Gaines Gazette: August 1, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016


Did you see the news? Obamacare rates are shooting up 13.2 percent next year. How is the middle class supposed to keep up? This is a hidden tax increase on California families and I’m fed up with the state sticking it to them over and over.

You can debate the wisdom of Obamacare, but you can’t debate that it’s doing nothing to control the skyrocketing costs. And if the middle class isn’t getting hit with higher rates, they are getting hit with higher costs to subsidize others. There is no free money; one way or another, this is shrinking working family paychecks.

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Senator Gaines speaking with Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association president Jon Coupal

Senator Gaines visits with Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, in front of thousands of signed petitions.

I recently stopped by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and visited with Jon Coupal, President of the organization. He shared with me the petitions they received from thousands of individuals from my district who have joined the anti-tax organization over the past year. The petitions expressed the following;

Whereas: Proposition 13 was passed in 1978 by an overwhelming majority of California voters and;

Whereas: Proposition 13 restored fairness to California’s property tax, gave voters the right to approve future tax increases and preserved the homes of millions of Californians and;

Whereas: California’s current budget crisis is not a revenue problem. It’s a spending problem. You cannot balance the budget only by raising taxes and;

Whereas: Legislation, including Assembly Constitutional Amendment 8 and Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 has recently been introduced that undermines Prop. 13’s limit on property taxes and eliminates its requirement for a two-thirds vote to approve some new tax increases;

Therefore: I hereby strongly urge you to reject any legislation that will weaken, revoke or repeal the taxpayer protection provided by Proposition 13.

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This is a special message to gun owners and everyone else in our state who cares about freedom and the Constitution. Last month, Governor Brown signed six bills that put us further down the road of outlawing legal gun ownership, and his actions, and the actions of the legislators who carried these bills, are disappointing.

Don’t be fooled when you read that the Governor vetoed a handful of the anti-freedom, anti-gun bills. Those vetoes just left us where we were before. The bills he did sign, though, will do nothing to stop crime, to make our schools safer, to make our homes more secure. They will just make it harder for law-abiding citizens to own guns.

Bills such as these grow the body of rules and laws and make it more and more likely that legal gun owners, or people thinking about purchasing a gun, will just give up out of frustration, fear of breaking one of the thousands of guns laws, or won’t pay the additional costs brought on by the growing list of gun rules. It’s part of a grand strategy by the legislative majority to regulate guns right out of honest citizens’ hands. Does anyone think that someone intent on committing a robbery or shooting is going to be deterred by these laws or any others? That is why they are criminals - they break laws. They will break these laws, too, and I want to make sure that my family, and my constituents, have the ability to defend themselves.

It’s a sad irony that these bills were signed on Fourth of July weekend, a time when we celebrate the birth of this country and enjoy the freedoms guaranteed to us in the Constitution. Signing these bills makes a mockery of the Second Amendment and is an insult to the millions of gun owners exercising their freedom. I am hopeful that the referenda to overturn these gun control bills will be successful this November.

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Wiley Saccheri posing with Senate Certificate of Recognition

Wiley Saccheri receives a Senate Certificate of Recognition for his “sweet victory” on the Food Network’s “Cake Wars” competition.

I was pleased to provide a Senate Certificate of Recognition to Wiley and Tiffanie Saccheri, owners of Sublime Cake Design in Redding. Wiley is an amazing cake artist, and beat out three other teams in the Food Network’s “Cake Wars” by crafting a cake based on a Viking-style theme and the “How to Train Your Dragon” book and movie. The $10,000 prize was icing on the cake!

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As your State Senator, one of the most important services I provide is assisting you when you are having trouble cutting through the red tape of state government. If you have a problem with a state agency or program such as those listed below, my staff can help find answers.

  • Department of Motor Vehicles (driver’s license, vehicle registration)
  • Employment Development Department (unemployment benefits)
  • CA Department of Justice (background checks for employment)
  • Medi-Cal
  • Franchise Tax Board
  • CA Public Utilities Commission
  • CA Resources Agency
  • Medical Board of California
  • CA Contractors State License Board
  • CA Department of Food and Agriculture
  • And much more!

We also assist local governments and community organizations with regulatory issues and grant programs involving state agencies. We can seek answers to your questions, make the appropriate officials aware of your concerns and assist with any problems you might be experiencing. Below are a few recent examples of “success stories” my office has been able to help with:

My office received a note from a frustrated constituent who stated that for more than four years, CAL FIRE kept billing him, year after year, to collect the $152.33 fire tax for a non-existent mobile home. We contacted CAL FIRE on his behalf and they responded by saying, “This petition has been approved, and the account will be adjusted to $0 for all four years.” My constituent wrote back and noted, “After four years plus we have gotten a refund. Pretty sure we would have been ignored had your office not intervened. Your help was appreciated and we can use that money to pay our property taxes. Thanks again.”

Another case involved a constituent who had a contract to begin working at a Community Health Center (serving our most poor and needy constituents), but she could not start her work due to bureaucratic delays with the Osteopathic Medical Board of California (OMB). Not only were patients missing out on the chance for timely care, but the medical specialist had no income. My office contacted the OMB to request expeditious processing of the required paperwork. We received this reply from my constituent: “You were able to accomplish, in a couple of hours, what we couldn’t in months! Thank you for helping me get what I needed to get into the clinic to see patients.”

It is a highlight of my day to cut through red tape and get things done. If you’re not sure where to go for help, feel free to ask us. We are here to serve you and can refer you to the appropriate government agency. Just call my district office at (916) 933-7213 and we will help you get started.

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Picture of Senator Sharon Runner

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my friend and colleague, Senator Sharon Runner. Sharon was a true servant of God, dedicating her life to her faith and acting as a shining example of living a Christ-filled life. Her commitment to public service earned her the admiration and respect of the many individuals who had the pleasure of knowing her. One of her most significant legislative achievements was authoring “Jessica’s Law” in 2006, the initiative that tightened restrictions on paroled sex offenders.

Together, she and her husband George have worked tirelessly on behalf of their constituents and made a great team for California. My thoughts and prayers are with George, their children and grandchildren.

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The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development is hosting an upcoming workshop and you’re invited. The California Competes Tax Credit Program has approximately $200 million in tax credits available during the 2016-17 fiscal year for businesses that want to expand in or relocate to California. The next application period begins July 25, 2016.The workshop and the program are free and available to businesses of all sizes throughout the state.

Date:  August 2, 2016
Time:  9:00 to 10:30 a.m.
Location: Tahoe Truckee Airport, Room A
10356 Truckee Airport Road
Truckee, CA 96161

Click here for more information.


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Graphic of water saftey

California’s pristine coastline, lakes and rivers are the perfect destination for summer activities like swimming, fishing and boating. While most of us have a healthy respect for the water, don’t forget about the power of Mother Nature when you’re enjoying California’s waterways.

To reduce the risks associated with swimming, fishing or boating, the California Department of Water Resources has put together water safety tips for enjoying California’s many waterways.

The California Division of Boating and Waterways’ Wear It California! public awareness campaign has information about life jacket use for general boating, angling and paddling, as well as tips for finding the best fitting life jacket for children and pets.

I hope you find this information helpful as you enjoy all the recreation and beauty California’s waterways have to offer this summer.

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