After a quick coffee run, the 2023 KHTS Sacramento Bus Trip launched into another day of education and activism for our Santa Clarita Valley.
The morning started off with a rousing report on climate change and alternative energy by Dr. Jack Brouwer, Director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) and Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) at the University of California, Irvine. He discussed electrical system infrastructure and development ahead of the state mandate that all new cars and light trucks sold in-state be electric by 2035.
Next came a report from the State Director of Finance, H.D. Palmer, who offered an update on the state budget and its uses, as well as a look into the questions around why the budget has vacillated wildly between surplus and deficit over the years.
After a short break, the attendees heard a presentation from Jennifer Barrera, President and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce. Barrera provided an overview of the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), which authorizes employees to file lawsuits on behalf of themselves, a group or “class” of employees, or the State of California against employers.
Then, the attendees received a breakdown of how their food gets to their table – and why those egg prices have gone up – thanks to the combined efforts of James Johansson, President of the California Farm Bureau, and Eric Sauer, CEO of the California Trucking Association.
During the lunch break, Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, brought the six high school students on the trip to the State Capitol Building for a private tour, walking them through the historic building as one of the first groups of outsiders allowed in since the COVID-19 shutdown in 2020.
The reenergized attendees came back in time to hear from Allison Jordan, Executive Director of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, as she gave them an inside look into how California’s $45 billion wine industry is looking to the future, adapting to climate change, shifting consumer priorities and unpredictable water availability.
Finally, Jennifer Pierre, General Manager of State Water Contractors, an organization of 27 public water agencies that contract with the state for a portion of their water supplies. Pierre explained that although California is no longer in a state of drought, it is in a state of near-constant water shortage due to the unreliable amount of Sierra Nevada snowpack – California’s primary site of water storage.
The bus left Sacramento a little early on Tuesday thanks to weather forecasts predicting several inches of snow on the Grapevine, a decision that definitely paid off given the white hills that greeted travellers on the way home.
“It’s hard to believe we’ve done this annual trip for 16 years. Over 1,200 community leaders have travelled with us to Sacramento since the trip’s inception. We’ve been able to make a significant impact on behalf of the Santa Clarita Valley. Senator Scott Wilk and his stellar staff made this year’s experience beyond awesome,” said KHTS owner Carl Goldman.
Here’s to another successful year of the KHTS Sacramento Bus Trip, thank you to all of our sponsors and attendees. We hope to see you again!
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