Vidak's News & Views: October 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Howdy Friends —

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

We are excited to announce that Team Vidak has teamed up with Tachi Palace to bring you the 3rd Annual Central Valley Career and Resource Expo in January.

With high unemployment in the Valley, connecting people looking for a job with people who have jobs to fill is a top priority. The last Career and Resource Expo featured more than 80 local employers with immediate job openings. Here are the details for the upcoming one:

WHEN:
Thursday, January 26, 2017, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WHERE:
Tachi Palace Bingo Hall
17225 Jersey Ave, Lemoore

If you are a business with job openings and would like to be part of the Expo, or if you would like more information about the Expo, please contact Claudia Salinas in my Hanford district office at 559-585-7161 or Claudia.Salinas@sen.ca.gov.

Debacle in the Making

Recently, I sent a letter to every legislator and governor in 10 western states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming) warning them about Governor Brown's proposed “energy grid regionalization” plan.

Specifically, I cited a recent statement by Brown’s key energy advisor - David Olsen, who serves on the CA Independent System Operator Board of Governors.

“Timing is excellent for California to leverage its (environmental) policies across the West, to these states,” Olsen said at his Senate confirmation hearing on Aug. 10, 2016.

At the same Senate hearing, Olsen gushed about the Brown Administration’s plan to “retire coal.”

In my letter, I stated that “some radical environmentalists see regionalization as an opportunity to foist California’s irrational environmental regulations on other states, such as our 50% renewable mandate, ban on electricity from coal, classification of any hydroelectric facility larger than 30 megawatts as ‘not renewable,’ killing off the oil industry and the jobs they create, and shutting down nuclear power plants.”

In the last several years Californians have seen our energy costs skyrocket out of control. This has taken a particular toll on the disadvantaged communities that I represent in our Central Valley. I urged legislators and governors in other states to be concerned and cautious about joining into any partnership given California’s history of a poorly concocted “energy deregulation” fiasco that led to rolling blackouts, utilities going bankrupt, skyrocketing energy rates, selling of state bonds to pay to finance extremely expensive power, and a governor ultimately being recalled.

For a copy of my letter, click here. To watch Olsen’s statement, click here.

As always, it’s an honor to serve you.

Sincerely,
Senator Andy Vidak's signature
Andy

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Why Andy Voted ‘NO’ on the Ag Overtime Bill

Image of Senator Vidak speaking on the Senate Floor

To watch Andy’s impassioned Senate Floor speech in opposition to the Ag Overtime bill, click here.

The following is a guest editorial by Andy that was published in the September 2016 edition of the Kern County Ag Voice:

Well-intended bill will hurt those it meant to help
by Andy Vidak

Sitting on a shelf in my Capitol Office is a can of carrots – the inspiration for my decision to become a public servant.

Several years ago, friends and neighbors who should have been growing carrots in the breadbasket that feeds the world, were instead standing in foodlines and being handed cans of carrots grown in China.

That broke my heart and ticked me off. These farmworkers and farmers were forced out of work because of radical environmental policies that put fish above people.

Governor Brown recently signed into law another bad policy for folks who work in the ag industry – Assembly Bill 1066 (Gonzalez-D), known as the “Ag Overtime bill.”

I have worked side-by-side with farmworkers in the fields my entire adult life. These are people I care about greatly. They are my friends. They’re family.

In my district, I believe I represent more farmworkers than just about anyone else in the Senate. Though well-intended, this new law will hurt the folks it was meant to help.

Right now, many farmworkers put in more than eight hours per day during the peak of the growing season. Now that AB 1066 has become law, many farmworkers’ hours will be reduced to 40 or less hours per week because most farmers won’t be able to afford to pay the required overtime.

Farmworkers’ electricity bills aren’t going to go down. Their car payment and rent isn’t going to go down. Cost for food for their families won’t go down. But they are looking at losing money every month that they used to get.

In my district, we still have double digit unemployment in farm towns, and AB 1066 will take money out of farmworkers’ wallets.

AB 1066 is estimated to reduce farmworkers’ wages by $1.5 billion dollars, an average of $4,500 per farmworker.

For the sake of farmworkers and their families, I voted ‘No’ on AB 1066.

It is deeply disappointing that the strong bi-partisan support from our Valley legislators to help pass the water bond didn’t hold true in opposing the Ag Overtime bill.

This is a victory for political “correctness” over common sense.

That’s a shame.

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Team Vidak Out & About

Click on the photos below to see what’s happening in our communities.

Gabby’s Bar & Grill Café Opens in Lost Hills

Photos from Gabby's Bar and Grill

Kings County Salute to Ag

Photos from Kings County Salute to Ag

McFarland Latino Health Awareness Month

Photos from McFarland Latino Health Awareness Month

Fresno’s 206th Anniversary of the Independence of Mexico Celebration

Photos from Fresno's 206th Anniversary of the Independence of Mexico Celebration

2016 Tulare County Educators of the Year

2016 Tulare County Educators of the Year

University of LaVerne in Bakersfield

University of LaVerne in Bakersfield

Bakersfield California Avenue Church of Christ

Bakersfield California Avenue Church of Christ

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Kings River East Groundwater Sustainability Agency

Image of SB37

The governor recently signed into law Andy’s Senate Bill 37, which creates the Kings River East Groundwater Sustainability Agency. The newly created agency will be a groundwater sustainability agency (GSA) under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

The Kings River East GSA will cover an area in Fresno and Tulare counties east of the Kings River, including all of the cities of Dinuba, Orange Cove, and Reedley, as well as the communities of Cutler, East Orosi, London, Orosi and Sultana.

