Vidak's News & Views: May 2016

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Howdy Friends –

Honoring Our Fallen Heroes on Memorial Day - May 30th

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This May newsletter is dedicated to the brave men and women who lost their lives in the service of our great country.

Memorial Day is a tribute to America’s fallen heroes. It is a day to honor and appreciate the courageous acts of the soldiers, sailors, aviators, marines and others who paid the ultimate price to defend our freedom.

On May 30th, let us honor those who sacrificed and gave their full measure of devotion to liberty. We should not forget that the precious freedom we are so fortunate to enjoy here in America is because of their bravery and sacrifice.

The California Vietnam Veterans Memorial, located on the grounds of the State Capitol in Sacramento, sums up the sacrifice of our brave soldiers, ‟All Gave Some, Some Gave All.”

Please remember that this Memorial Day.

God Bless you and God Bless the United States of America.

Sincerely,
Senator Andy Vidak's signature
Andy

High-Speed Rail: ‛Let Folks Get Back What Belonged to Them’

 

Andy met Jesse Holt
Andy met with Jesse Holt owner of Holt Distributing in Fresno as part of his ‟Whistle-Stop-the-High-Speed Rail” tour in December 2013. The business, founded in 1978, is in the destructive path of the bullet train.

 

Andy’s legislation - Senate Bill 940 - which could give previous owners of property once thought to be in the path of High-Speed Rail the opportunity to buy it back if the state is selling it, passed out of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee with unanimous support.

The High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) says it needs nearly 1,300 individual properties to complete the 120-mile route from Madera to Bakersfield. The route has seen many changes, and if the project is never completed, it’s possible that the state may own property it no longer needs.

Current law allows the Authority to sell land it deems unnecessary, but previous landowners aren’t notified of the sale.

SB 940 would require the High-Speed Rail Authority to notify previous property owners when it plans to sell unneeded property and requires the Authority wait 30 days after the notification before selling the property.

‟It’s the right thing to do to let folks get back what belonged to them if they want to,” said Andy. ‟In many cases, land, businesses and homes in the path of High-Speed Rail have been in families for generations.”

Andy to the Fresno Bee Editorial Board: ‛Nuts!’

Andy issued the following response to a recent Fresno Bee editorial praising High-Speed Rail proponents and blaming Vidak (and others) for lack of public support for the controversial project:

‟Nuts!”

Andy borrowed the late U.S. Army General Anthony McAuliffe’s famous one-word response to German Panzer Corps demands in World War II that McAuliffe surrender at the Battle of Bastogne (Belgium).

To read the bee editorial, click here.

Team Vidak Offers Mobile District Office Hours

A member of Andy’s staff will hold mobile district office hours in the following communities:

Avenal
Sat., April 30
11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Rice Park
700 Block of Monterey St., Avenal

Buttonwillow
Wed., May 4, 2016
1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Buttonwillow Library
101 N. Main St., Buttonwillow

Earlimart
Wed., May 11, 2016
1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
CSET Family Resource Center
111 N. Front St., Earlimart

Arvin
Thurs., May 12, 2016
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Arvin City Hall
200 Campus Dr., Arvin

Dinuba
Sat., May 14, 2016
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Historical Society
289 South K St., Dinuba

Delano
Tues., May 17, 2016
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
BC Delano Campus
1450 Timmons Ave., Delano

Mobile district office hours are an opportunity for Senate District 14 residents to meet locally with a Team Vidak representative to hear more about Andy’s work in Sacramento and the Central Valley, have their questions answered or get help with specific state-related issues, including:

  • unemployment benefits;
  • issues with state agencies, such as the DMV and Franchise Tax Board;
  • licensing;
  • Medi-Cal;
  • small business assistance;
  • worker’s compensation;
  • state legislation; and
  • other state-related matters.

For more information, please contact Team Vidak’s Claudia Salinas at (559) 585-7161 or email claudia.salinas@sen.ca.gov.

Drug Take-Back Day

Got Drugs?

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office will once again partner with the Drug Enforcement Administration for a ninth time to collect potentially dangerous, unused medications from medicine cabinets and homes throughout Kern County.

The Nationwide Drug Take-Back Day will provide a unique opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused prescribed/over-the-counter medication or other medications to law enforcement officers for destruction.

This one day effort will also bring national attention to the issue of the dangers associated with the abuse of pharmaceutical drugs, and the inherent danger of these substances falling into the hands of juveniles.

