Bills address education, water, crime-fighting, and veterans needs
Sesptember 15, 2009 (San Diego)--Assemblymember Mary Salas (D-San Diego) last week sent seven bills to the Governor’s desk as the Legislature completed its work of the first year of the 2009-10 biennial legislative session. Assemblymember Salas and fellow lawmakers worked all night Friday and into the early morning Saturday to tackle critical issues and complete their work.
“I am very pleased with the results of this year’s legislative session, and I am confident that Governor Schwarzenegger will look favorably at the results of our collective work and my set of bills,” said Assemblymember Salas. “I’ve worked hard to send to the Governor a package of bills that improves the lives of all Californians. Because of our budget crisis, these bills either have no cost or save the state money.”
Below is a brief description of bills authored by Assemblymember Salas awaiting action by Governor Schwarzenegger.
• Assembly Bill 261 - Strengthens privacy protections of student records by conforming state law to federal law. The bill will ensure California continues to receive over $1 billion in federal education funding.
• Assembly Bill 286 - Extends successful city and county intra-agency vehicle theft abatement and prosecution programs. San Diego County operates the Regional Auto Theft Taskforce (RATT), a multi-agency team of detectives and prosecutors which in 2008 recovered 319 stolen vehicles valued at over $3 million. The bill continues funding for RATT and similar programs in 46 other counties by extending local authority (until 2018) to place a $1 surcharge on vehicle registrations.
• Assembly Bill 1328 - Authorizes homeowner associations (common interest developments) to enter into multi-year energy and water efficiency contracts. The measure promotes high efficiency energy and water use programs that result in savings for homeowner associations and reduce water and energy use.
• Assembly Bill 1330 - Authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a cooperative housing pilot project.
• Assembly Bill 1567 - Requires that military veterans be added to the list of target populations in the Employment Training Panel's (ETP's) strategic plan. The plans include training goals, strategies, and objectives.
• Assembly Bill 1568 – Provides disaster relief to homeowners suffering losses due to the 2008 and 2009 wildfires in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and San Bernardino counties and creates a special deposit account to preserve and fund the Healthy Families program.
• Assembly Bill 1571 - Requires that all county mental health plans include veterans and/or veteran organization in their stakeholder planning process. Also requests that the Department of Mental Health inform the Department of Veterans Affairs whenever a local plan includes outreach or service program specifically for veterans and their families.
In August, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 348 by Assemblymember Salas which removes the landownership requirement from the list of qualifications to serve as a director of the South Bay Irrigation District. In May, lawmakers joined Assemblymember Salas in recognizing water as a valuable natural resource by adopting House Resolution 10 which proclaimed May 3-9 as Drinking Water Week.