Vidak's News & Views: December 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Howdy Friends –

Hoping everyone had a great day of giving thanks spending time with family and friends!

Vision Care Clinics

In the spirit of gratitude, I want to extend heartfelt thanks to all the folks who helped with the free “Mobile Eyes” vision care clinics in Kings and Tulare counties, which helped nearly 300 people with free eye exams and glasses.

Thanks to Vision Service Plan (VSP), Kings Community Action Organization and Tulare County Office of Education Foundation for partnering with Team Vidak to make this important community service available to low-income families, who otherwise might not have access to vision care and eyeglasses. Special thanks to the optometrists from the Valley who volunteered to do the exams.

VSP’s “Mobile Eyes” features deluxe mobile eyecare clinics on wheels, outfitted with state-of-the-art exam rooms and dispensaries. The clinics in Hanford and Lindsay each served nearly 50 people on the day of the clinic and 200 more people where given vouchers for free eye exams and glasses, thanks to VSP.

Asian Citrus Psyllid

California’s citrus trees are at risk of disappearing because of a tiny insect that carries a devastating plant disease called Huanglongbing (HLB). The Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) has been found in several California counties, including Kern, Fresno and Tulare counties.

Citrus, which has been grown in the Valley for over 100 years, is now a $2 billion industry with thousands of growers providing thousands of jobs. That is what is at risk if the disease takes hold.

California legislation has already authorized the creation of the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program to help raise the necessary funding from the citrus industry to combat the spread of the disease.

My office is working with Senator Richard Roth’s (D-Riverside) office in a bi-partisan effort on legislation that the California citrus industry is seeking to increase that funding to cover the escalating cost of prevention and detection.

You’re Cordially Invited

Team Vidak hopes you will join us for our Holiday Open House in Bakersfield on the evening of Monday, December 14. Details are included below in this newsletter.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!


Andy's signature

Holiday Open House

Holiday Open House banner

You are cordially invited to Andy’s Holiday Open House in Bakersfield.

Monday, December 14, 2015, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Andy’s Bakersfield District Office
1201 E. California Avenue, Suite A, Bakersfield 93307

“Please join Team Vidak at our Bakersfield Holiday Open House for a legislative update and an opportunity for you to share with us state issues that are important to you and your family,” said Andy.

For more information or to R.S.V.P., please call Gaby Castaneda at (661) 395-2620 or email

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Team Vidak Out & About

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

Porterville Veterans Day Parade Lemoore Students of the Month
Porterville Veterans Day Parade Lemoore Students of the Month
Free VSP Mobile Eyecare Clinic
Comes to Hanford
Kings County Career Connection
Free VSP Mobile Eyecare Clinic Comes to Hanford Kings County Career Connection
Robinson’s of Hanford Honored Tulare County Excellence in Education Awards
Robinson’s of Hanford Honored Tulare County Excellence in Education Awards
KART Rides Eyes Clinic South Valley Battle of the Badges Blood Drive
KART Rides for Mobile Eyes Clinic South Valley Battle of the Badges Blood Drive
Kern Co. 4th Annual Housing Gala
Kern County's 4th Annual Housing Gala
Alzheimer’s Assoc. of Kern Co. Groundbreaking
Alzheimer's Assoc. of Kern Co. Groundbreaking
Bakersfield Garden Party 2015 Kern Leaders Academy 2015
Bakersfield Garden Party 2015 Kern Leaders Academy 2015
West Kern Petroleum Summit Cal-Water Helps Local Non-Profits
West Kern Petroleum Summit Cal-Water Helps Local Non-Profits

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Andy Earns A’s from Taxpayers/Business Groups

Andy Earns A’s from Taxpayers/Business Groups

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) awarded Andy an “A” grade for his pro-jobs, pro-taxpayer voting record for the 2015 legislative year.

“Senator Vidak has shown time and again that he is committed to protecting taxpayers from tax-and-spend politicians in Sacramento and firmly holding the line on taxes,” said HJTA President Jon Coupal.

HJTA, established in 1978, is dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights, including the right to limited taxation, the right to vote on tax increases and the right of economical, equitable and efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

“I am honored to receive this ’A’ grade from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association,” said Andy. “A lot of folks I represent are struggling just to make ends meet. The last thing they need is for their government to take more of their hard-earned dollars. Helping create and keep jobs in the Valley is a top priority.”

To view the HJTA scorecard, click here.

Andy Earns A’s from Taxpayers/Business Groups

Andy also earned an “A” from the California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) for his Senate Floor votes on CalChamber’s 2015 priority jobs and business bills.

Andy voted with the Cal Chamber’s position on 12 of 13 measures that were tracked for the vote record report, including voting against the following three “job killer” bills:

  • Senate Bill 32 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills), another “global warming” bill which would have increased costs for California businesses and made them less competitive;
  • Assembly Bill 465 (R. Hernández; D-West Covina), an arbitration bill that would have significantly driven up litigation costs for all California employers; and
  • SB 654 (de León; D- Los Angeles), a hazardous waste permitting measure that would have created an unworkable process and discouraged upgrading hazardous waste facilities.

