OPENING NEW CONSTITUENT SERVICE
Due to the recent
redistricting process, the 1st Senate District lines
have been redrawn to now include Shasta and Siskiyou
counties. The district no longer includes Amador,
Calaveras and Mono counties or parts of Placer and
Sacramento counties. To look up and confirm your
Assembly and Senate representatives,
Due to the new boundaries, we are moving our Roseville
Constituent Service Center to El Dorado Hills and
setting up a new location in Redding. Below please find
the contact information for both offices.
Redding Constituent Service
1670 Market Street, Suite 244
Redding, CA 96001
Phone: (530) 225-3142
Fax: (530) 225-3143
El Dorado Hills Constituent
4359 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 112
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
Phone: (916) 933-7213
Fax: (916) 933-7234
Due to these moves, there
will be several days next week where we will be “down”
transitioning phone lines, computers, and more. We ask
for your patience during this time and if you need
immediate assistance next week, please contact our
Capitol office at (916) 651-4001.
Once we are settled, we will be hosting “Open House”
events where you can stop by, visit our new locations,
and discuss with me legislative or state matters. My
staff and I look forward to welcoming you to our new
CAL FIRE HIDDEN FUNDS DEMAND
ATTORNEY GENERAL INVESTIGATION
I recently sent a letter
to California Attorney General Kamala Harris requesting
an investigation into the California Department of
Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) following
reports revealing that the agency hid $3.6
million with the California District Attorneys
Association instead of depositing it into the state’s
This is a very serious and disturbing matter that calls
for a thorough investigation by the Attorney General to
determine whether there are any related criminal charges
that should be brought. Hiding funds outside the state
system with an organization that is profiting from the
account simply reeks of wrongdoing and demands to be
This news comes on the heels of the California
Department of Parks and Recreation concealing $20
million in a hidden account last year. Following that
revelation, auditors found more than $200 million that
other state agencies had stashed away.
How can the state get away with charging rural
Californians a $150 illegal fire fee specifically to
support Cal Fire operations, and at the same time Cal
Fire is hiding millions in a secret fund? It’s no wonder
there is such a high level of distrust between the
government and its citizens. We deserve to know the
truth behind what took place and why.
I also strongly support the efforts of the joint
Assembly and Senate committee hearings into whether
there are millions more hiding completely off the grid.
Unfortunately, our oversized government makes it far too
easy for state agencies to get away with this kind of
activity and have it go unnoticed for years. I welcome
the joint committee hearings and commit to working with
my colleagues to determine necessary reforms to put a
stop to this unethical behavior and return any funds
where they belong - with California’s taxpayers.
GIANTS WORLD SERIES TROPHY
Senator Gaines, Assemblywoman Beth Gaines and Giants
CEO Bill Neukom
stand with World Series trophies and an autographed
I’m a huge San Francisco
Giants fan and of course I was ecstatic when they won
the 2012 World Series. That’s why it was such a thrill
to see both the 2010 and 2012 World Series trophies when
they came to the Capitol as part of their World Champion
Trophy Tour across Northern California. Special thanks
to the Giants organization for sharing these special
trophies with their dedicated fans!
LEGISLATIVE RELIEF FROM FIRE TAX
In my continued
efforts to fight against the illegal fire tax, I have
introduced three pieces of legislation this session that
will provide relief for rural Californians forced to pay
This $150 fire tax is illegal and unfair - plain and
simple. My goal with these bills is to offer some hope
and support to Californians who are still facing a
10-percent unemployment rate and struggling just to make
Senate Bill 17 would reverse the Governor’s and
legislative Democrats’ decision to raise $84 million in
taxes by charging rural property owners a “fee” for fire
prevention services as part of the 2011-12 budget. These
communities are located in “State Responsibility Areas”
(SRA) designated by the California Department of
Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), even though
their property taxes already contribute to the service
contracts that counties have with Cal Fire.
Senate Bill 125 would exempt a property owner of a
structure that is located both within an SRA and within
the boundaries of a local fire protection district from
having to pay the $150 tax. Many rural property owners
already pay local fire agencies for protection so this
legislation would eliminate the double-taxation scenario
for those residents.
