August 2015 Newsletter

August 31, 2015


Three out of four child car seats are not properly secured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To ensure that your child is safe while riding in their car seat, I am sponsoring two free Child Car Seat Safety Clinics in September. Trained professionals will examine your child's car seat to ensure it is installed as it should be.

Child Car Seat Safety Clinics

Saturday, Sept. 12
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Kohl's parking lot
2323 McKee Road, San Jose


Saturday, Sept. 19
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Calvary Church of Campbell
203 Railway Ave., Campbell


To protect seniors from con artists, I have scheduled a Senior Scam Stopper Town Hall next month in San Jose's Evergreen District.

Senior Scam Stopper Town Hall
Friday, Sept. 25
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Vintage Silver Creek
4855 San Felipe Road, San Jose

Topics will include construction-related scams and what seniors should look for when hiring a contractor. Officials from various law enforcement agencies will discuss identity theft, auto repair, and investment scams.


Four years of drought have taken their toll on California, contributing to a devastating wild fire season, calls for conservation by every water district in the state, and worries about the possibility of yet another dry winter.

Join me in September at my forum in Cupertino for an informative discussion about the effects of this historic drought, its implications for all of us, and what we can do to conserve water.

Drought Forum and Legislative Update

H20 Update: The State of California's Drought
Saturday, Sept. 26; 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Quinlan Community Center, 10185 N. Stelling Road, Cupertino

Representatives from the California State Water Resources Board, the city of Cupertino, and the Santa Clara Valley Water District will be speaking.

For more information, contact Senior Field Representative Frances Herbert at (408) 558-1295, or click here.


How many times have you heard someone say, "I wish I bought that house years ago when it was cheaper"?

That is the sound of regret.

California taxpayers may be singing the same tune when it comes to repairing our vast network of highways that was built during the 1950s through the 1970s. If we fail to act soon, we might all be saying with regret, "I wish we had fixed our highways years ago when it was cheaper."

Over one-third of the state's major roads are in poor condition and another 40 percent are rated in mediocre to fair condition, according to a report last year by TRIP, a respected national transportation research group. Forty-nine percent of the streets in San Jose were rated "poor" and another 18 percent were considered "mediocre."

Because the state's antiquated transportation funding system has been unable to keep pace with the maintenance needs of our vast highway and road system, we must take urgent action now. Deferring maintenance is a short-term and short-sighted option that will cost us dearly in the future. By investing $1 in road maintenance today, taxpayers save between $6 and $14 in rebuilding costs.

This is why I have introduced SBX 1 1 in the special session for transportation that was called by Governor Brown.

The bill was recently approved by the Senate's Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee, on which I serve as chairman. The bill will be sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.

SBX 1 1 would raise $4.5 billion in revenue from everyone who uses the road to pay their fair share for repairs.

The state faces a $59 billion backlog in deferred road and highway maintenance. In the meantime, our cities and counties have their own backlog of $78 billion for their local roads.

Over one-third of the state's major roads are in poor condition and another 40 percent are rated in mediocre to fair condition, according to a report last year by TRIP, a respected national transportation research group. Forty-nine percent of the streets in San Jose are rated "poor" and another 18 percent is considered "mediocre."

Under my bill, SBX 1 1:

  • The gas tax could be increased by 12 cents and the diesel tax by 22 cents.
  • Passenger vehicles would pay an annual $35 road access charge.
  • The Vehicle Registration Fee for zero-emission vehicles would be increased by $100 to pay for road maintenance. Because these vehicles do not pay the gas tax, they do not contribute toward the maintenance of highways and streets.
  • The Vehicle Registration Fee for cars that use gas, including hybrids, will be increased by $35.
  • Establishes efficiencies in Caltrans to ensure projects are completed on-time and on-budget.
  • The estimated $4.5 billion in revenue will be shared by the state and by local governments for repairs.
  • The new revenue would be used exclusively for maintenance.

Some question the need for any revenue increase because there is a $6 billion budget surplus but they forget that past voter-approved measures direct virtually all of that money to schools and the rainy day reserve. Others say Cap and Trade revenues should be used but the thrust of the Cap and Trade program is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not for improving our roads.

In return for these increases, California's drivers get smoother roads that improve safety and efficiency while saving future taxpayer dollars.

Each dollar spent on road and highway improvements results in a benefit of $5.20 in reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays in traffic, reduced gas use, reduced pollution, and reduced pavement maintenance costs, TRIP said.

Let's fix our roads and keep California's economy rolling.


In 2013, I helped obtain $250,000 in state funding for a planning and engineering study on how to relieve traffic congestion on the 10-mile stretch of I-680 from the Alameda County line to the U.S. 101 connection in San Jose. This funding covers about half the cost for the study, which also addresses pedestrian and bicycle access.

In September, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation will hold a public workshop to gather public opinion that will be incorporated in a comprehensive strategic plan for the study.

The open workshop is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Berryessa Community Center, 3050 Berryessa Road, San Jose.

If you have questions about the study, contact VTQA's Community Outreach Department, (408) 321-7575; for the hearing-impaired, (408) 321-2330 (TTY). You can also visit their website by clicking here or via email at


My office is looking for college-level interns who would like to gain valuable work experience in my district offices in Campbell and downtown San Jose.

These internships provide students with a great opportunity to get involved in State government, develop useful job skills, and even get a head start on a career in public service. Students can gain experience in a professional work environment, build their resumes, and have the opportunity to network with professionals in a number of fields.

For more information contact Senior Field Representative Domingo Candelas in the Senate District 15 local office by phone at (408) 558-1295 or by emailing your resume to This is an unpaid position. Resumes are due Sept. 1.

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