Vidak's News & Views: August 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

Howdy Friends -

I hope you are having a fantastic summer and staying cool in this heat wave.

Summer Recess for the Legislature is over and August is the last month of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session. As I’ve come to learn, the folks that run the Capitol wait to the last minute to try and push through controversial issues. This year’s no different.

The Governor and Democrat leaders are trying to extend the hidden gas tax in the cap-and-trade program set to expire in 2020.

The governor is using an illegal maneuver to extend the hidden gas tax. He has ordered his Air Resources Board (ARB) of unelected bureaucrats to set higher emissions caps and extend the cap-and-trade program without legislative approval.

That is a blatant power grab.

There is also “hall talk” that the governor and Democrat bosses are trying to woo enough Republicans to vote for the extension of the cap-and-trade tax program (they are calling it a “fee”) by passing SB 32 with a 2/3rds majority vote, which is required to pass any new tax.

To read my guest commentary urging fellow Republicans to not sell out on SB 32, please click here.

As y’all know, the governor is hell-bent on building the train-to-nowhere, and the cap-and-trade program is the slush fund (up to a billion dollars a year) for High-Speed Rail.

I’m doing my darndest to stop this madness and to protect our Valley way of life. Thank you, as always for the honor and privilege to serve you in Sacramento.

Pray for rain. Stop the train!


Senator Andy Vidak's signature

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Andy Blasts the Confirmation of Shiroma to the Corrupt ALRB

Andy made a blistering speech on the Senate Floor in opposition to the confirmation of Genevieve Shiroma as a member of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB).

He made three points against Shiroma’s confirmation:

  1. Shiroma’s blatant conflict of interest;
  2. the ALRB’s dismal performance under Shiroma’s tenure; and
  3. the ALRB’s failed mission to assist farmworkers under Shiroma’s leadership.

“The ALRB, in the eyes of thousands of my constituents, has become corrupt and is not helping the people at the bottom of the political chain, as was the original intent. I have frequently worked side-by-side with farmworkers throughout my life,” said Andy. “It is a tough job, a hard job, a back-breaking job. They have earned the right to determine their own destiny, not to be treated like children who do not know what’s best for them.”

To read Andy’s statement in opposition, click here.

To watch Andy’s Senate Floor Speech in opposition, click here

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August is Valley Fever Awareness Month

CDC banner

Avoid Dust to Avoid the Disease!

Let’s fight back against Valley fever by knowing more about this illness and taking steps to avoid exposure.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Valley fever is a disease caused by exposure to a fungus found predominately in Central Valley soil.

Exposure occurs when a person breathes in contaminated dust or dirt. This exposure could result in mild flu-like symptoms or could even lead to a very serious illness that can cause chronic pneumonia, meningitis, or other infections in a small percentage of people.

You can find more information about Valley fever and ways to limit your exposure, please visit CDC’s website.

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Free Entrance Days: National Parks Celebrate 100th Birthday

National Park Foundation banner

Image of Yosemite

One of America’s greatest treasures, its national park system, will celebrate its 100th birthday on August 25.

As part of the ongoing celebration to honor this historic occasion, the National Parks Service will be offering “Free Entrance Days” to all national parks from August 25 to 28.

We are fortunate to have ten national parks in California and many national monuments, historical sites, and trails that give all who visit an opportunity to witness the beauty and natural diversity this state offers. You can find a list here.

The National Parks Service has also scheduled “Free Entrance Days” for September 24, to recognize National Public Lands Day, and November 11, in honor of Veterans Day.

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Team Vidak Out & About

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

Bulldog Express Tour

Photos from Bulldog Express Tour

Earlimart Food Bank

Photos from Earlimart Food Bank

Kings Gun Center Community Forum Night

Photos from Kings Gun Center Community Forum Night

Kern County “Super Lawyers”

Photo of Kern County Super Lawyers

Porterville Unified School District Honored

Photo of Porterville Unified School District Honored

Sanger Mobile Office Hours

Photos from Sanger Mobile Office Hours

Minkler Business Tour

Photo from Minkler Business Tour

Woodlake Mobile Office Hours

Photos from Woodlake Mobile Office Hours

Bakersfield’s Platinum Real Estate

Photo from Bakersfield’s Real Estate

Corcoran Chamber’s All American BBQ

Photos from Corcoran Chambers All American BBQ

Lemoore’s Gopher Grabbers

Photos of Lemoores Gopher Grabbers

Philippine Weekend in Delano

Photos of Philippine Weekend in Delano

To view more pictures, please click here.

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August Mobile District Office Hours

Map of District

Team Vidak staff members will be holding Mobile District Office Hours in the following communities in August:

Mon., Aug. 8
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Walker Senior Center
505 Sunset Ave., Shafter

Wed., Aug. 17
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Lamont Weedpatch Family Resource Center
7839 Burgundy Ave., Lamont

Fri., Aug. 26
6pm - 8pm
Friday Night Market
Sweet Briar Plaza
Corner of N. Sweet Briar Plaza and Samoa St., Lindsay

Sat., Aug. 27
10 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Valley Life Community Church
3200 McCall Ave., Selma

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 (559) 585-7161 or email

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Valley Communities Get Funds for Park-Related Projects

California Housing and Community Develoment

Cities and counties that build housing that’s affordable for low-income families are eligible to receive Housing Related Parks (HRP) Program grants to be used for a variety of park-related projects, including new park and recreation facilities, community centers, playgrounds and improvements to existing parks.

