Yes or no? That is the question. COMMENTARY Dispatches from Sacramento

With the legislative session ending a month ago, it's been great to be home in Ventura County. I've been able to meet with constituents, catch up with old friends, and pick up some of my favorite fall traditions. I've also been invited to speak with a number of community groups and organizations across the district to give an update on my first year in Sacramento.

These meetings have given me a face-to-face opportunity to answer questions from civic-minded folks and discuss ideas for policies they'd like to see me advance during the next session, which begins Dec. 5.

Announcing Our Nationwide AMBER Alert Program

"I would like to applaud the partnership announced today between Uber and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The innovation that is creating new economies can also provide solutions to difficult public safety challenges and crisis situations, and this partnership provides an example of positive steps companies can take to support the safety and well-being of Californians across the state." — Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, District 44

California ABLE Act Signed

Bi-Partisan Bill to Create Tax-Free Savings for Californians with Disabilities

SACRAMENTO – This weekend Governor Brown signed two bills implementing the California ABLE Act. Starting January 1st, 2016, individuals with disabilities and their families will be able to save money tax free, and without fear of losing eligibility to a variety of public assistance programs.

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) and Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) introduced Assembly Bill 449 and Senate Bill 324 to help people with disabilities save for the future. Together the bills create the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which allows people with disabilities to open special accounts where they can save without risking eligibility for Social Security and other government programs. ABLE accounts are similar to the widely used 529 education savings plan but would be used for disability related expenses.

Governor Signs Irwin Bill to Improve Regulatory Environment for Recycling

SACRAMENTO – Governor Brown has signed Assembly Bill 1045 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) which requires the California Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Food and Agriculture to coordinate the regulation and oversight of organic waste recycling facilities and establish policies to encourage more recycling of organic waste.

“The state has several goals related to the recycling of organic waste and the use of compost, including diverting waste from landfills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, sequestering carbon, and reducing water consumption,” said Assemblymember Irwin. “To reach these goals, we need to cut down on the red tape associated with the production of compost.”

Governor Signs Critical Cybersecurity Bill into Law

SACRAMENTO – Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 670 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) to mandate that a minimum number of cybersecurity risk assessments are performed on state networks every year.

“Cybersecurity attacks are on the rise and California state government is a priority target because of the value and sheer size of its networks and data,” said Assemblymember Irwin. “The state bears a responsibility in actively defending the information it collects as well as the critical networks that Californians rely on for services. AB 670 will make sure those steps are taken.”

Governor Signs Assemblymember Irwin’s Bill to Increase Transparency and Accountability for Commercial Charitable Fundraisers

SACRAMENTO – Today Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 556 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) and sponsored by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris to maintain consumer confidence in charitable giving.

“I’m pleased that Governor Brown signed AB 556, a collaborative effort with Attorney General Kamala Harris to increase transparency in charitable donations,” said Assemblymember Irwin. “This bill will support consumer confidence for the more than 70,000 active nonprofit organizations doing great work in California.”