July 2014 E-Newsletter

July 18, 2014

CREEK CLEAN-UP

Be part of the solution to pollution! Join me next month for my annual Los Gatos Creek Clean-up. Everyone is welcome -- join your neighbors, enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, meet friendly people, do something good for the environment and our community.

Los Gatos Creek Clean-Up
Saturday, Aug. 16, 9 am - 11 am
Registration: 8:45 am
Campbell Park
Located on the corner of Campbell and Gilman avenues
Parking Available at the Campbell Inn
For more information or to RSVP, call (408) 558-1295 or click here.

This event is free and everyone is welcome to participate -- weather permitting. Trash bags and gloves will be provided. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear sturdy shoes.


MEET ME

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:

Roasted Coffee Bean
Friday, Aug. 8; 8:30am-10am
19110A Stevens Creek Boulevard
Cupertino


EDUCATION

By 2025, California is projected to have a shortage of nearly 1 million college-educated workers. The state must do a better job in preparing students for college and improving its high school graduation rate. So far, progress has been incremental but it can serve as a foundation that we can build on.

The state's Department of Education announced that the high school graduation rate in California inched above 80 percent last year, the highest level in state history. This was the fourth year in a row that California's high school graduation rate improved. More than 8 out of 10 students who started high school in 2009-10 graduated with their class in 2013.

There is much more work to be done. Improving education remains a top priority. The new budget for K-14 instruction is $10 billion above last year's budget. The Legislature has set aside another $4.7 billion -- $250 million more than the Governor's May Revised Budget -- for the Local Control Funding Formula.

This year's budget also helps more kids go to college by offering additional money for scholarships and grants including $107 million for the Middle Class Scholarship program to help lower tuition fees of students whose families' income totals $150,000 or less and to freeze UC and CSU tuition rates until 2016-2017. It also strengthens efforts to close the achievement gap and assist underrepresented students in the California Community College system, by allocating $170 million to expand the student success programs.

Over time, these investments will increase California's college graduation rates and furnish an educated workforce for the 21st century's economy.


DROUGHT

In response to California's worst drought in 40 years, the State Water Resources Board has taken the unprecedented step of adopting new regulations to levy fines against water wasters.

Nearly 80 percent of California is in extreme drought. As hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland are expected to be fallowed and several communities are running out of drinking water, conserving water is becoming more important now than ever before.

In a recent survey conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board, water usage had increased despite pleas from state and local governments and water districts urging consumers to reduce water consumption.

Conservation is critical. The much awaited El Nino, an ocean current condition that typically generates wet weather in California, is not projected to be a drought buster this winter. To learn more about how to cut your water usage, click here.

In June, I voted with other legislators to pass emergency drought legislation - SB 103 and SB 104 - to provide $687.4 million to ensure a safe, reliable water supply for millions of Californians.

The bills set aside money to help state, regional and local water districts efficiently capture, store and manage water. Many Santa Clara Valley Water District projects are eligible for funding, including the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit, improvements to the Rinconada Water Treatment Plant, and several water recycling projects.


JOB FAIR

Are you job hunting? 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


COUNTY FAIR

The 70th Santa Clara County Fair runs from July 31 to Aug. 3. Livestock exhibits, magic, and music are just a few of the events scheduled. The four-day fair is a link to the valley's agricultural heritage. For more information, click here.