Every Wednesday at 5:10 p.m. Assemblyman Scott Wilk, 38th Assembly District will keep us up to date on all latest news in Sacramento and how it impacts our Santa Clarita Valley.
AB 1707 Water Quality Bill Passes Committee
bill requiring the State Water Resources Control Board to post on their web site the external peer review studies when a regional board imposes a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) on a community, passed the Senate Environmental Quality committee with a 0-0 vote.
“AB 1707 will improve government transparency, accountability and increase public trust by making this information readily available to the public through the website,” said Wilk.
The performance of the peer reviews is already mandated by law, so the only change AB 1707 makes is that the reports be posted for public access. Regional quality water boards often impose regulations on communities that may costs millions of dollars and the scientific review process ensures the legitimacy of mandated environmental regulations upon ratepayers. It is important that sound science be employed before requiring ratepayers to fund these mitigations and AB 1707 will be an incremental step in accomplishing that goal.
ACR 151 Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) Awareness Week
Assembly Concurrent Resolution 151 passed the Assembly floor with 66 coauthors. ACR 151 declared the week of May 25, 2014 to May 31, 2014 as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) Awareness Week to honor those who work to make research and resources a reality for children suffering from DIPG and their families.
This past year I had the honor of meeting a woman named Janet Demeter from Santa Clarita, who survived one of the most unimaginable devastations a parent could ever go through: the loss of a child. Janet lost her son, Jack, to a rare brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
After the loss of her son, Janet went on to create a foundation in Jack’s name called the, ‘Jack’s Angels Foundation.’ This non-profit organization is committed to raising awareness and fighting against malignant brain tumors. I commend the efforts of Janet and the ‘Jack’s Angels Foundation,’ for committing to fighting against DIPG,” Wilk said.
DIPG is one of the most resistant cancers to chemotherapy treatments, incurring 100-150 new diagnoses per year in the United States. This form of brain tumor is so fatal that fewer than 10% of children with DIPG survive two years after being diagnosed, with a median survival rate of 9 months.
State Budget Passed June 15
The Legislature voted on the bill on Father’s Day – June 15. I voted against the State Budget written and negotiated by Governor Jerry Brown and legislative Democrats saying they have not learned their lesson when it comes to overspending. Not only is the Democrat budget the biggest in our state’s history, but it continues to lock in more program spending increases for the future.
While the final budget relies on the Governor’s more realistic revenue estimates, total spending will grow by $12 billion to a record $108 billion. The budget regrettably sets the state up for significant future spending obligations, such as the proposal to increase welfare grants by five percent. It also spends money on pet projects, such as $2.7 million for a new swimming pool in Calexico.
On K-12 education, the Democrat budget will cap local school district reserves – which could push many districts into bankruptcy. With their reserves now limited by this budget, they may not have enough money to stave off cuts in future economic downturns.
Yet again, the Governor fails to make higher education a priority and did not fulfill his promise to use Proposition 30 to fund public education, which California voters approved. The budget uses the higher taxes from Proposition 30 to fund social programs instead of funding our higher education system. In addition to the Prop 30 letdown, the budget rejects a bipartisan request to increase funding for the California State University by $95 million.
Lastly, one of my biggest budget frustrations is the Governor still plans to move forward with the High Speed Rail boondoggle. The budget takes $250 million from Cap and Trade to fund High Speed Rail. It also makes it an ongoing appropriation, taking away the legislature’s right to appropriate and conduct oversight.
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