The Sheriff’s Office will be hosting Drug Take-Back collection sites at the following locations:

  • Sheriff’s Office Headquarters, 1350 Norris Rd. in Bakersfield
  • Delano Substation, 455 Lexington Street in Delano
  • Frazier Park Substation, 617 Monterey Trail in Frazier Park
  • Kern Valley Substation, 7046 Lake Isabella Blvd. in Lake Isabella
  • Wasco Substation, 748 ‟F” Street in Wasco

Sheriff’s Office personnel will be on hand at each collection site from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to accept unused and unwanted medications. The service is free of charge, anonymous, and no questions asked.

The following regulations apply to the program:

  • Only controlled, non-controlled, and over the counter substances will be collected.
  • Participants must maintain control of the substances they wish to drop off until it is placed in a container at the drop off site.
  • Only pills, tablets, and capsules will be accepted.
  • Intra-venous solutions, injectables, and syringes will not be accepted.
  • Illegal, illicit substances will not be accepted.

Additional collection sites in Kern County, and throughout the Central Valley, can be found by visiting www.dea.gov

If you would like additional information, please contact Kern County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Ray Pruitt at 661-391-7605 or by email at pruittr@kernsheriff.com.

Andy Helps Small Businesses Prevent ADA Lawsuit Abuse

Senate Bill 269, that would help protect small businesses from lawsuit abuse of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), unanimously passed the Senate by a 38 - 0 in April. Andy jointly authored the measure with Senator Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside).

SB 269 provides business owners with education, resources and training on the ADA so they can identify potential access issues and be provided with reasonable time to fix ADA compliance problems before they turn into lawsuits.

‟Small business owners will have the ability to ensure people with disabilities have access and the time to prevent frivolous ADA lawsuits - That’s a win/win,” said Andy.

Team Vidak Out & About

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

Costco Breaks Ground in Hanford

Costco Breaks Ground in Hanford

Fresno’s Tree of Life Grand Opening

Tree of Life Grand Opening

State Champs! Selma High School Starting Girls Wrestling Team

Selma High School State Champs

Bakersfield Adult School Visits the Capitol

Bakersfield Adult School Visits the Capitol

Omni Health Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Omni Health Cutting Ribbon

Earlimart Tour

Earlimart Tour

Lemoore: Bingo!

Lemoore Bingo

Kern Victim’s Rights March

Kern Victim’s Rights March

Hanford Christian School Civics Class

Hanford Christian School Civics Class

Team Vidak Visits Delano

Valley Youth Quest 2016s

Fresno’s Lao New Year Recognized and Celebrated

Fresno’s Lao New Year

The Heart Never Forgets

Heart Never Forgets

2016 Hanford Small Business Expo

Vidak Business Expo

Bakersfield March for Babies

Bakersfield March for Babies

Cal Fire Training in Tulare County

Cal Fire training in Tulare

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Andy: ‛Special, unplanned elections take money away from local priorities’

Weston Andy’s Senate Bill 976, which recently passed a key policy committee, would create a two-year lobbying ban for lawmakers who resign their term early.

Since 1990, 58 members of the Legislature have resigned their office in the middle of their term. While a vast majority of them left to assume other public offices, many have resigned early to take corporate government affairs positions.

‟Right now legislators who quit before the end of their term only have to wait one year before they can lobby the Legislature, but that’s not long enough,” said Andy. ‟A one-year lobbying ban serves as an incentive to leave office early for potentially lucrative lobbying jobs, which forces more special elections.”

SB 976 passed out of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee with unanimous support. The bill will be heard next in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

‟Special, unplanned elections take money away from local priorities, such as health clinics, public safety and transportation,” said Andy. ‟This extended lobbying ban should make leaving office early a lot less enticing.”

‛California Through My Eyes’ Photo Contest

California Photo Contest
‟Bishop Paiute Pow Wow” by Rachael Lamore from South Tahoe High School was the 2015 Legischool Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner

LegiSchool is pleased to announce our last (and most popular) contest for this school year: the California Through My Eyes photo contest.

California Through My Eyes Students from around the state are invited to participate in LegiSchool’s popular California Through My Eyes photo contest.

Step behind the camera lens and capture a quintessential California picture to illustrate how you envision this state. Show California through your eyes and you can win a cash prize.

The photo can be of a person, place or thing - the sky is the limit! The grand-prize winner will receive $150 and four runners-up will receive $100 each. Winning photographs will be also be displayed at the State Capitol.

Submission Deadline:May 6, 2016

CONTEST RULES

  • The photo must be your own original work
  • Each photo must have an accompanying 150-word essay and a signed permission form
  • Only one entry per student
  • Single photos only - no collages allowed
  • If your photo features another person, and their face is visible, you must obtain their permission to use the photo by having them sign this photo release form

To apply, click here.

For questions, please contact LegiSchool Project Director Terra Thorne at 916-278-4487.

The LegiSchool Project is a civic education collaboration between the Center for California Studies and the State Legislature.