizens and dependent adults from predators. SB 586 - Elder/Dependent Abuse - was brought to me by Liz Sanders of Woodland Hills. Her mother was fleeced of her life savings by her in-home care giver using a bank-issued signature stamp. My bill, sponsored by AARP and the California Senior Legislature, would have put restrictions on the issuance of these signature stamps and would have doubled the fines for all elder abuse crimes.
My other bills signed by the governor this year include:
SB 152 - Rent Equity - Requires the State Lands Commission to charge appropriate and fair rents for all private recreational piers built over state land. Once fully implemented, this bill will bring in approximately $2.5 million per year to the state's General Fund.
Sponsor: State Lands Commission
SB 170 - Air Pollution - Gives local air districts the option to negotiate for a share of revenues with entities that provide research and development for new technologies that reduce pollution and have other public benefits.
Sponsor: South Coast Air Quality Management District
SB 224 - DWR Contracting Authority - Gives the Department of Water Resources the same exception to contract reviews from the Department of General Services as is currently allowed CalTrans. This bill will eliminate costly contract delays and duplicative and unnecessary bureaucratic review.
SB 233 - Physician Assistants/Emergency Rooms - Allows Physicians Assistants and other mid-level healthcare providers to continue to provide services in emergency departments across the state.
Sponsor: CA Academy of Physician Assistants
SB 454 - Energy Efficiency Standards - Ensures that consumers are getting a fair deal from companies selling energy efficient products and services by giving the California Energy Commission the ability to enforce efficiency code violations for appliances, and requires permits before energy efficiency rebates can be disbursed by investor-owned utilities.
Sponsor: NRDC and State Building and Construction Trades Council
SB 679 - Energy Conservation Projects - Reallocates $25 million to the Energy Conservation Assistance Account at the California Energy Commission to provide revolving loans at low interest to local governments for energy efficiency retrofits.
SB 913 - Medical Exams for Juvenile Offenders - Gives probation officers and county medical staff the legal authority to consent to and provide medical care to juvenile detainees when the parent or legal guardian cannot be found. This bill is designed to ensure that minors, who have been taken into custody and placed in juvenile facilities, receive physical examinations in an effort to prevent the spread of TB, whooping cough, diabetes, etc. This bill will prevent unnecessary court and emergency room costs that can spiral out of control when child does not receive early intervention.
Sponsor: Los Angeles County
The following bill was vetoed by the governor:
SB 263 - Well Completion Logs - Would have made well completion reports more widely available to government agencies, academics, geologists, geophysicists, hydrologists, civil engineers, water well contractors.
L.A. River Restoration: Progress and Opportunity
L-R Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), Sen. Pavley, Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes (D-Los Angeles)
Packed house at L.A. River Hearing
As Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Urban Rivers, I recently held a joint hearing on the restoration of the L.A. River titled: "Progress and Opportunity: the Future of the Los Angeles River and its San Fernando Tributaries". The hearing was held with the Assembly Select Committee on the Revitalization of the L.A. River and Pacoima Wash, chaired by Assemblymember Filipe Fuentes (D-Los Angeles). The hearing focused on the San Fernando Valley portion of the 51 mile-long L.A. River and included updates from community groups as well as city, county, and federal officials about efforts to restore and protect the river.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has included the river in an urban river pilot project to create safe, healthy and accessible outdoor spaces. Plans call for re-greening this once wild river that was turned into a flood control channel in the 1930's. The goal is to tear out tons of concrete and create a recreational resource for the San Fernando Valley, with trees, parks, and bike paths. This is an important resource that deserves to be restored. I'd like to thank all of the participants for their testimony and all of the attendees for their interest and their ideas for revitalization. To view the hearing, click here.
Preparing for Sea Level Rise
Sen. Pavley hosts Adaptation Hearing in Santa Monica
As Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and the Select Committee on the Environment, the Economy, and Climate Change, I recently held a hearing titled "Climate Change Adaptation: Impacts in Southern California." The hearing focused on the latest climate change science and what the impacts, such as sea level rise and other climate-related extreme events, will mean to jobs and the local economy, public health, and natural resources. Dr. Tony Haymet, the Director of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and a renowned expert on climate change impacts, testified that sea level rise along the Southern California coast will dramatically damage area beaches and will have a negative impact on the local economy, which relies on beach tourism. While some of the information presented at the hearing was dire, Julia Levin with the California Natural Resources Agency, pointed out that mitigation efforts will provide much-needed jobs and other benefits to the state's population. We simply must be diligent in our efforts to combat and adapt to climate change. For more information on the hearing, click here.