The following communities in the district Andy serves were recently awarded HRP grants:

Community Award Amount Affordable Housing Units
City of Reedley
City of Corcorcan
City of McFarland
City of Dinuba
City of Lindsay
City of Fresno
City of Delano
County of Tulare
Kern County
$ 847,700
$ 222,400
$ 295,575
$ 160,150
$ 330,275
$ 300,550
$ 414,950
$ 225,050

“Congratulations to these communities for being committed to making our Valley communities a better place to live,” said Andy.

The HRP Program is funded through Proposition 1C, and the Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2006.

For additional information on the HRP Program, click here.

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California Conservation Corps 40th Anniversary

serving California 1976-2016

The California Conservation Corps (CCC) is a state agency that puts together young people and the environment, to the benefit of both.

Corpsmembers—young men and women between the ages of 18 and 25—sign up for a year of working outdoors to improve California's natural resources. They also assist with emergency response: fighting fires, floods, earthquakes and pest infestations.

The CCC, modeled after the original Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, is the oldest and largest conservation corps now in operation. Created by the governor and the Legislature in 1976, more than 120,000 young people have been a part of the CCC since that time.

Andy supported the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 156, authored by Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte), which recognized the CCC’s 40th Anniversary.

“Hats off to the CCC and Corpsmembers for the powerful contributions you have made to keep our state great for the past four decades,” said Andy.

For more information on the CCC, click here.

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Welcome New Team Vidak Interns

To help serve the folks of Senate District 14, which includes nearly a million people in Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare County, Andy is very proud and appreciative to have smart, talented and dedicated young men and women interning in Team Vidak’s Capitol and district offices.

Brenna Leigh NancarrowBrenna Leigh Nancarrow has joined Team Vidak as a summer intern in Andy’s State Capitol office. Born in Redondo Beach and raised in Sacramento, Brenna Leigh is an incoming junior at C.K. McClatchy Senior High and is an incoming junior in the Law and Public Academy. She plans to become a criminal prosecutor. Previously, she interned in the Office of Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. “I’m excited to learn more about the Legislature here in Senator Vidak’s office,” said Brenna Leigh.

Carissa Schwabenland has joined Team Vidak as a Summer 2016 Maddy Scholar Intern in Andy’s Fresno District Office. Born and raised in Fresno County, Carissa is a senior at California State University, Fresno. She is a Mass Communication and Journalism major with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Economics, projected to graduate this fall. Her experience at Fresno State’s Office of Community and Economic Development has granted her experience in agricultural policy and industrial management specific to the San Joaquin Valley. Carissa is currently in the process of applying to graduate programs in economic development and wishes to use her expertise to improve the well-being of California citizens. “I’m ready to apply my background in economics to the legislative ins and outs of Andy’s Fresno Office in an attempt to better the lives of all community members of District 14,” said Carissa.

Sarah ShannonSarah Shannon has joined Team Vidak as a summer intern in Andy’s Hanford District Office. Born and raised in Terra Bella, Sarah graduated from Porterville High School and is currently in her sophomore year at University of California, Los Angeles. She currently serves her fellow classmates by serving on her sorority’s Philanthropy Committee and by mentoring middle school girls through the Women and Youth Supporting Each Other (WYSE) organization. Her current studies have sparked an interest in the policy issues surrounding education, agriculture, civil rights and health care. Sarah aspires to complete her education at UCLA and work towards a B.S. in Political Science, ultimately to concentrate her career towards international relations. “I am really excited for the opportunity to get hands-on experience within the political system through working in Senator Andy Vidak’s legislative office,” said Sarah.

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Highlights of Andy’s August Calendar

California Senate Seal

8/8 Senate Floor Session
8/9 Senate Education Committee Hearing
8/10 Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing on SB 37
8/11 Senate Floor Session
8/12 Last day for fiscal committees to meet and report bills
8/15 Senate Floor Session*
8/16 Senate Floor Session
8/17 Senate Floor Session
8/18 Senate Floor Session
8/19 Senate Floor Session
8/19 Last day to amend bills on the Floor.
8/22 Senate Floor Session
8/23 Senate Floor Session
8/24 Senate Floor Session
8/25 Senate Floor Session
8/26 Senate Floor Session
8/29 Senate Floor Session
8/30 Senate Floor Session
8/31 Senate Floor Session
8/31 Last day for each house to pass bills, except bills that take effect immediately or bills in Extraordinary Session.
8/31 Final Recess begins upon adjournment.

*August 15—31 Floor Session only. No committees may meet for any purpose.

Important dates occurring during Final Recess
9/30 Last day for the Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature before Sept. 1 and in the Governor’s possession on or after Sept. 1
11/8 General Election
11/30 Adjournment Sine Die at midnight
12/5 12 Noon convening of the 2017-18 Regular Session

1/1 Statues enacted in 2016 take effect

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