Limón in the Legislature: Summer 2018 Newsletter
As the end of the summer approaches, I wanted to update you on what I have been working on in the district and in Sacramento.
My legislative priorities this year were focused on the most pressing issues facing our community. In 2017 and early 2018 our community was devastated by two natural disasters that took the lives of many of our community members creating a void that may never be filled.
Last month, our district was tested yet again when two wildfires sprang up in the grasslands of our region, but this time we were prepared. Cal OES, local firefighters, and emergency personnel were able to utilize pre-staged equipment to contain the fire before it could further spread. I was proud to have supported funding to ensure prestaging resources and it is my hope that through further legislation and community support, we can get on the forefront of the now year-round California fire season.
As always, if you need assistance with a state agency or if you would like to invite me to a community event, please do not hesitate to contact my Santa Barbara office at (805) 564-1649, Ventura office at (805) 641-3700, or leave me a note here. For updates on my work in the Capitol and around the district, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @AsmMoniqueLimon.
This newsletter includes updates and information on the following topics:
- Select Committee on Natural Disaster Response, Recovery, and Rebuilding
- How Does the California Budget Impact Our District?
- Legislative Update
- Community Spotlights
Last month, I held an informational hearing with Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson to learn from county officials and state agencies about the local wildfire recovery and rebuilding efforts.
If you missed the hearing, you can watch it here.
The adopted fiscal year 2018-19 state budget prioritizes funding for fire recovery and prevention, makes significant investments in K-12 schools, provides emergency aid to fight homelessness, and prevents tuition hikes at UC and CSU, all while building up the largest reserves in California’s history.
Among the victories for Santa Barbara and Ventura counties includes:
Nearly $12 million in funding to backfill the property tax revenue losses that Ventura and Santa Barbara counties will incur due to the Thomas Fire.
- $108,500,000 over three years to permanently secure, plug, and decommission abandoned oil wells and facilities, located onshore and offshore, in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Specifically, this proposal requests for $58,000,000 in 2018-19, $40,000,000 in 2019-20, and $10,500,000 in 2020-21.
- $5.5 million for debris removal in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties as a result of the Thomas Fire.
- $10 million to fund Assembly Bill 1956, a bill I am authoring which creates a robust year-round fire prevention local assistance grant program.
- $9.5 million to upgrade Oxnard's wastewater treatment plant.
- $3.9 million for the Ellwood Mesa Habitat Management Plan and Restoration
Listed below are a few of the bills I am continuing to work on as we approach the end of the legislative session, August 31st 2018.
Fire and Insurance Related Legislation
Environmental Related Legislation:
AB 2534 – Outdoor Access
AB 2534 establishes the Outdoor Equity Grant Funding Program, at the Department of Parks and Recreation, to increase the ability of underserved and at-risk populations to participate in outdoor environmental education programs.
AB 2864 – Coastal Commission Trustee
AB 2864 allows the state’s two coastal management agencies to provide critical, jurisdictional and resource assessment assistance to the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) process in the event of an oil spill.
AB 1775 – Co-Authored Bill by Assemblymember Muratsuchi
AB 1775 prohibits the State Lands Commission or a local trustee agency from authorizing new construction of oil and gas infrastructure that would facilitate new exploration, development, or production of oil or natural gas from the Outer Continental Shelf. By ensuring that new and renewed leases are not granted, California will be able to protect the environment, our coast, and our economy from the risks posed by offshore drilling and production.
Women & Children’s Health Related Legislation:
AB 1976 – New Mother’s Lactation Rooms
AB 1976 requires that the space made available for women to express breast milk in the workplace, is not a bathroom. AB 1976 is a small change to provide additional support for working mothers, and helps to reduce a significant barrier that prevents women from continuing to breastfeed upon returning to work by ensuring that there is a private and clean space available to express breast milk.
Small Business Related Legislation:
AB 2831 – Green Biz
This bill seeks to make it easier for small businesses to go green by ensuring they are afforded the same amount of access to green business programs regardless of their size.