The GSA created under SB 37 would consist of seven members chosen by the following:

  • Alta Irrigation District
  • Tulare County
  • Water districts (Hills Valley ID, Orange Cove ID, Tri-Valley WD, and Kings River WD)
  • Agricultural Community
  • Fresno County
  • Cities (Dinuba, Orange Cove, Reedley)
  • Special Districts that provide drinking water (Cutler PUD, East Orosi CSD, London CSD, Orosi PUD, and Sultana CSD.

“The Kings River East GSA will allow these local agencies the ability to develop plans and implement strategies to sustainably manage their groundwater resources, prioritizes basins with the greatest need and set a timeline for implementation,” said Andy.

The creation of this special act district will not pose challenges to other GSAs in terms of coordination, because SGMA requires multiple GSAs within a basin to be coordinated under a single agreement.

SB 37 had the support from all of the counties and communities within the proposed Kings River East GSA, and passed unanimously out of both houses of the Legislature with no outside opposition.

SB 37 was necessary to prevent state bureaucrats from taking groundwater management from local communities.

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‘Districts Make the Difference’ Video Contest

'Districts Make the Difference' Video Contest

The California Special Districts Association (CSDA) is encouraging California high school and college students to create fun and informative videos that demonstrate the value of special districts to a community. Students can win up to a $2,000 scholarship.

For over 100 years, local service agencies known as special districts have kept our lights on, kept the water flowing and provided access to a multitude of services that enhance our communities.

Gather your family, friends, neighbors, even your pet, and create a video focused on California Special Districts. This is an opportunity to learn more about these local government agencies and show us Special Districts through your lens.

Step One
Gather your team and learn more about special districts by checking out this website and visiting the additional resources provided below.

Step Two
Create a 60 second video focused on an individual special district, a type of special district, or a project/event in your community by your local special district.

Step Three
Send your completed application and a dropbox link to info@districtsmakethedifference.org by October 31, 2016.

SUBMISSIONS

All submissions must include a completed application and a DropBox link for the video. Submissions must be sent via email to info@districtsmakethedifference.org no later than October 31, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

AWARDS

1st Place Award: $2,000
2nd Place Award: $1,000
3rd Place Award: $500

Visit www.DistrictsMaketheDifference.org/contest for contest rules and additional information about special districts. For questions or concerns, please email info@districtsmakethedifference.org.

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October Mobile Office Hours

Team Vidak Rogelio Caudillo staffed Mobile Office Hours in McFarland in September
Team Vidak Rogelio Caudillo staffed Mobile Office Hours in McFarland in September

Team Vidak staff members will be holding Mobile District Office Hours in the following communities in October:

East Porterville
Thurs., Oct. 13
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
East Porterville Drought Resource Center
185 S. Leggett St., Porterville

Shafter
Mon., October 17
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Shafter Police Department
201 Central Valley Hwy., Shafter

Arvin
Tues., Oct. 18
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Arvin City Hall
200 Campus Drive, Arvin

Reedley
Thur., Oct. 20
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Reedley Branch Library
1027 E St., Reedley

Orange Cove
Fri., Oct. 21
1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Orange Cove Branch Library
815 Park Blvd., Orange Cove

Farmersville
Wed., Oct. 26
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Farmersville City Hall
909 W. Visalia Rd., Farmersville

Sanger
Fri., Oct. 28
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Sanger Branch Library
1812 7th St, Sanger

Mobile District Office hours are an opportunity for Senate District 14 residents to meet locally with a Team Vidak representative to hear more about Andy’s work in Sacramento and the Central Valley, have their questions answered or get help with specific state-related issues, including:

  • Unemployment benefits
  • Issues with state agencies, such as the DMV and Franchise Tax Board
  • Licensing
  • Medi-Cal
  • Small business assistance
  • Worker’s compensation
  • State legislation and
  • Other state-related matters

For more information, please contact Team Vidak’s Claudia Salinas (559) 585-7161 or email claudia.salinas@sen.ca.gov.

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Interested in attending a U.S. Military Academy?

Image of US Armed Forces seals

Members of the United States Congress are asked each year to make military academy nominations. This is to ensure a wide range of students from across the nation attend the academies.

This month, Congressman Devin Nunes is hosting Academy Night, which provides young Americans living in 22nd Congressional District an opportunity to get information about attending U.S. Military Academies. To find out if you live in the 22nd Congressional District, which includes portions of Fresno and Tulare counties, click here.

Representatives of the Air Force Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, Military Academy (West Point), Naval Academy, and ROTC will be on hand to answer questions about the application process, admissions, academy life, duty commitments, and other topics.

Academy Night will be held on Tuesday, October 18 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Clovis Unified School District Professional Development Building, 1680 David E. Cook Way, Clovis, CA.

Congressman Nunes strongly encourages students who are interested in attending a military academy to stop by. Parents are also welcome.

For more information about Academy Night, see the flyer here. For information on the nomination and application processes, see Congressman Nunes’ website here.

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Legislative Calendar Highlights

California Senate Seal

The Legislature is in Recess until December. Following are important upcoming legislative dates:

2016

11/8    General Election
12/5   12 Noon convening of the 2017-18 Regular Session

2017

1/1       Laws enacted in 2016 take effect

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