Vidak's News & Views: February 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Howdy Friends —

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

Over 500 people looking for a job had the opportunity to meet with nearly 90 employers with hundreds of job openings at the Central Valley Career and Resources Expo, co-hosted by my office, Congressman David G. Valadao’s office and Tachi Palace.

It’s was so great to meet with so many job-seekers and job-providers at the Expo. Heartfelt thanks to all the folks who helped make the Expo such an amazing success. Keep a lookout for video highlights of the Expo coming soon! To see a photo montage from the Expo, click here.


Ensuring a reliable, affordable water supply for the Valley, and all of California, continues to be a top priority of mine.

I am grateful that a bipartisan coalition of state legislators recently joined me in sending a letter to Congressman David G. Valadao (R-Hanford) expressing our support for his House Resolution 23 – the Gaining Responsibility on Water (GROW) Act of 2017.

The GROW Act is intended to protect California from future droughts by streamlining infrastructure permitting for water storage and capture, expanding water storage and protecting water rights. To read the letter signed by 32 legislators, from both the Senate and Assembly, click here.

High-Speed Rail

I have let the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) know that I will be making a formal request to authorize the non-partisan and highly-respected California State Auditor to immediately initiate an audit into the California High-Speed Rail (HSR) Authority.

Previous audit requests by me, and many others, have been defeated (primarily along party lines) at the order of Governor Jerry Brown, who is pinning his legacy hopes on the money pit known as High-Speed Rail.

Another bombshell revealed in a recent LA Times article includes a reference to a new federal report which cites “confidential” documents showing that officials with the High-Speed Rail Authority have known for quite some time that the real costs of HSR will go up yet another 50 percent.

Let’s see, initially the promise was that the state would “only” put in $9 billion, then it went up to an estimate of $100 billion, now it may go up to $150 billion.

I think Democrat Congressman and former State Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Mark DeSaulnier was right when he said that HSR could cost well over $350 billion to complete.

If the governor continues wasting money on his train, then his legacy may well turn to out to be one of deficit, deceit and denial.

Our prayers for rain are being answered. Now let’s stop the train!

Senator Andy Vidak's signature

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Career Expo Photo Montage

Hundreds of job-seekers discovered hundreds of jobs available from nearly 90 employers at the recent Central Valley Career and Resource Expo in Lemoore.

Career Expo Photo Montage

Career Expo Photo Montage

Career Expo Photo Montage

Career Expo Photo Montage

Career Expo Photo Montage


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Child Care Background Screening

Trustline Banner

In 1989, the California Legislature created a child protection program called TrustLine.

TrustLine is a database of nannies and baby-sitters that have cleared criminal background checks in California. It’s the only authorized screening program of in-home caregivers in the state with access to fingerprint records at the California Department of Justice and the FBI.

The registry is the only background check authorized by state law to use three databases that the general public, including private investigators and private background check companies, cannot access.

These databases include fingerprint records from the California Department of Justice Criminal History System; the Child Abuse Central Index of California; and fingerprint records of the FBI Criminal History System.

Thousands of applicants who apply to be on the TrustLine registry are disqualified because of criminal activity in their past. TrustLine has denied applicants with convictions such as murder, manslaughter, willful child cruelty, and kidnapping. But TrustLine is just one important tool to help parents choose the best in-home caregiver for their children.

Parents can check if a caregiver is registered on TrustLine by calling 1-800-822-8490. Parents will need to provide (1) the person’s full name and (2) driver’s license number. It’s easy and It’s free.

TrustLine is administered by the California Department of Social of Social Services and the nonprofit California Child Care Resource & Referral Network.

For more information, please visit

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Student Cartoon Contest

Legischool Project - Editorial Cartoon Content Flier

Click here to view a larger version of this flier.

Click here to view a text-only version of this flier.

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Team Vidak Out & About

Click on the photos below to read more about what is happening in our communities.

Kern County’s Annual MLK Community Breakfast

Photos from the Kern County Annual MLK Community Breakfast

Team Vidak Tours Calgren in Pixley

Photos from Team Vidak Tours Calgren in Pixley

Earlimart Park Groundbreaking

Photos from Earlimart Park Groundbreaking

McFarland Chamber of Commerce

Photos from the McFarland Chamber of Commerce

Strathmore’s Aaron Estrada Honored

Aaron Estrada

Tipton Recognition Banquet

Photos from the Tipton Recognition Banquet

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Pink Ribbon License Plate

Pre-order and reserve your California Pink Ribbon License Plate today by clicking here

The California Pink Ribbon License Plate is an idea started by four women, all breast cancer survivors, who wanted to do something to promote early detection and help more women and families survive this terrible disease. We have all seen specialized license plates on vehicles across California. The California Pink Ribbon License Plate is the newest option California drivers can purchase.

