June 2012 Newsletter
In the upcoming weeks, I have scheduled two community coffee meetings to meet with the Assembly District 24 residents. If you’ve got a state-related issue or problem that you’d like to discuss please stop by and I will meet one-on-one with you.
June 22, Friday, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
Elva’s Coffee Stop
5019 Almaden Expressway, San Jose
July 13, Friday, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
Big Basin Café
14471 Big Basin Way, Saratoga
READ-A-THON FOR LITERACY
To promote literacy in children and adults, Assemblymember Jim Beall is partnering with Hicklebee’s, Assembly District 24th’s “Business of the Year,’’ to host a community read-a-thon – “Reading with Champions.’’
Local athletes and celebrities are scheduled to read from their favorite books at Hicklebee’s, 1378 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, on Saturday, July 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Space is limited so please RSVP by clicking here or calling my downtown San Jose district office at (408) 282-8920.
Reading is essential not only to the academic success of our children but to the well-being of our country. Over 1 million children drop out of school each year, costing the nation over $240 billion in lost earnings, tax revenues, and expenditures for social services. It is estimated that the cost of illiteracy to business and the taxpayer is $20 billion per year.
Recently, Assembly Bill 1712, my legislation to provide funding for foster care benefits to eligible 19-year-olds, was approved by the Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support, passing with a 75-0 vote. The bill now moves to the Senate.
The bill fills a technical gap in the original legislation, AB 12, to extend benefits from age 18 to 21 for foster youth. AB 1712 enables eligible foster youth who turn 19 this year to continue to receive their benefits, including housing, instead of waiting until Jan. 1, 2013 to reapply for benefits.
AB 1712 puts eligible foster youth on a stronger track toward self-sufficiency, helping them to stay in college and providing them with stable and safe housing.
“AB 1712 will help foster youth become self-sufficient,’’ Beall said. “Because of inadvertent gaps in services, this bill contains an urgency clause to prevent 18-year-olds from losing their eligibility for AB 12 benefits just because they turned 19.’’
In 2010, I was Joint Author of AB 12, landmark legislation that provided a stronger bridge of support for California foster youth as they entered adulthood. AB 12 aligned California’s foster care with the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, making the state eligible to obtain federal funding for transitional support for qualifying foster youth and also the state’s Kin-Gap program, which facilitates the adoption of children by their relatives instead of placing them in institutionalized care.
California has about one-sixth of the nation’s 500,000 foster care children. About 4,500 foster care youth “age out’’ of the system every year in our state. Studies show they are far more susceptible to a lower rate of educational achievement and higher rates of homelessness, unemployment, unplanned pregnancies, violent crimes, and involvement with the justice system than non-foster care children.
A 2009 study analyzing the fiscal impact of AB 12 determined that for every dollar government invests in supporting older youth in foster care, there is a $2.40 return on investment.
AUTO BODY WORK INSPECTION – NO CHARGE!
Most consumers are not aware that auto body repairs performed on their cars can be substandard or that they may not have received the correct parts or have not had the work promised actually performed on their car.
But how do you get your vehicle checked?
Here’s one way, and it won’t cost you any money: The Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), under the auspices of the state Department of Consumer Affairs, offers a free auto body inspection program.
Before calling the BAR there are some preliminary requirements. First, to qualify for the program, the repairs must have a cost over $2,500 and the repairs must have occurred within four months before BAR conducts the inspection.
If your vehicle meets the criteria, then call the BAR’s toll-free number, 1-866-799-381, to schedule an appointment. The BAR representative will want you to have available a copy of the auto body repair invoice listing the repairs that were performed.
On the appointment date, a BAR inspector will come to your location to inspect your vehicle.
If the inspector finds nothing wrong, he or she will document the work and, perhaps, offer a “well-done” to the shop that worked on your vehicle. If a problem is found, they will require the shop to make the appropriate repairs.
Other actions a consumer can take are to file a complaint with the BAR and they will investigate or contact your insurance company.
Go to the BAR website – www.bar.ca.gov – to get invaluable advice before authorizing any auto body work.