Happy New Year, everyone. I hope you had a safe and joyous time ringing in 2018. This is going to be an exciting year and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that await us.
Entering the New Year, I will continue working on a bi-partisan level to make California the best place to live, work and raise our families. As always, I will keep you updated on important developments and the latest news taking place here at the Capitol.
New Year, New Laws
Hundreds of new laws will go into effect in California this year. I wanted to share with you an interesting mix of some of the laws for 2018.
Sanctuary State: Senate Bill 54 restricts local law enforcement agencies from communicating with federal immigration authorities about people in custody.
Ammunition Sales: Assembly Bill 693 requires ammunition purchases be made in person through an authorized vendor. Anyone wishing to transfer ammunition must also do it through a licensed dealer. Online sales are still allowed, but the ammunition must be shipped to a licensed vendor.
Feminine Hygiene: Assembly Bill 10 requires public middle and high schools with a high percentage of low-income students to provide free feminine hygiene products in half of the school’s bathrooms.
Parental Leave: Senate Bill 63 requires small businesses with 20 or more employees to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to bond with a new child within a year of the child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement.
Marijuana Use in Cars: Senate Bill 65 makes it illegal to smoke or ingest marijuana while driving or while riding as a passenger in a vehicle.
Hopes For 2018 State Of The State Address
Later this month, Governor Jerry Brown will deliver his 2018 State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature and the people of California. Here are a few issues I'm hoping he discusses:
Job Creation - We must continue doing whatever it takes to boost the economy and create jobs for our citizens. Providing jobs in this economy is still not easy, but it is crucial to the health of our state on so many levels and should be a priority for all of us.
Responsible Budget - With the legislative session ahead of us, I’m concerned that the Governor and my Democrat colleagues will take the rosier budget outlook as license to charge ahead with increased spending. It is critical that we rein in spending and remain in the “black” so that California never falls back into the fiscal pit we’ve dug ourselves into in the past.
Pension Liability - It is critical - for the state, for the taxpayers and for the workers - that California uses conservative, honest and transparent accounting for pensions and for all state taxing and spending. Without spending control, no amount of tax dollars will ever be enough. It’s not more revenues Sacramento needs, it’s more self-control.
40 Years For Sacramento Law Enforcement Chaplaincy
Senator Gaines presents Chaplain Mindi Russell and members of the Sacramento Law Enforcement Chaplaincy with a Senate Resolution on their 40th anniversary.
I had the distinct honor of presenting Chaplain Mindi Russell and members of the Sacramento Law Enforcement Chaplaincy with a Senate Resolution on their 40th anniversary!
The Chaplaincy began in 1975 by a group of pastors, business professionals, and law enforcement representatives with the intent of providing ministry support for law enforcement personnel and their families in times of personal crisis.
They have come a long way since then and are now serving 19 local law enforcement agencies, 16 local school districts, as well as state and county agencies. It is the only service of its kind, dispatching rapid responders alongside law enforcement agencies to provide on-scene emotional crisis support and equipping chaplains with the knowledge and resources necessary to effectively counsel those in need.
The role they play within law enforcement and in the community is vital. I appreciate all of their hard work and celebrate their 40 years of wonderful service.
Still Time To Take My Tax Survey!
Did you know California’s state and local governments collect about $250 billion in taxes every year, $6,000-plus per Californian?
California’s sales tax is the highest in the nation. Gas taxes are the second highest. The Golden State’s business tax climate ranks as third-worst. California has the highest median housing prices in the country.
These taxes take a big bite out of California family and small business pockets. The working class and businesses are being driven from California by high costs and are seeking opportunity in more affordable states.
Federal tax changes might lower the nation’s overall tax burden but it still remains to be seen if the national reforms will raise or lower Californians’ taxes.