“While parts of the state are rebounding from the recession, many communities in the Valley are still suffering from high unemployment rates,” said Andy. “Supporting legislation that encourages job growth and opposing measures that kill job creation is a top priority. Thanks to CalChamber for tracking bills that are important to the vitality of our state.”

To see the “CalChamber Vote Record: Major Bills 2015” report, click here.

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Career Expo Coming in January:
Employers with jobs to fill needed!

Career Expo Logo

U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao, The Wonderful Company, Tachi Palace and my office have teamed up for a Central Valley Career and Resource Expo.

With high unemployment in the Valley, connecting people looking for a job with people who have jobs to fill is a top priority. Last year’s Career and Resource Expo featured more than 70 local employers with immediate job openings.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tachi Palace Bingo Hall
17225 Jersey Ave, Lemoore

If you are a business with job openings and would like to be part of the Expo, or if you would like more information about the Expo, please contact Claudia Salinas in Andy’s Hanford district office at 559-585-7161 or

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Accepting Applications: Senate Fellows Program

Rogelio Caudillo Senate Fellow – Class of 2013-2014 Carolina Garcia Senate Fellow – Class of 2014-2015
Rogelio Caudillo
Senate Fellow - Class of 2013-2014
Carolina Garcia
Senate Fellow - Class of 2014-2015

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.

Senate Fellows are assigned to the personal or committee staff of a senator and also participate in academic seminars with senators, senior staff, journalists, lobbyists and state government officials. Fellows experience a broad range of activities including researching public policy issues, developing legislative proposals, analyzing and staffing legislation, assisting with constituent services and participating in meetings as the senator’s representative.

Fellows are paid a stipend of $2,627 per month, plus health, vision and dental benefits. They also earn six units of graduate credit from Sacramento State for the academic portion of the program. For more information and to apply for 2016-2017 California Senate Fellows program, visit: deadline to apply is Feb. 8, 2016.

Rogelio Rogelio served in Team Vidak’s Capitol Office as a Senate Fellow as part of the Class of 2013-2014. Rogelio, who was born in Delano and grew up in Earlimart in Andy’s Senate district, was hired as one of Andy’s district representatives in the Hanford office following his Fellowship.

Garcia Carolina Garcia just completed her Fellowship in the Andy’s Capitol office as a part of the Class of 2014-2015. Carolina, who was born in Guatemala and raised in Ontario, recently started a new job with California State University, Long Beach as the Assistant Director of Community Outreach.

As Senate Fellows, both Rogelio and Carolina were an integral part of the Capitol team, staffing several legislative measures and Senate policy committees on which Andy served, among other duties as a legislative aide.

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Accepting Applications:
Young Entrepreneur Award Scholarships

yef logo

The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards program was established to raise awareness among the nation’s youth of the critical role that private enterprise and entrepreneurship play in the building of America. Since 2003, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has awarded more than 2700 scholarships totaling $2.7 million to high school seniors who own/operate their own small business.

Five students will be chosen as Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalists. The Young Entrepreneur of the year will receive $25,000. The Dan Danner Leadership Award winner will receive $15,000 and the remaining three finalists will each receive $10,000. An additional 95 scholarships will be awarded to students at $2000 each.

For more information and to apply,click here.DEADLINE to apply is December 18, 2015.

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In Case You Missed It

Dan Walters: Is California’s economy booming? Not really
Published in the Sacramento Bee 11/18/15


  • De León, Brown tout carbon reduction as economic benefit
  • However, the connection is tenuous
  • The state’s economy remains relatively lethargic

Kevin de León, the state Senate’s president pro tem, has been making his way slowly to a global conference on climate change in Paris next month…

[Governor] Brown has often joined de León in claiming that carbon-reduction efforts, particularly the mandate on utilities to shift to renewable sources of power, are building, not damaging, the state’s economy…

However, there’s no reason to believe there’s any more than a tangential relationship between the two. California has barely begun to crack down on carbon emissions so its effect on the state’s economy, positive or negative, has been infinitesimal.

Furthermore, California’s economy is not really booming.

[An Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy] staff briefing paper noted the state’s emergence from recession, but added, “Unfortunately the benefits of this recovery have not reached all areas of the state and only a select segment of the population is sharing in the resulting prosperity.” …

It appears that de León and Brown are getting their economic data from California’s one-percenters, rather than reality. And that’s especially odd, given that de León represents one of the state’s poorest Senate districts.

To read the entire article, click here.

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Upcoming Legislative Dates of Note

California State Senate seal

The Legislature is currently in Interim Study Recess, which means legislators are back in their districts meeting with constituents and developing legislative packages for 2016.

January 1, 2016
Statues (new laws) take effect

January 4, 2016
Legislature reconvenes

January 10
Budget must be submitted by Governor

January 18
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observed

January (mid to late)
Governor delivers the 2016 State of the State Address

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