Vidak's News & Views: February 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
Note from Andy
Student Leaders from Shafer Visit the Capitol
Andy Introduces First Bill
Andy's New Senate Committee Assignments
Hmong International New Year
Application Deadline is Feb 10!
Team Vidak to Offer Mobile District Office Hours
50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War
CalVet, State Library Open Veterans Resource Center in Fresno
Andy and Local Law Enforcement Host Town Halls
Out & About
Fighting for Water for the Valley
Sanger's International Paper
Assembly Water Hearing in Hanford
Calendar Highlights

Hello Friends –

Water, or the severe lack of it, is top-of-mind in our Central Valley. It’s time to pass an essential water bond.

The governor finally declared a drought emergency, but skimmed over the crisis in his State of the State Address. Concerned that some folks in Sacramento might try to further delay a vote on a water bond, Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) and I introduced Senate Bill 927.

SB 927 would put a water bond on this November’s ballot that fully funds water storage and boosts funding for clean drinking water for our disadvantaged communities now relying on bottled water.

For more information and to watch part of the news conference announcing the legislation, click here. To read the article in the Hanford Sentinel about SB 927, click here.

Commonsense has no party lines and I look forward to working in a bipartisan fashion to ensure we get a water bond on the November ballot that fully funds water storage to protect us in the future.

Whistle-Stop-the-High-Speed Rail Rally


Thanks to all the folks from the Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) for supporting Team Vidak during the news conference at the Fresno Rescue Mission to announce legislation to stop High-Speed Rail.

In January, Team Vidak also introduced a package of bills (Senate Bills 901, 902, 903 and 904) aimed at putting a stake through the heart of High-Speed Rail (HSR).

Voters' attitudes towards the HSR project have changed, with 52 percent of Californians now opposed to the project according to a September 2013 USC/LA Times poll. This same poll also found that 70 percent of voters want the project put back on the ballot for a revote.

Senate Bill 901 will do just that by temporarily halting the sale of any more state bonds for HSR, and asking the voters on the November 2014 ballot if they would like to permanently stop the state from selling any more bonds for HSR.

To read more about the bill package, click here.

High-Speed Rail will kill jobs, hopes and dreams. The people of California are demanding and deserve a revote on this out-of-control train wreck.

Pray for Rain. Stop the Train!

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Student Leaders from Shafter Visit the Capitol


Pictured from left to right - Nohemy Rogue, Nataly Ayala, Jessica Cortez, Joan Wahl, Gilbert Alvarado, Shiayne Garza, Angelica Martinez, David Franz, Celeste Reyes, Paola Godoy, Isabelle Marinez.

“It was so cool visiting with the Richland Jr. High Student Council at the Capitol,” said Andy.

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Andy Introduces First Bill


Andy is pictured putting his first piece of legislation - Senate Bill 901 (High-Speed Rail Revote) - across the Senate Desk.

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Andy’s New Senate Committee Assignments

Andy was recently appointed to the following Senate committees:

  • Governance and Finance
    The Senate Committee on Governance and Finance is responsible for hearing legislation pertaining to state and local government revenue mechanisms, taxes, and land use and development.
     
  • Governmental Organization
    The Senate committee on Governmental organization is responsible for hearing bills relating to state government organization, horseracing, public gaming, the National Guard, alcoholic beverages, and management of public safety emergencies and disaster response, and legislation permitting the use of state-controlled lands.
     
  • Insurance
    The Senate Committee on Insurance is responsible for hearing bills relating to insurance, indemnity, surety, and warranty agreements.

These new committee assignments are in addition to Andy’s current assignments to the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  • Banking and Financial Institutions
    The Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee is responsible for hearing bills relating to financial institutions, commerce, international trade, retail credit interest rates and corporations.
     
  • Senate Judiciary Committee
    The Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee is responsible for hearing bills relating to financial institutions, commerce, international trade, retail credit interest rates and corporations.

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Hmong International New Year


A life-sized statue of General Vang Pao was unveiled at the Fresno Fairgrounds during the Hmong International New Year’s annual seven-day event.

“It was fitting that the celebration this year was dedicated to the revered Hmong leader and hero’s late wife, May Song Vang, who passed away in August,” said Andy.

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APPLICATION DEADLINE IS FEB. 10!

Established in 1973, the California Senate Fellows (CSF) program is one of the oldest and most distinguished service learning programs in the country. The CSF program grew out of a desire to provide people with insight into the legislative process through experiential learning. It offers college graduates a paid, full-time legislative staff position in the State Capitol for 11 months.

The fellowship program’s primary goals include exposing people with diverse life experiences and backgrounds to the legislative process by providing research and other professional staff assistance to the Senate. The CSF program is jointly sponsored by the California State Senate and the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento. Fellows receive a monthly stipend of $1972 plus full health, vision and dental benefits. They also earn 6 units of graduate credit from the Sacramento State Government Department. For more information, click here.

Applications are due by Feb. 10, 2014. To apply, click here.