Do you think California’s taxes are too high? To make sure your voice is heard and your ideas understood, please take the time to answer this tax-related survey. So far, I’ve received an overwhelming response to this survey. If you haven’t taken it yet, I’d love to hear from you. Your opinion is important. If you have any questions or need additional information, please call my Constituent Service Center in Granite Bay at (916) 771-5840 or in Redding at (530) 224-7001.
I appreciate your participation!
Sanctuary Policy Killed Kate Steinle
I was heartbroken over the recent not guilty verdict handed down in the infamous Kate Steinle case. San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy killed Kate Steinle. Her killer illegally crossed into the United States at least five times and finally settled in San Francisco because he knew that city would protect him from immigration enforcement.
Jose Inez Garcia Zarate, the illegal alien whose bullet ended Kate Steinle’s young life, is now going to be deported for the SIXTH TIME. When he steals across the border again I’m sure he’ll run right back into the lawless, loving arms of San Francisco or someplace else in our Sanctuary State, because he knows he’ll get the protection here that Kate Steinle couldn’t.
Recognizing 2017 Nonprofit Of The Year
Senator Gaines presents 2017 California Nonprofit of the Year award to representatives from the Sacramento Medical Reserve Corps Foundation.
The Sacramento Medical Reserve Corps (SMRC) Foundation is the proud recipient of the 2017 California Nonprofit of the Year award for their tremendous work in improving the health of our community and helping the Sacramento region be more prepared for a disaster, or large scale medical emergency.
The SMRC Foundation supports the work of the Sacramento Medical Reserve Corps, a program of the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services. Serving the community since 2003, the Sacramento Medical Reserve Corps engages medical professionals and support volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year.
SMRC members can be called upon in the event of a disaster, public health emergency, hospital surge, or to provide medical related support to shelters. Throughout the year the SMRC also supports public health with flu clinics, participates in community disaster preparedness drills, staffs first aid stations at community events, provides health screenings at health fairs, and distributes health and emergency preparedness information at local events.
For more information, visit: http://volunteercenter.uwccr.org/agency/detail/?agency_id=73363.
Capital Fellows Program Accepting Applications
Applications for the 2018-19 California Senate Fellows Program and Assembly Fellowship Program are now available for interested college graduates. The programs provide college graduates an opportunity to become full-time Senate or Assembly staff members at the State Capitol in Sacramento for 11 months beginning in the fall of 2018.
Fellows are assigned to the personal or committee staff of a Senator or Assembly member, and also participate in academic seminars with legislators, senior staff, journalists, lobbyists and state government officials. The fellowship programs are administered by the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), in partnership with the State Senate and State Assembly. The programs are geared toward both Republicans and Democrats.
Being a Fellow provides an excellent opportunity to gain direct knowledge of the legislative process. Whether your career goals are in the public or private sector, the Senate and Assembly Fellows programs provide valuable training that can be applied to all walks of life. Former Fellows include current members of Congress and the California Legislature, judges and numerous other elected officials and community leaders.
Fellows are paid a monthly stipend plus health, vision and dental benefits. They enroll as graduate students at Sacramento State and receive graduate units from the Sacramento State Government Department or Public Policy and Administration Program. The enrollment fees are paid by the programs.
Anyone who will be at least 20 years of age and a graduate of a four-year college or university by the beginning of the program can apply. There is no preferred major. Individuals with advanced degrees and those in mid-career are also encouraged to apply.
For detailed information about the fellowships and applications, please visit:
The application deadline is: February 12, 2018.
Celebrating Ron Rackley
Senator Gaines presents Senate Resolution to Folsom State Prison Warden Ron Rackley for his 31-years of service to California.
I presented a Senate Resolution to Folsom State Prison Warden Ron Rackley, who retired last month after a 31 year career with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Ron earned the distinction as being the only person in the 59 year history of CDCR’s Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) to be promoted from correctional officer to warden without transferring to another prison. Ron said he’s most proud of his work with rehabilitating inmates and seeing them go on to lead successful, productive lives. Thank you for your 31-years of dedicated service to our community, Ron. Enjoy retirement!