Gaines Gazette: July 2, 2018

Monday, July 2, 2018

Happy Independence Day!

Independence Day Graphic

It’s been a busy legislative year so far and I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time out in the First Senate District meeting with my constituents and hearing what’s on their minds. I’ve encountered so many wonderful people and have received feedback from citizens with concerns about our state.

Summer is upon us and I want to take the time to wish you and your family a safe and relaxing 4th of July holiday! I will continue to keep you updated on important developments and the latest news taking place here at the Capitol. It is an honor to serve you in the Senate.

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Recognizing 2018 Nonprofit Of The Year

Senator Gaines presents 2018 Nonprofit of the Year award for the 1st Senate District to representatives from the Sacramento Sheriff K9 Association.
Senator Gaines presents 2018 Nonprofit of the Year award for the 1st Senate District to representatives from the Sacramento Sheriff K9 Association.

I nominated the Sacramento Sheriff K9 Association as the 2018 Nonprofit of the Year for the 1st Senate District and welcomed them to the State Capitol for a special ceremony.

The Sacramento Sheriff K9 Association was established in 2005 by members of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department K9 Unit, who recognized the need for financial assistance to aid retired K9s after they had served our community.

These fantastic animals are often asked to do extremely hazardous work and can be credited for saving lives, apprehending criminals and locating missing persons. Some are also trained to locate firearms, explosives, narcotics and evidence.

Since its inception, the Sacramento Sheriff K9 Association has supplemented and enhanced the training, equipment and safety of active K9s and deputies. The association has also assisted retired K9s with veterinary bills and burial fees, all to ensure these animals are taken care of during and after their service to the community.

To learn more about the Sacramento Sheriff K9 Association, visit www.ssdk9.com.

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11th Anniversary Of Angora Fire

I will never forget the severity of what I saw 11 years ago when I toured the wreckage left behind from the destructive Angora Fire in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The community has done a remarkable job of picking up the pieces and rebuilding their homes and the Tahoe regional economy. But we can never be too vigilant. Tahoe is still at extreme risk for catastrophic wildfire and we need to take every reasonable measure to keep this area safe.

The Angora Fire scorched about 3,100 acres and destroyed 254 homes, costing many tens of millions in damages and in emergency response costs. Tahoe’s conditions in June 2007 — steep canyons, ample fuel, dry years when the area received only 29-percent of normal precipitation, high winds — were a recipe for forest fire disaster. While this year’s conditions are different in that the area has receive more precipitation, the new vegetation growth in combination with hot summer days can lead to a dangerous fire season.

We must continue to implement the recommendations made by the bi-state Blue Ribbon Fire Commission, which was formed in the wake of the fire by the Governors of California and Nevada, aimed at strengthening the region’s ability to prevent and respond to fire catastrophes. I will continue to do everything in my power to help make the region safer.

I encourage residents and visitors to do their part for fire safety by exercising extreme caution with cigarettes, campfires, tools, engines or anything else that could possibly spark or otherwise cause a fire — which is how the Angora Fire began. Homeowners should create defensible space around their homes and be vigilant in clearing out brush at least 100 feet.

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Cruisin' Into Summer

Senator Gaines selected this 1965 Mustang GT as the winner of the Senator’s Trophy.
Senator Gaines selected this 1972 Chevrolet C10 Cheyenne pickup as the winner of the Senator’s Trophy.

From the time I was a kid I have always been a complete car fanatic, so when I got an invite to the 12th Annual Downtown Lincoln Car Show, I jumped at the chance. When I saw Keli and Orville Easley’s 1972 Chevrolet C10 Cheyenne pickup, I knew it had to be the winner of the Senator’s Trophy. Thanks to The Rods & Relics of Lincoln Hills Car Club and the VFW Post 3010 for inviting me to be a part of the fun!

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Opposed To Wasteful Budget

Last month, the Governor and legislative Democrats came to an agreement on the biggest spending budget in state history, spending a record $138.6 billion out of the General Fund. That’s about $70 billion more than the general fund in the state’s 2011-12 budget.