Taste of Encino
Sen. Pavley at Taste of Encino with Encino Chamber Pres. Keven Steinberg
I had a wonderful time recently at the Taste of Encino. This was the 4th Annual Taste of Encino, presented by the Encino Chamber of Commerce, and I had the opportunity to meet with countless constituents from the San Fernando Valley as well as business and civic leaders. This is always a great community event filled with great food from local restaurants, arts and crafts vendors, a local business exhibition along with a home improvement section, a kid's corner, plenty of entertainment and live music, and a beer and wine pavilion. A portion of the proceeds raised at the "Taste of Encino" is used to fund local school and community projects.
Meeting with Homeowners in Sherman Oaks and Woodland Hills
I had the honor to speak at recent meetings of both the Woodland Hills Neighborhood Council and the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association. Both groups are very active and dedicated to making their communities safe, wonderful places to live. I had a chance to update members on the legislative session and hear about concerns regarding upcoming development in both areas. I always enjoy meeting with local homeowners groups and hearing from my constituents on local issues.
Sen. Pavley speaking at Woodland Hills Neighborhood Council
Sen. Pavley speaking at Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association
Urban Forests Award
Sen. Pavley and California Urban Forests Council Executive Director Nancy Hughes
I was honored recently to be awarded the 2011 "Community Building with Trees Award" by the California Urban Forests Council (CUFC). CUFC Executive Director Nancy Hughes says the award is given to a public official whose mission demonstrates a significant contribution utilizing urban forestry to enhance our quality of life. She said I was recognized for my work on environmental protection, storm water reuse, energy efficiency, and efforts to restore the L.A. River. The California Urban Forests Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to making California communities cleaner, healthier and more prosperous by supporting programs to improve air quality and urban greening, conserve and protect water and improve quality of life. For more information on the Urban Forests Council, visit their website.
Green California Schools Summit
Sen. Pavley with students from the Green Youth Movement
I was thrilled to be honored with the "Inspiration Award" from students with the Green Youth Movement at the Green California School Summit. The award recognizes my work to create the California Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI). My EEI bill was signed into law in 2003 and sets up a framework for bringing education about the environment into K-12 classrooms. The EEI curriculum is now being taught in school districts across the state including the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. During the Green Schools Summit, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Sierra Club Chair Carl Pope both spoke of the health and job-creating economic benefits of green investing in our schools. Hundreds of educational professionals attended the two-day event, which included sessions on topics ranging from energy efficiency to edible school gardens, along with an exhibit hall of green products and services.
Pavley staffer Jason Levin presents Sustainability Award to Senior V.P. of U.S. Development for Westfield Larry Green- a Topanga Resident
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 Westfield Topanga Solar Installation. Westfield has launched a $6.6 million solar energy initiative at Westfield Topanga and Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks. Once complete, Topanga and Fashion Square rooftop systems combined will generate more than 2.4 million kWh of energy. This amount of clean energy results in the equivalent of eliminating the CO2 emissions from over 189,000 gallons of gasoline consumed, or the electricity use of close to 200 homes.
Help for the Holidays
If your family is one of the many struggling this holiday season I would urge you to research the non-profits in your area that can be meet your needs. I have listed just a few of the many valuable organizations serving the residents of the 23rd Senate District.
Connecting with Constituents
Sen. Pavley speaking at the Valley Green Team Neighborhood Council Workshop
L-R Agoura Hills resident and Executive Dir. of Learning Through Doing Adventures Jonathan Dunker, Sen. Pavley, and Dr. Joyce and Gilbert, R.D.,L.D. - Executive Director of the Marilyn Magaram Center at CSUN - meeting during Calabasas office hours
Sen. Pavley with at Ventura County Labor Dinner with Ventura County College District Board Past President Cheryl Heitmann
Finally, I'd like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!