Senate Bill 147 would exempt any property owner located
within an SRA that has an income of less than 200
percent of the federal poverty level (as determined by
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty
Guidelines) from paying the $150 fire tax. Many
Californians fall within this low and fixed income
This fire tax has been imposed on the owners of more
than 800,000 properties in the state. According to
census and Cal Fire data, my largely rural district
includes nearly 25 percent or approximately 200,000 of
the properties whose owners are subject to the fee.
My legislation comes at a time when Cal Fire has been
accused of hiding millions in a secret fund. I hope my
legislative colleagues realize that charging rural
Californians a $150 illegal fire fee specifically to
support Cal Fire operations, at the same time they are
hiding millions provides enough justification to support
I would like to request that anyone who has suffered a
serious financial hardship due to the $150 fire tax
contact me via email at
to share your story and contact information. Your
compelling stories could be used during committee
hearings to make the case for why the bills should move
Stay tuned for additional updates as the bills progress
through the legislative process.
GOVERNOR BROWN'S 2013 STATE OF THE
Many of you may have
recently watched Governor Jerry Brown deliver his annual
2013 State of the State address to a joint session of
the Legislature and the people of California.
I believe California’s future can be bright and full of
promise if the government provides the foundation for
its prosperity and is not a barrier to its success.
Smarter regulations and a government that lives within
its means - that is the path to a vibrant and prosperous
California and I hope the Governor and legislative
Democrats follow that course.
During his address, Governor Brown focused on his “good
news” budget plan. While it’s a less painful budget than
we've seen in the past, it is only balanced due to the
$50 billion tax increase felt by every Californian
across the state.
At a time when we should be buckling down and tightening
our belts, state spending will grow by $5 billion with
new funding for state programs and major pay and benefit
increases for state employees. Is that really the wisest
use of our dollars? Classrooms will see additional
funding but it’s not nearly the level it should be given
the promises made during the Proposition 30 campaign.
Education reform should be a priority. I agree with the
Governor that certain authority and decision-making
should take place at the local school district level in
order to best light fires in California’s young minds.
With the legislative session ahead of us, I’m concerned
that the Governor and my Democrat colleagues will take
the rosier budget outlook as license to charge ahead
with increased deficit spending. It is critical that we
reign in spending and remain in the “black” so that
California never falls back into the fiscal pit we’ve
dug ourselves into in the past.
I will do all I can to help guide our state down the
path towards a better California. I will continue
working tirelessly across the aisle to find bi-partisan
solutions for job-creation and regulatory reform,
including reforming the California Environmental Quality
Act (CEQA) that will help hard-working California
families and businesses prosper.
DONATE TO THE “SENATOR DAVE COX
Production begins on Senator Dave Cox Memorial
Last session, I received
unanimous, bi-partisan support for Senate Concurrent
Resolution 97 honoring Senator Dave Cox and naming the
Highway 50 Interchange at Hazel Avenue in Sacramento
County as the “Senator Dave Cox Memorial Interchange.”
The next step in the process of completing this project
is to raise the appropriate funds to create and erect
the signs marking this special designation. All funding
will come from private donations and other non-state
sources. No state monies or resources will be used. All
fundraising for this signage is being handled by the
Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce.
If you are interested in donating to the “Senator Dave
Cox Memorial Interchange” signage, please contact the
Chamber at (916) 967-2903 for more information. Checks
can be made payable to the Fair Oaks Chamber of
Commerce/Dave Cox Memorial Sign and mailed to P.O. Box
352, Fair Oaks, CA 95628.
A dedication ceremony will be held to unveil the new
signage once the appropriate funds have been raised and
the signage erected.
Senator Cox represented the First Senate District for
six years prior to his untimely death in July of 2010.
Senator Cox was an instrumental member of the California
State Legislature who served as Assembly Republican
Leader from 2001-2004. A pillar of the Sacramento
community, he also previously served on the Sacramento
County Board of Supervisors and was an elected Board
Member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.
