Vidak's News and Views: September 2015

Thursday, September 3, 2015
IN THIS ISSUE:
#BuildDamStorage
Sierra Forest Products Tour
Kudos to Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
$7 Billion in Unclaimed Property
Team Vidak Out & About
Save the Date: Women’s Empowerment Day -- Bakersfield
Heartfelt Thanks to Senate Fellow Carolina Garcia
Legislative Update/Deadlines

Howdy Folks –

I recently joined other Valley legislators requesting that the governor call a Special Session of the Legislature to address the state’s water crisis. A special session provides increased focus on an issue and can speed up consideration of needed solutions.

There are widespread reports that as much as half of the $687 million set aside to help drought-stricken communities remains unspent. The state is dragging its feet distributing the funds raised as a result of the voters passing the water bond last year. Valley legislators cited both those reasons for urging the special session in a recent letter to the governor.

When Sacramento bureaucrats call for more water conservation as a solution to the crisis, they don’t understand that many folks in the Valley can’t take shorter showers or water their lawns less, because they literally have no running water.

Addressing the water crisis should be the governor and Legislature’s number one priority. The governor has already called two special legislative sessions this summer to address transportation and health – the water crisis also warrants its own special session.

As always, it is an honor and privilege to serve you.

Sincerely,
Andy's signature

Andy

Back to top

#BuildDamStorage

Senator Andy Vidak participating on a water forum panel
Pictured from left to right: Andy participated on a water forum panel at Grizzly Stadium in Fresno with Kole Upton of the Chowchilla Water District and Families Protecting the Valley, Congressman Devin Nunes and Luis Alvarado from Familias Unidas de California. The forum, hosted by GAR Tootelian Inc., focused on the need for long-term water storage solutions for the Valley.

Back to top

Sierra Forest Products Tour

Senator Andy Vidak touring Sierra Forest Products in Terra Bella
Pictured from left to right: Assemblymember Devon Mathis, son Jack Mathis, Andy and Sierra Forest Products Co-Owner Larry Duysen.

Andy and Assemblymember Mathis toured Sierra Forest Products in Terra Bella, the most southern saw mill in California. During the tour they met with employees and learned more about the mill’s operation and how state policies, drought and catastrophic fires are impacting the forest products industry. The company, which has been operating since 1968, employs approximately 120 people.

Sierra Forest Products saw mill, warehouse picture Sierra Forest Products saw mill, warehouse picture
Sierra Forest Products saw mill, warehouse picture Sierra Forest Products saw mill, warehouse picture
Sierra Forest Products saw mill, warehouse picture Sierra Forest Products saw mill, warehouse picture

Back to top

Kudos to Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce ceremony California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's award for Kern County

The California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce honored the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHCC) with the Chamber of the Year award for “dedication in supporting the Hispanic business community in the Kern County Region and for serving as a model for Hispanic Chambers across the state,” said Juan Garcia of the California Hispanic Chamber. “KCHCC programs and services have proven to do good for their membership and overall community.”

KCHCC President Jay Tamsi addressed the convention and accepted the award on behalf of the KCHCC board and membership at the state Chamber’s annual convention in Sacramento on August 21.

“Kudos to Jay and his dedicated KCHCC board for the extraordinary contribution they make to local businesses, our community and the economy,” said Andy.

Back to top

$7 Billion in Unclaimed Property

Search for Unclaimed Property (button)There is more than $7 billion in lost, forgotten or abandoned property waiting to be claimed. The State Controller’s Office (SCO) is safeguarding this unclaimed money and property, from forgotten paychecks to life insurance benefits, to family heirlooms in abandoned safe deposit boxes.

Since 1959, California’s Unclaimed Property Law has required holders (such as financial institutions, corporations, business associations and insurance companies) to report and submit property (such as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, uncashed checks, insurance benefits, wages and safe deposit box contents) to the SCO when there is no activity on an account for three years.

The SCO provides Californians with a single source to check for unclaimed property that holders from around the nation report.

Could any of it be yours?

It’s easy to find out if the SCO is holding property in your name. Simply search the database at www.claimit.ca.gov or call the SCO at 800-992-4647. You can claim your property directly from the SCO without any service charge or filing fee, and there’s no time limit for filing a claim.

Back to top

Team Vidak Out & About

Click on the photos to read more about what Team Vidak is doing in our communities and at the Capitol.

Nat’l Night Out Hanford
National Night Out, Hanford

 
Nat’l Night Our Fresno
National Night Out, Hanford

 
Hanford Small Business Training
Hanford Small Business Training

 
Serving Bako for 35 Years
Serving Bakersfield for 35 Years

 
Arvin’s Grimmway Academy
Arvin's Grimmway Academy Expansion

 
Thanks, Carolina!
Thanks, Carolina!

