As a State Assembly Candidate in 2016, I promised you I would (1) find common ground where possible to advance legislation that serves our area; (2) effectively fight legislation that does not; and (3) provide strong oversight to hold government accountable. Finishing my first term as a Member of the California State Assembly, here is where we stand:
Legislative SuccessesWorking across party lines, we advanced several policy priorities with successful legislation:
- A bill that protects victims of sexual assault;
- A law enforcement-sponsored bill to add transparency to the grand jury process;
- A first-of-its-kind resolution to protect freedom of speech on California's college campuses;
- A resolution honoring the millions of Ukranian victims of Soviet atrocities;
- A bill to allow prosecutors to bring thousands of sexual predators to justice for illicitly recording or photographing victims inappropriately.
In addition, we have moved several important pieces of legislation close to the finish line:
- A bipartisan bill to create a statewide Economic Development Strategy for California, by identifying opportunities to help California businesses thrive and identifying barriers that are holding our economy back;
- A bill to give at-risk students, including victims of bullying, the right to enroll in a neighboring school district;
- A bill to strike restrictions that prevent testimony older than four years from being used in a teacher dismissal hearing for sexual misconduct;
- Legislation to endorse the Asilomar Principles as guiding values for the development of Artificial Intelligence;
- A bipartisan bill to require California public universities to teach the history and value of the First Amendment, titled the Free Speech on Campus Act;
- A bill to designate two free hunting days per year, supported by a coalition of sportsmen and environmentalists;
- A bill to expand parental choice for underserved students, supported by the Sacramento Bee;
- A constitutional amendment to strip the Attorney General of the power to write misleading ballot titles and summaries, also supported by the Sacramento Bee, along with the Orange County Register, LA Times, and Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association;
- A bill to allow ordinary citizens to access important decisions of big agencies through live streaming;
- A bill to allow California taxpayers to deduct their federal tax liability from their state returns, ending the practice of double taxation.
I also promised I would seek to stop or change legislation that is harmful to our district. These efforts included:
- Led the fight against a bill pushed by trial lawyers that would have increased costs and reduced access to care for our seniors, resulting in a veto by the Governor;
- Led the fight against a bill that would raise college costs in order to reward a politically powerful special interest, resulting in a veto by the Governor;
- Successfully called for an end to the restrictions imposed by the drought;
- Led the fight against the Sanctuary State Bill in the Assembly Judiciary Committee, resulting in amendments limiting the law's scope;
- Helped to lead the fight to reverse the Gas Tax;
- Opposed the unfair and unlawful placement of a Sexually Violent Predator in Placer County, and co-sponsored legislation to prevent this in the future.
In addition, we also published opinion pieces in newspapers throughout the state on topics such as improving the integrity of ballot initiatives, promoting teen mental health, ending high speed rail, opposing the Sanctuary State bill, stopping tax increases, protecting freedom of speech, increasing budget transparency, and promoting youth political engagement.
I also promised I would keep a close watch over taxpayer dollars and hold government accountable. These efforts included:
- Speaking against the Assembly's violation of Proposition 54, which requires that a bill be publicly available for 72 hours before it can be passed. Our efforts to bring attention to this unprecedented defiance of the voters' will brought harsh condemnation across the state, causing the Assembly leadership to reverse course on the 89 bills passed illegally.
- Challenging the constitutionality of the Legislature spending $25,000 per month in taxpayer funds to retain the services of Eric Holder, when California already employs well over 1,500 attorneys and legal staff in the Attorney General's Office. The Assembly subsequently terminated its contract with Mr. Holder.
- Challenging a decision by the State Water Commission to withhold funding for new water storage, which had argued that new reservoirs and groundwater storage did not serve a "public benefit." The Commission later reversed its judgment, approving funding for several new reservoirs, including Sites.
Above all, my top priority has been to respond directly to your concerns. To this end, we:
- Held 17 Towns Halls and Community Coffees, including in Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Granite Bay, Orangevale, Fair Oaks, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, and Cameron Park;
- Wrote over 20,000 letters responding to inquiries from constituents;
- Held public workshops on avoiding scams against seniors, getting access to services for veterans, reducing the risk of wildfire, and using social media safely for students; and
- Gave 102 high school and college students experience working in a legislative office.