411 on the 44th - May 2016
A lot has happened in the year and a half since I was elected to represent the 44th Assembly District in Sacramento. Things move very quickly in the State Legislature, and it's important that local residents know about the work that is being done on their behalf.
This newsletter is an opportunity for me to take a step back from the day-to-day and give a quick update on important legislation and local projects for Ventura County residents. I hope you find this information useful and will share any thoughts or feedback to keep this conversation going.
Assemblymember, 44th District
In this Issue:
2015 Legislative Highlights
Investing in Education - Engineers are in high demand throughout the state, especially in Ventura County where we can count on several tech and bio tech companies who are looking for great new talent to hire. We were able to direct funds from the 2015-16 enacted state budget to create an engineering program at CSU Channel Islands. The program is likely to begin later this year and we will be able to fill these high paying jobs with home-grown engineers in a few short years!
Helping Students Succeed – Each year, millions of Californians turn to our community colleges to achieve their personal and professional goals. Unfortunately, majority of them are deemed unprepared for college level work and must complete remedial English or Math before they can proceed. Remedial courses are costly and inefficient, and deter a majority of students from finishing their education. We introduced AB 770 to help streamline remedial education using proven methods to improve student success rates. Both Oxnard and Ventura College have been awarded AB 770 funds to implement these changes.
Improving State Cybersecurity - Massive data breaches pose a significant threat to our socio-economic stability and to the vital cyber infrastructure that California depends on. As Chair of the newly-established Select Committee on Cybersecurity, we successfully introduced landmark legislation to make sure state agencies are meeting information security standards and that the State is protecting the information entrusted to us by the people of California.
2016 Bill Package Highlights
Testifying at committee hearing for AB 2273
Investing in Entrepreneurship
- AB 2664: The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative is a critical investment in business incubators at UC campuses and surrounding communities, helping emerging entrepreneurs actually bring their ideas to market in California.
Protecting the Public
- AB 1580: With cases of child identity theft on the rise, this bill would allow parents to check their child’s credit report and put a freeze on their account to protect against identity theft and fraud.
- AB 1554: This bill would enact a ban on the sale, manufacture, and distribution of Powdered Alcohol, a dangerous new product which poses a direct threat to public health.
- AB 1822: Would help establish local Sex Trade Offender Program (STOP) programs that educate convicted sex trade buyers about the harms of the sex trade and have been proven to reduce recidivism rates in San Francisco and San Diego.
- AB 2143: This bill would improve outdated reporting practices by allowing local government entities to record and report official documents electronically. This transition will help save time and money and makes sense in a 21st Century California.
We want to hear from you!
Thoughts on legislation? Ideas for bills? Call my Camarillo District office at (805) 482-1904 or email Assemblymember.Irwin@assembly.ca.gov and let us know what you think!
Insider Tip: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov is a great site for tracking and researching legislation!
Honoring Jeri Williams, Oxnard Police Chief, as Woman of the Year for the 44th district.
Implementing local solutions to the statewide water shortage
- Nearly a year ago, we heard about the challenge of delivering recycled water to growers on the Oxnard plain. We got involved with local parties and state regulators and together we came up with a solution to use the brine line, also known as the Salinity Management Project to deliver the recycled water. The Oxnard Advanced Water Purification Facility is now helping deliver 3 million gallons of water to farms per day.
- Roughly 500 people attended the Defeat the Drought water expo last summer to bring awareness and understanding to the serious drought California is currently in. It was great that the community was able to rally together behind such an essential issue and prove that change is possible.
- We hosted six scam prevention workshops to educate constituents on how to protect themselves and their property from scams and identity theft.
- We have hosted 12 interns in our district offices so far, and five high school students are currently enrolled in our Young Legislators Program! Due to the success from last year, we will be hosting another K-12 resource fair for families in Oxnard on August 13th.
Local Business Development
- We hosted 3 “CA Competes” workshops run by Go-Biz representatives, which provided step-by-step application instructions for business owners and potential applicants of the California Competes Tax Credit Program. These workshops attracted more than 150 attendees and in total Ventura County businesses have been awarded $3,432,000 in tax credits.
Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting for my Camarillo office
Posing with Junior local ROTC Cadets
Problems with a State Agency?... Call me!
My office is a one-stop-shop for state services and information. If you have a problem and feel like your issue isn’t being resolved, staff at my district offices might be able to help!
We can assist with matters such as DMV, veteran’s benefits, state taxes, Medi-Cal/Covered CA, and unemployment and disability insurance. We can provide information on government reports, policy, forms and publications. Contact one of my district offices or set up an appointment.