 
Fresno Water Forum
Fresno Water Forum
Kings County Student Art Competition
Kings County Student Art Competition
Heartfelt Thanks Team Vidak Bako Interns!
Heartfelt Thanks Team Vidak Bako Interns!
Valley Solar Installers Visit the Capitol
Valley Solar Installers Visit the Capitol

Back to top

Save the Date: Women’s Empowerment Day -- Bakersfield

If you are interested in gaining the skills and tools needed to be an empowered leader in your community, please consider joining us for California Women Lead’s first Women’s Empowerment Day in Bakersfield.

This conference, co-hosted by Aera, is an extraordinary opportunity to hear how to get appointed to boards and commissions, how to get involved in the political process as a community advocate or elected leader, and how to develop leadership skills.

California Women Lead (logo)Monday, Oct. 26 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Aera Energy | Conference Center 50
10000 Ming Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93311

Hear from inspiring women leaders, including:

  • Fiona Ma, Member, State Board of Equalization & President, CA Women Lead State Board of Directors

  • Connie Conway, former Assembly Minority Leader, CA Women Lead State Board of Directors

  • Christina Sistrunk, President and CEO, Aera Energy

  • Lynne Johnson Carrithers, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Aera Energy

  • Melissa Poole, Regulatory Affairs Manager, Paramount Farming Company

  • Rachel Michelin, CEO, CA Women Lead, Gubernatorial Appointee

Additional speakers to be announced. For more information, please visit www.cawomenlead.org.

Please save the date – Oct. 26th – for this one-day event designed to empower women to lead.

Back to top

Heartfelt Thanks to Senate Fellow Carolina Garcia

Pictured left to right – Andy, Senate Fellow Carolina Garcia and Senator Loni Hancock
Pictured left to right – Andy, Senate Fellow Carolina Garcia and Senator Loni Hancock

Team Vidak’s Senate Fellow Carolina Garcia was honored with a Senate Resolution for her service in the prestigious Senate program and her commitment to serving the people of Senate District 14 during this year’s Fellowship program.

“Heartfelt thanks to Carolina for her dedication and commitment to service,” said Andy. “Carolina, who has been an integral part of Team Vidak, was instrumental in helping navigate legislation from introduction into law.”

“Working for Senator Vidak has been an awesome experience,” said Carolina. “This year has given me a better understanding of the legislative process and the issues affecting our state.”

To watch the presentation, click here.

Back to top

Legislative Update/Deadlines

California State Senate sealFollowing is an update of several measures Andy has authored:

Signed by the Governor

Senate Bill 244 – Mobile Home Safe Communities
Mobile home residents are entitled to quiet enjoyment of their property and common areas, while park owners are obligated to preserve that quiet enjoyment. This measure would allow mobile home park owners to continue using an injunction order to enforce the rules of a mobile home park.

Vetoed by the Governor

Senate Bill 497 – Pupil Transportation Data
This measure would have required the California Department of Education (CDE) to collect and post online pupil transportation data to help the state and policy makers understand how it is severely underfunding school bus transportation in rural communities. State underfunding of school transportation takes money out of the classroom.

Held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee

Senate Bill 736 – Escrow Protection Act
In the past, there have been cases of fraud which have resulted in the failure of escrow companies, putting the assets of individuals who had money in these escrow companies at risk. This measure would protect an individual’s assets held in escrow accounts if an escrow company goes out of business.

Special Legislative Session on Transportation and Infrastructure

Senate Bill 3x – Revote on High-Speed/Redirect Funds to Road/Highway Projects
This measure, co-authored by Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), would have allowed a re-vote on the controversial High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, but was killed in the Transportation Committee by Democrats on the committee. The bipartisan measure would have simply asked California voters, on the 2016 June ballot, if they would like to redirect the remaining $8.9 billion in High-Speed Rail bonds to be split 50-50 for the repair and construction of local roads and state highways, rather than continue to build HSR.

Senate Bill 13x – Transportation Inspector General
This measure would create a Transportation Inspector General to investigate Caltrans and the High-Speed Rail Authority and then report back to the Legislature any instances of fraud, waste and abuse. This measure is modeled after SB 878 (2012), authored by then-Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), that both houses of the Legislature passed before it was vetoed by the governor. SB 13x passed out of the Senate of the Senate Transportation Committee and will next be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Following are upcoming legislative deadlines in the month of September.

September 4
Last day to amend bills on the Floor.

September 7
Labor Day

September 11
Last day for each house to pass bills. Interim Study Recess begins at the end of this day’s session.

Important dates occurring during Interim Study Session

2015

October 11
Last day for the governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature on or before September 11 and in the governor’s possession after September 11.

2016

January 1
Statues (new laws) take effect.

January 4
The Legislature reconvenes.

Back to top