I tip my hat to Governor Brown and his Democrat allies in the legislature; they can spend money faster and more irresponsibly than any group of people I’ve ever seen. This budget is — again — the biggest in Golden State history. We keep spending more and more but not getting better roads, better schools, or better anything besides wealthier public employee unions.

Brown had the nerve to point to a piggybank during his budget presentation, and to imply that he has saved the state some amazing amount of money since he’s been in office. That’s a farce! With just a bit of fiscal discipline we could have filled a dozen of those piggybanks. Brown taxed more and then Brown spent more. He was the most predictable big-spending Democrat to ever roam the Capitol halls.

The Governor himself has repeatedly warned that another recession is headed our way. Instead of heeding that warning, we are increasing spending by billions to pay for things like the absurd High Speed Rail project, a minimum wage increase and pushing a billion-dollar makeover for the state capitol.

We are so dependent on Silicon Valley’s economic miracle that it’s frightening. Their prosperity obscures huge problems in the rest of the state, and our highly-progressive tax system means that if Silicon Valley coughs, the state budget catches pneumonia. A slight downturn could send us into a fiscal crisis in Sacramento. Far from being recession proof, we would be recession toast.

This is a budget that guarantees higher taxes for families around the state. Is it any wonder that working-class people are fleeing California as fast as they can load their U-Hauls? How could they want to stay when their government treats them like ATMs? Democrats force them to pay the highest sales taxes, highest income taxes, some of the highest gas taxes and property taxes in the nation, and then celebrate when and brag about how much this year’s budget “invests.” For once, I wish the Democrats would spend less and let the people invest in themselves.

This is Governor Brown’s last budget and thankfully so. He’s spent eight years talking about fiscal discipline and prudence while supporting new taxes, fees and spending at every turn. He’s leaving behind a legacy of poverty, massive homelessness, and fiscal recklessness.

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Nor Cal Gun Vault Small Business Of The Year

Senator Gaines presents Taro Arai with the 2018 Small Business of the Year award for the 1st Senate District.
Senator Gaines presents Eddie and Tammy Ford with the 2018 Small Business of the Year award for the 1st Senate District.

I was proud to recognize Nor Cal Gun Vault as the 1st Senate District 2018 Small Business of the Year during California Small Business Day.

As a small business owner myself, I know how difficult it can be to operate in California. I applaud owners Eddie and Tammy Ford on building a thriving small business and for their contributions to California’s economy. Nor Cal Gun Vault’s goal is to promote responsible firearm ownership while giving back to the community, and they have certainly been successful in both areas. I wish them the greatest success in the years to come.

Located in Rocklin, Nor Cal Gun Vault is a retailer of firearms, ammunition, accessories and training to customers in Northern California. They offer Basic Hunters Education, Basic Handgun, and Concealed Carry Weapons permit classes to ensure the safe and responsible handling of firearms.

The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, and Nor Cal Gun Vault guarantees that citizens have the opportunity to own the finest weapons and get the best training on safe and sensible use.

Nor Cal Gun Vault is also a vital community member that supports several local charitable organizations from first responders, military and local children in need.

“We are humbled and honored to receive this award from Senator Gaines,” said Nor Cal Gun Vault owners Eddie and Tammy Ford. “We have truly enjoyed every minute of serving our Northern California customers and are appreciative of this recognition.”

The award was announced at the annual California Small Business Day in Sacramento, where Nor Cal Gun Vault joined 75 other small businesses from state legislative districts in being recognized for their contributions to the state’s economy. Small business contributes to 75-percent of California’s gross state product and over half of the state’s private sector jobs.

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At Your Service…

Graphic of Bell

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. Email senator.gaines@senate.ca.gov or call (916) 771-5840 to see how we can help.

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Follow Me!

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Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook! It’s a great way to stay up-to-date on my activities at the Capitol and around the First Senate District