The Signal

Local bills sent for Newsom signature

Wilk’s office said caucus reopened schools, expanded internet access

- By Kev Kurdoghlia­n Signal Staff Writer

The Santa Clarita Valley’s representa­tives in Sacramento sent several bills to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk this year ahead of the most recent legislativ­e session’s end Friday.

State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, was elected the leader of the Senate Republican Caucus in January.

Wilk told The Signal in a statement that he and his colleagues held Newsom accountabl­e on wildfire spending and “pushed for fixes to the (Employment Developmen­t Department) that would prevent future fraud and protect unemployed workers.”

He added that his caucus secured funding for small businesses, reopened schools, addressed learning loss within our schoolchil­dren, expanded access to high-speed internet and stopped legislatio­n in what he called the “criminals-first agenda.”

“Closer to home, I continue my fight to stop CEMEX’s efforts to open its mega-mine in Soledad Canyon. My legislatio­n to block the mine has already cleared several legislativ­e hurdles and will be taken up again in January. While CEMEX continues to throw every resource into opening this mine, I continue to fight alongside our community for the residents of the 21st Senate District,” he said.

Assemblywo­man Suzette Valladares told The Signal in a statement that she is “tremendous­ly proud” of her first year representi­ng her constituen­ts in Sacramento.

“My priority has been on listening to the needs I hear about across our diverse district and then working hard to deliver as much as possible,” she said. “As we all work safely to rebound from the pandemic, providing people access to the vaccine, it has also been critical to address the other important issues we face locally.”

Valladares sent Assembly Bill 418, the Community Power Resiliency Program, to the governor’s desk.

If signed into law, it

would formally establish a program to allow the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to disburse grants to help local government­s prepare for and mitigate the effects of these Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events or other emergency power outages.

Valladares also sent AB 319 — addressing foreign interferen­ce in California elections — and AB 277 to the governor. The latter, she said, would require applicatio­n forms for state programs supporting victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking and elder abuse to be offered in Chinese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese in addition to English and Spanish.

“This will help break down language barriers and will improve access to state programs for all victims of human sex traffickin­g, domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, and stalking,” she said.

Assemblyma­n Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, sent two bills to the governor’s desk.

Lackey said in a statement that AB 1305, which has already been signed into law, will clear the way for U.S. Drug Enforcemen­t Administra­tion (DEA)-approved cannabis researcher­s to cultivate their own cannabis for research purposes.

“This first-in-the-nation bill is a monumental win for California, and the country, as the need for understand­ing the health and safety impacts of the plant increases,” he said.

Awaiting signature, AB 565 would develop apprentice­ship opportunit­ies for foster and homeless youth.

Lackey also received approval for a $4 million budget request to address the states sexual assault forensic evidence kit backlog and a request to audit the state’s Child Abuse Central Index database for noncomplia­nce.

State Sen. Henry Stern, D-Calabasas, highlighte­d three bills he sent to Newsom this session.

SB 650 would require skilled nursing facilities to provide consolidat­ed financial reports and documentat­ion of their

This first-in-the-nation bill is a monumental win for California, and the country, as the need for understand­ing the health and safety impacts of the plant increases.” Assemblyma­n Tom Lackey, Discussing the impact of AB 1305

corporate structure to the public and the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Developmen­t.

“Many large, for-profit skilled nursing facility chains use complex ownership structures to increase their profitabil­ity by making it appear they can’t do anything to control their costs, when in reality they’re keeping the money all in the dark recesses of the corporate family,” Stern said in a statement. “This shines the bright light of day on this practice by requiring nursing home chains to place consolidat­ed financial reports on each individual facility’s website.”

SB 790 would support habitat connectivi­ty projects.

“We have failed to account for wildlife and the habitat they need to roam as we built our freeways and housing in the Los Angeles region,” said Stern. “The Southern California mountain lion will go extinct in our lifetime if we don’t start planning and building visionary projects right now.”

Stern also sent SB 406, which would give renters and unhoused residents living near oil and gas sites like Aliso Canyon and the oil fields of Los Angeles the right to file complaints with state regulators.

Newsom has until Oct. 10 to sign or veto legislatio­n.

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