July 2015 Newsletter

July 31, 2015



Join Telemundo 48 and me for a Back 2 School Resources Fair to provide students from low-income families with free school supplies and educational materials. The fair is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Washington Elementary School, 100 Oak St., San Jose.





A creek runs through our community. Let's keep it clean! Join me for my annual Los Gatos Creek Clean-up. Do something good for our environment and our neighborhoods while enjoying the outdoors.


Los Gatos Creek
Saturday, Aug. 15, 9 am - 11 am
Registration: 8:45 am
Campbell Park
Campbell and Gilman avenues
For more information or to RSVP, call (408) 558-1295 or click here.

Weather permitting


Trash bags and gloves will be provided. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear sturdy shoes.





Special Sessions -- In June, the Governor issued a proclamation directing the Legislature to open two extraordinary special legislative sessions to find funding solutions for California's deteriorating transportation system and health care funding.


I am serving on both of the Senate's special session committees: As chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee and a member of the Public Health and Developmental Services Committee.


I have authored two special session bills that I hope will solve these crucial issues facing California or, at the least, serve as a platform for those solutions.


    • SBX1 1 - Raises revenue to reduce and halt the growing $195 billion bill in deferred maintenance needed to restore our crumbling state and local highways, roads, and streets. The bill saves California money by restoring roads that can be repaired now instead allowing them to deteriorate to the point where they must be rebuilt, a more costly solution.
    • SBX2 1 - Provides a 10 percent increase in funding for regional centers and purchase-of-service vendors, solving a crucial problem that now threatens the promise of the Lanterman Act, 1977-enacted legislation that gives people with developmental disabilities the right to lead an independent lives.

Since 2009, over $1 billion has been slashed from the state's developmental disability services system. During the past three years, 435 community care homes have closed, forcing thousands of people with developmental disabilities out of their residences.

Service providers are the backbone of the system. Without them, thousands of people with developmental disabilities would be in institutional care. Over 280,000 people with developmental disabilities rely on services from 21 California Regional Centers and their 65,000 service providers.


Communications Hill --Senate Bill 236, my legislation to give the city of San Jose authority to curb nuisances on the Communications Hill staircase, has cleared the Senate and is now pending a vote before the Assembly.


Residents who live near the staircase have complained to the city about noisy incidents of all-night drinking and loitering along the steps. But the staircase currently falls under the state statutes as a sidewalk and is therefore publically accessible day or night. The bill would give the city the authority to regulate the hours of the staircase.


Mental Health Training -- Facing votes in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, Senate Bills 11 and 29 will increase training for peace officers, furnishing them with proven techniques to defuse confrontations with people with untreated mental illnesses and ensuring a greater margin of safety for both parties.


These bills provide increased training at the start of an officer's career and throughout it by as much as 30 hours compared with an existing minimum of three hours.


Increasing and improving training has proven to reduce workers compensation liability and use-of-force lawsuits.


Foster Care -- I introduced Senate Bills 319 and 484 to increase the oversight of the administration of psychotropic drugs to foster youth and end the over reliance on these powerful medications to control children instead of behavioral therapies.


SB 484 increases reporting requirements to flag group homes that rely on potent psychotropic drugs as the first-line or the only treatment used.


SB 319 calls for using public health nurses to oversee the medical monitoring of foster youth psychotropic drug use.


Both bills are pending in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.