Beyond his achievements and contributions, Senator Dave
Cox was a friend and beloved colleague. Senator Cox was
held in very high regard amongst those he represented
and was respected as a dedicated and fair lawmaker who
worked tirelessly for his constituents. I felt it was
only appropriate to honor Senator Cox by naming this
portion of the First Senate District on Highway 50 in
PERFECT SCORE ON SMALL BUSINESS
ISSUES VOTING RECORD
I’m proud to
announce that I have scored 100 percent on the National
Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)/California’s
2012 Legislator Voting Record on small business issues.
I was one of only 30 state legislators out of the 120
Assembly and Senate members to receive the top score.
As a small business owner myself, I know first-hand the
hurdles and burdens California’s job creators face every
day. I am committed to generating opportunities for
small businesses to thrive, not stifling their growth
with excessive taxes and onerous regulations.
NFIB/California’s Voting Record is designed to provide a
critical evaluation of a legislator’s attitude towards
small business. NFIB/California is the state’s leading
nonprofit, nonpartisan small business association
representing nearly 22,000 small and independent
businesses in California.
The Voting Record is developed by selecting key bills
proposed by the legislature that affect small business
and on which every member of the legislature had an
opportunity to cast a vote. The votes on those bills are
then recorded and a percentage is determined for each
member of the Assembly and Senate.
In my continued effort to help lighten the load for
California small businesses, I plan to support
legislation this session that would reduce and
streamline onerous state regulations and allow small
businesses to focus on what they do best â€“ create jobs
and spur the economy â€“ with the ultimate goal of
getting our state back on track.
The NFIB/California Voting Record, with descriptions of
the bills used in the report, is available on
NEW COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS
With the start of the new
2013-14 legislative session comes new committee
assignments. I have been appointed to serve as vice
chairman of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee
and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
I am honored to have been given these committee
assignments in critical areas that affect the lives of
all Californians. I will work hard to achieve bipartisan
solutions to the important issues facing our state and
defend the interests of hard-working taxpayers.
The Environmental Quality Committee reviews legislation
dealing with environmental quality, air quality, water
quality, integrated waste management, toxics and
hazardous waste. I plan to focus my time looking at
necessary reforms of Californiaâ€™s environmental laws
For years I have been calling for reforms to the
often-abused California Environmental Quality Act
(CEQA). With California’s unemployment rate still
hovering at close to 10-percent, economic growth must be
our number one priority. One of the best ways to
accomplish that is through CEQA reform. While on the
Environmental Quality Committee, I will advocate for
reforms that allow job creation and businesses to
flourish while protecting California’s beautiful natural
The Appropriations Committee is responsible for fiscal
bills that are not referred to the Budget and Fiscal
Review Committee, as well as bills that constitute a
state-mandated local program.
I take this responsibility very seriously and will work
hard to make sure we are maintaining the peopleâ€™s
trust in their government by holding the Legislature
financially accountable. Californians must be assured
that their elected officials are enacting legislation
that spends their hard-earned tax dollars in a fiscally
I will remain in my posts as vice chairman of both the
Senate Insurance Committee and the Transportation and
Housing Committee. I am also a member of the Senate
Public Employment and Retirement Committee.
FEBRUARY IS NATIONAL HEART MONTH
February is National
Heart Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness of
heart disease as the #1 killer of women and promoting
womenâ€™s heart health. Will you join me in showing your
support for heart health?
We’ve made significant progress, but we have far to go.
One woman in three
dies of heart disease.
- More women’s lives are
taken by heart disease than all cancers combined.
- Heart disease kills
more women than men.
- Ninety percent of
women have one or more risk factors for developing
heart disease. Heart disease risk factors for women
are high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure,
smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity, stress,
age, race, and family history of heart disease.
Here’s how you can join
Show your support throughout the month of February
and encourage others to do the same. Collective
action can make a life-and-death difference.
woman to woman.
Inspire others and be inspired. Tell your story,
offer your wisdom and learn from other women at
care of your heart.
To make a habit of healthier food choices, visit
to help save women’s lives.
The American Heart Association uses all revenue from
Go Red For Women activities to support awareness,
research, education and community programs
make America go red and save women’s lives!
If you have any questions regarding Go Red For Women
or for more information, please visit