June 2014 E-Newsletter
CHILD CAR SEAT SAFETY
Over 95 percent of parents and caregivers believe their child safety seats are correctly installed. But research shows seven out of 10 children are improperly restrained.
Is your child's car seat properly installed? Don't take a chance with the safety of your son or daughter.
Come to my free Child Car Seat Safety Clinic and have trained professionals examine your child's car seat and installed the right way. You'll also learn about car seat safety laws and other important tips to protect your children in vehicles.
Free Child Car Sear Safety Clinic
Saturday, June 21
Kohl's parking lot
2323 McKee Road, San Jose
Appointments are not necessary but highly recommended. To make a reservation, please call the California Highway Patrol's San Jose office, (408) 467-5400. For more information, call the Senate District 15 office, (408) 558-1295.
This free safety clinic is also being sponsored by Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Stanford Children's Hospital, and the CHP.
Have a question, problem, or issue about state government? You can always meet with me one-on-one at my community coffees and tell me what's on your mind. My next coffee is scheduled at:
1 Java Café
Friday, June 27; 8:30am-10am
387 Delmas Ave., San Jose
This week, the Legislature approved a balanced $108 billion budget for fiscal year 2014-2015 that focuses on long-term fiscal stability with $10.4 billion in debt repayments and $2.1 billion toward building a rainy day reserve fund for emergencies.
Progress was made on strengthening mental health parity enforcement but I believe more must be done. Nevertheless, the new budget is a step in the right direction. It earmarked new positions for the Department of Insurance to begin consumer surveys to determine compliance by health insurers.
The Department of Managed Health Care received 10 new positions and it is planning to hire a consultant to begin examining the health plans' evidence of compliance, a marked improvement over the existing process that allows the plans to self-certify their own findings of compliance.
As for funding for projects such as the BART extension to San Jose, the budget devotes 10 percent of the state's $850 million in Cap and Trade revenue for mass transit and intercity rail. I am optimistic that there will be a greater opportunity for a higher investment in mass transit in the next session.
In addition, if state revenue continues to rise significantly, the budget calls for increasing college funding, higher payments for schools, as well as increasing reimbursements to local governments for mandated programs.
Here's a quick look at the rest of the new budget:
- Education -- Raises school funding by 10 percent this year and the next fiscal year. Increases full-time preschool slots by 7,500 and part-time slots by 4,000 for low-income families.
- Colleges -- Increases funding by $142 million for the University of California and California State University systems each, ensuring no student fee hikes.
- Health -- Appropriates $438 million to expand Medi-Cal to account for the estimated 800,000 new enrollees who signed up through the federal Affordable Care Act.
However, the state must examine raising the reimbursement rate for health providers who have seen reimbursements slashed over the years or risk seeing the number of doctors and other health professionals who accept Medi-Cal patients drop.
- Human Services - Adds $180 million to fund overtime for In-Home Support Service workers who enable seniors and people with disabilities to continue living in their own residences instead of living at more expensive board-and-care homes.
SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Pet People -- a Los Gatos-based store that sells pet supplies, and organic and natural pet food - has been selected as Senate District 15's Small Business of the Year. Owners Gary and Cindy Harwin were honored this month at a ceremony in Sacramento.
The Harwins are hard-working and community-involved business owners, donating their time to local fraternal organizations such as the Lion's Club and the Junior League. They provide financial assistance to numerous non-profits including education and animal rescue and adoption organizations.
The Pet People is an outstanding example of a small business that is entrenched in its hometown and making a positive difference in the lives of so many people.
Looking for a job? More than 40 local employers looking to hire will gather at the Annual Summer Job Fair next month in San Jose.
Annual Summer Job Fair
Thursday, July 24; 10am-2pm
Employment Connection Center
1879 Senter Road, San Jose
For more information, click here, or call (408) 758-3797
WOMEN AND BUSINESS
As co-sponsor of the Connecting Women to Power Business Conference, I'm glad that a recent U.S. Bureau of the Census report shows California is home to the greatest number of women-owned businesses in the nation, the only state with more than 1 million. Here in Santa Clara County, about 30 percent of all businesses are owned by women.
California's women business owners account for 12 percent of the total number of women-owned businesses in U.S. and $199.2 billion in estimated annual revenue. Their companies employ 984,000 people. The number of firms is larger than the number of employees because some women own multiple firms.