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Team Vidak to Offer Mobile District Office Hours

Mobile District Office hours will be held by a Team Vidak staff member in the following communities in February:

LAMONT
Friday, February 7
9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Di Giorgio Apartment
7000 Di Giorgio, Lamont

SHAFTER
Monday, February 10
9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Shafter Police Department
201 Central Valley Hwy, Shafter

SANGER
Monday, February 10
10 a.m. - Noon
Sanger Library Branch
1812 7th St., Sanger, CA 93657

ORANGE COVE
Wednesday, February 12
Noon - 4 p.m.
Orange Cove Public Library Small Meeting Room
815 Park Blvd, Orange Cove

COALINGA
Thursday, February 13
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Coalinga Library
305 N. Fourth St., Coalinga, CA

McFARLAND
Tuesday, February 18
9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
McFarland City Hall
401 West Kern Ave, McFarland

RIVERDALE
Wednesday, February 19
10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Riverdale Fire Station Annex
20868 Malsbary, Riverdale

CORCORAN
Friday, February 21
9 a.m. - Noon
Amtrak Train Station
1099 Otis Ave, Corcoran

BAKERSFIELD
Wednesday, February 26
9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Friendship House Community Center
2424 Cottonwood Rd, Bakersfield

A staff member will be on hand to answer questions and assist constituents with state-related issues. Constituents can drop in or can make an appointment by calling Daniel Medina at 559-585-7161.

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50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

Call for Events Information for Online Calendar

If your organization is planning an event to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War, CalVet would like to include your event information on its online calendar.

Please submit the following information:

  1. Event name
  2. Sponsoring organization
  3. Time
  4. Location
  5. Contact name
  6. Contact phone number or e-mail address

to Greg.Nannini@CalVet.ca.gov as soon as the details of your event are known.

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CalVet, State Library Open Veterans Resource Center in Fresno

The California Department of Veteran Affairs (CalVet) and the California State Library is scheduled to open a new Veterans Resource Center Fresno County Library - 2420 Mariposa St - on February 14. Veterans Resource Centers will also open in Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles, Riverside and Ventura libraries in the next month.

The centers, staffed by library volunteers trained by CalVet, will make it easier for veterans and their families to learn about the state and federal benefits they have earned through military service and how to claim them and about the local services available to them.

According to CalVets, California is home to 1.8 million veterans. An additional 40,000 veterans are expected to return to the state every year for the next several years. State and federal benefits can help veterans and their families move successfully forward in civilian life. Veterans’ benefits can help veterans begin or complete their education, care for their health, get job training, find employment, buy or improve their home, and live out their lives with the dignity and respect they deserve. Some veteran dependents qualify for benefits as well.

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Andy and Local Law Enforcement Host Town Halls

DELANO TOWN HALL

Andy, the Corcoran Police Department and the Kern County Department of Aging and Adult Services are hosting a Town Hall meeting on how to protect you and your family from identity theft, elder abuse and cyber-crimes.

Topics include:

  • Identity theft prevention
  • Online cyber-crimes
  • Resources for seniors
  • Legislative update

Thursday, February 27, 6 - 8 p.m.
Delano Regional Medical Center, Zacharias Room
4101 Graces Highway, Delano

DELANO TOWN HALL

Andy and the Corcoran Police Department are hosting a Town Hall meeting on how to protect you and your family from identity theft, elder abuse and cyber-crimes.

Topics include:

  • Identity theft prevention
  • Online cyber-crimes
  • Elder Abuse
  • Legislative update

Friday, February 28, 2014, 6 - 8 p.m.
Corcoran City Hall, Council Chambers
1015 Chittenden Avenue, Corcoran

For more information about the Town Halls, call Daniel Medina at (559) 585-7161.

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OUT & ABOUT

Celebrating the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr


Andy is pictured with the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at the Annual MLK Day of Service in Bakersfield.

“Dr. King is an inspiration to me because of what he stood for, which is service to our community. He demonstrated service leadership and what it means to step up and make a difference in our communities,” said Andy. “I applaud Delta Sigma Theta’s commitment to giving back here in Bakersfield,” said Andy.

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Fighting for Water for the Valley


Andy participated in the Latino Water Coalition Rally to fight to get a water bond on this November's ballot that fully funds water storage. Click on the photo above to watch the video.

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Sanger’s International Paper


Andy toured International Paper in Sanger and heard from (left to right) Sanger Manufacturing Manager Dean Turczyn, Sanger Sales Manager George Johnson and Government Relations Manager Cynthia Leon about the need for water.

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Assembly Water Hearing in Hanford


Andy pictured with Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) at the California Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee’s informational hearing on the need for a 2014 Water Bond.

“There was an awesome crowd with a lot of heartfelt stories. I hope they were listened to,” said Andy.

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Calendar Highlights

Following are some highlights of Andy’s whereabouts in February:

2/7   News Conference with Assemblyman Patterson - Fresno
2/7   Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce Legislative Awards Reception
2/8   Orange Cove Fire Protection District Fundraiser
2/10   Senate Floor Session - State Capitol
2/11   World Ag Expo - International Agri-Center in Tulare
2/14   Senate Floor Session - State Capitol
2/18   Senate Floor Session - State Capitol
2/19   Joint Senate Banking and Judiciary Committee Hearing - State Capitol
2/20   Senate Floor Session - State Capitol
2/21   Orange Cove Chamber of Commerce Community Awards
2/24   Senate Floor Session - State Capitol
2/25   Senate Banking and Finance Committee - State Capitol
2/27   Senate Floor Session - State Capitol
2/27   Delano Town Hall
2/28   Assemblymember Rudy Salas Town Hall -- Lemoore
2/28   Pioneer Elementary School - 9th Annual Community Reader Day
2/28   Corcoran Town Hall

Like Andy

Follow Andy’s Senate page on Facebook to see photos and to get updates of Andy’s activities. For the latest news, visit Andy’s Senate Website at senate.ca.gov/vidak.

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