Biography

Jim Beall brings a lifetime of experience and understanding in government efficiency, transportation, and human services to the State Senate.

In three decades of public service – first as a San Jose City Councilman, then as a Santa Clara County Supervisor, and as an Assembly member -- Beall has left his mark across Silicon Valley and at the State Capitol.

He spurred the construction of Highways 85 and 87; fought to bring BART to San Jose, and obtained millions in state funding to streamline the Interstate 280/880/ Stevens Creek Boulevard interchange.

As the chairman of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, he is committed to solving one of the state’s most pressing problems: the $59 billion backlog in deferred maintenance.

He passed legislation enabling San Jose to gain local control over state routes – Monterey Road, The Alameda, and Alum Rock Avenue— and to receive over $12 million in state funding to beautify and bring these arterials up to city standards.

He has helped parents in Los Gatos rebuild a new Lexington School on its original site; led the charge to open a new DMV office in East San Jose; and corrected an inequity in the law to enable the cities of Cupertino, Saratoga, Monte Sereno and Los Altos Hills to recoup their fair share of property tax revenue for local projects and services.
Beall is known statewide for his legislation to help foster care children, low-income families, and people with disabilities.

He has made a lasting difference in the lives of over 100,000 local youngsters by leading the drive to create the Children’s Health Initiative to ensure that every child in Santa Clara County can be covered by health insurance.

In 2010, he authored Assembly Bill 12, landmark legislation that extends the benefits of eligible foster care youth beyond age 18 to 21. This extension allows thousands of foster care youth to obtain housing and other services, allowing them to attend college or job-training programs. The bill also provides support to relatives who assume foster care duties, recognition of how family and permanency play such important roles in a child’s life during a period of upheaval.

His work on the delivery of mental health services to Californians includes the passage of laws to increase enforcement of mental health parity laws and curb the overmedication of foster care children. In 2015, the Governor signed into law Beall’s bill to drastically improve mental health training for peace officers to reduce violent confrontations with people with mental illnesses.

Beall has also fought for justice for victims of sexual abuse. In 2014, Audrie’s Law and SB 926, to extend the criminal statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse, were both approved by the Governor.

To learn more about Beall’s work, click here