Nonprofit Related Legislation:
AB 2178 – Charitable Feeding
AB 2178 establishes a limited service charitable feeding operation as a new category of regulated food facility, and exempts these charitable feeding operations from many, but not all, of the requirements that apply to other food facilities. The goal of this bill is to give local charitable food donors and regulators flexibility in the law to allow for more food to be donated and served safely.
ACR 135 – Ryan Osler Memorial Highway
Designates a portion of Highway 101 located in the County of Ventura as the Ventura County Fire Engineer Ryan Osler Memorial Highway. Fire Engineer Ryan S. Osler of Santa Clarita was an 18-year veteran of the Ventura County Fire Department and a resident of Moorpark. On September 21, 2016, Osler tragically lost his life when the water tender he was riding in rolled over at a roundabout on State Highway 246 in route to Vandenberg Air Force Base to help fight the Canyon Fire.
Student Art in the Office
Art of the 37th District is an art initiative that seeks to collaborate with local schools in the Assembly District, to showcase student art. We currently have beautiful art on display in the district office from Monte Vista and Ellwood Elementary Schools. Student art brings life and color into the district office and constituents that visit the office on a daily basis get to enjoy it! Art of the 37th District is updated on a quarterly basis, and is returned to students.
In response to the Federal Administration’s Zero Tolerance Policy, communities throughout our district came together to show that Families Belong Together.
Mariachi - State Fair
Mariachi Inlakesh represented Assembly District 37 and Ventura County in the California State Fair & Expo, in the first Annual Youth Mariachi competition. Congratulations to Inlakech Cultural Arts Center for a great performance, and to Director Javier Gomez, for his leadership, vision and positive impact in the community. Thank you for promoting culture through your beautiful music!
Woman of the Year
This year, I honored KEYT News Channel 3 Reporter Anchor Tracy Lehr as the Assembly District 37 ‘Woman of the Year’ at a special ceremony at the California State Capitol.
California Nonprofit of the Year Event
This past June, we gathered for the annual celebration of the California Nonprofit of the Year event. I was particularly proud to recognize the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura as the 2018 Nonprofit of the Year for Assembly District 37. This incredible nonprofit offered free childcare services during a community emergency and helped hundreds of families affected by the Thomas Fire.
Nonprofit organizations are a vital component of California’s economic growth, and are ground breakers in environmental protection, innovation, science, civil rights, arts and humanities, and democratic ideals. To all of California’s Nonprofits, thank you for your amazing contributions to our State, and I look forward to seeing what you continue to accomplish in the rest of 2018.
Veteran of the Year
This year, Tammy Bender was recognized as the 2018, 37th District Veteran of the Year. Tammy is a native of Ventura, a veteran, spouse and mother. She served in the U.S. Navy from April 1988 until she was honorably discharged in May 2008 as Chief Hospital Corpsman. She has been working with the Ventura County Veteran Services Office (CVSO) where she has been instrumental in helping the CVSO connect veterans to federal and state benefits. Tammy, we cannot thank you enough for your service to our community.
Small Business of the Year
In June, we honored outstanding members from our District. Laurel and daughter/ Co-Owner Elizabeth of AZU Restaurant & Ojai Valley Brewery have served the 37th District delicious food and craft brews for over 18 years and were selected as our Small Business of the Year. During the most devastating natural disasters in our District’s history, Laurel and Elizabeth opened their doors to aid in community relief, which alleviated the distress and needs of community members.
Fiesta Kids Parade
This past August, I had the pleasure of walking alongside Girls Inc. of Santa Barbara in the Children’s Fiesta Parade. Girls Inc. of Santa Barbara is an affiliate of a nonprofit organization that has been serving our nation for almost 150 years. They aim to inspire every girl from age 4 ½ to 18 to be who they are with confidence, explore the world with vigor, and strive to become the strong and independent women they were born to be. ¡Viva la Fiesta!
Pride Festival Kick-off Rally August 25th 12:00pm to 1:00pm-Chase Palm Park Santa Barbara
Family Health Fair, September 8th, 10:00am to 1:00pm- Veterans Memorial Park in Santa Paula