Pre-order the California Pink Ribbon License Plate by clicking the Order License Plate button above. Once you place your pre-order and a total of 7,500 orders are received, the applications and funds will be forwarded to the Department of Motor Vehicles. It may take up to twelve months for programming to be implemented and orders placed. It will take additional time for personalized plates or exchanges to be manufactured.

The California Pink Ribbon License Plate costs a fee in addition to your normal registration fee. To pre-order a sequentially numbered plate (a random set of six numbers and letters selected by the DMV); the cost will be $50 ($40 per year to renew plus your normal registration fee). Personalized plates (where you select up to six numbers and/or letters) cost $98 ($78 per year to renew plus your normal registration fee).

Money generated from the California Pink Ribbon License Plate will allow more women across California to get regular breast exams and mammograms, potentially saving the precious lives of countless women.

After receiving 7,500 paid orders, the DMV will produce and distribute the California Pink Ribbon License Plate.

For more information, please visit

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Feb. 13 Deadline: Senate Fellows Program Seeking Application

Community Voices: Fellows program gives valley stronger voice in Sacramento
By Rogelio Caudillo / Published in the Bakersfield Californian on January 31, 2017

Rogelio Caudillo
Photo credit: Lorie Shelley, Senate Rules Photography

There is an extraordinary opportunity for college graduates from the valley to learn about and get hands-on experience in government and the process of implementing public policy. It’s called the California Senate Fellows Program and it’s one of the most prestigious programs of its kind in the nation.

Every year hundreds of college graduates apply to become full-time Senate staff members at the state Capitol in Sacramento for 11 months. From the hundreds of applicants, only 18 are chosen. Fellows receive a monthly stipend of $2,627 plus full health, vision and dental benefits. They also earn six units of graduate credit from the Sacramento State Government Department.

I had the honor of being chosen for the Senate Fellows class of 2013-2014 and had the privilege of working for state Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, who represents my hometown and most of the area I grew up in.

Unlike most paid internships, the Senate Fellows Program works more like an apprenticeship, with a mentor dedicated to your development and growth. Fellows get to learn about and have an effect on the very policies that come out of Sacramento, and often personally work on legislation or regulations resulting from them.

As a fellow, you are being trained to be a member of the Senate’s staff, and thus take on many of those same responsibilities handled by full-time staff members. I spent much of my time as a fellow in Vidak’s office working on legislation, analyzing policies, meeting with various groups interested in state policy and legislation, and working on issues of concern to Vidak’s constituents.

I also learned about most of the major policies that affect my community and how our office could better represent the folks living there. After serving in Vidak’s Capitol office, I was hired to be one of his district representatives in the Central Valley.

Don’t let the prestige of the program intimidate you. Anyone from any background who is a college graduate and at least 20 years old can apply. Any major may apply, not just those with studies focused on government, political science or public policy. All an applicant really needs, in addition to the academic and age requirements, is an interest in public policy and service.

For example, I was born in Delano and raised in Earlimart. I’m a first-generation university graduate from a rural community. I attended Bakersfield College and received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Cal State Bakersfield.

It was during my undergraduate studies that I became especially passionate about politics. That passion led to leadership positions in various campus organizations, attending an academic seminar from The Washington Center at our nation’s capital, and receiving an award of recognition from the Center for Kern Political Education.

Because of the Senate Fellows Program, I am now able to bring all my experience and knowledge from my fellowship to serve my community.

Unfortunately, very few college graduates from the valley apply for the Senate Fellow Program. We need Central Valley voices in Sacramento and this program is a great way to do that. I can only imagine how much difference a couple of more fellows being selected every year from the Central Valley could make.

The deadline to apply for the 2017-18 program is Feb. 13. For more information, go to

If you are a college graduate who is passionate about the future of our Valley, I encourage you to apply.

Rogelio Caudillo is the district representative for state Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford.

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February Legislative Calendar Highlights

California Senate Seal

2/2    Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
2/6    Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
2/9    Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
2/9    James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards Luncheon – Sacramento
2/13  Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
2/14  World Ag Expo – Tulare
2/15  World Ag Expo – Tulare
2/16  World Ag Expo – Tulare
2/17  Last day for bills to be introduced in 2017
2/20  President’s Day
2/21  Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
2/22  Senate Education Committee Oversight Hearing – State Capitol
2/23  Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
2/27  Senate Floor Session – State Capitol
2/28  Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee Hearing – State Capitol


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