District Update

District Update

Spring 2017 District Update

Monday, May 15, 2017 - 00:00


Dear Friends,

We are only a few months into the 2017 legislative session and there is already so much to share. As always, whether through legislation or budget talks, I look forward to improving the lives and communities in the 41st Assembly District and the state.

The majority of my legislative package has cleared their policy committees in the Assembly. My legislation, Assembly Bill 726, which creates the Energy Rates Alert Program, would save consumers money by requiring that power companies alert customers when they cross into a higher priced tier. To address California’s teacher shortage, I introduced Assembly Bill 586, which allows newly-credentialed teachers to receive a tax deduction for professional development expenses. I’m also proud to author Assembly Bill 1567, which helps improve educational outcomes among former foster youth in California who are enrolled in public higher education institutions.

In April, the legislature passed a transportation funding package, signed by Governor Brown, to improve road safety, fill potholes, and repair local streets, freeways, bridges and overpasses. For decades, transportation in California has been getting worse and the funds to fix it have been drying up. This compromise will save consumers in the long run and avoids borrowing funds that may result in cuts to schools, health, and public safety. The funding from the transportation package will have a powerful and positive impact on the 41st Assembly District as we will see more than a 100 percent increase in much needed transportation funds.

In the district, we celebrated Women’s History Month at my Annual Open House where I had the honor to recognize Jaylene Mosley as the 41st Assembly District’s Woman of the Year as well as  nine other women as Women of Distinction. The women were honored for their service and their work in making a positive impact in the 41st Assembly District.

It will continue to be a busy year at the Capitol and in the district, and I look forward to keep you up to date in the coming months.

Sincerely,

Signature

Chris Holden
41st State Assembly

District Update

Winter 2017 District Update

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - 00:00

Dear Friends,

Much has changed since my last update. As our new president begins his term, I want you to know that I am resolute, now more than ever, to build upon our successes in California – growing our economy, protecting our environment, strengthening our infrastructure and supporting working families.

Additionally, my colleagues and I have made it clear that we will lend our voice to the millions of Californians who may be adversely affected by new federal policies and ensure our great state remains true to its core values.

I also look forward to making a big impact in my new roles. I am pleased to share with you that Speaker Anthony Rendon appointed me chair of the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy. Serving nearly 24 years on the Pasadena City Council, with responsibility over the city's water and power company, provided me with a strong foundation and understanding of the utility industry, and the need to be smart and thoughtful as we implement forward-thinking energy policy for California. As the new chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, I will push for justice and opportunity for all Californians.

As for my legislative agenda, I am proud to bring back my bill to establish the Student Transit Pass Program. Assembly Bill 17 will provide low-cost, effective transportation options to budget conscious students, while providing local transportation agencies with a statistically-proven source of new riders. This bill will save money for students, reduce our carbon footprint, and energize urban transportation infrastructure.

I will keep you updated on other legislative proposals in upcoming newsletters. It is going to be a busy year in Sacramento and in the 41st Assembly District. My staff and I look forward to serving you.

Sincerely,

Signature

Chris Holden
41st State Assembly

District Update

Fall 2016 District Update

Saturday, October 8, 2016 - 00:00

Dear Friends,

We recently wrapped up the 2016 legislative session and I am pleased to report that we accomplished so much this year, including getting 10 of my bills signed into law. Throughout the year, we made historic gains that will provide a better quality of life for all Californians.

At the start of the year, we passed a package of major health care reform bills to secure federal funding for Medi-Cal and increase funding for developmental disability services by over $300 million. Later, we passed a historic minimum wage law, increasing California's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023. These were major victories for families across the state struggling to make ends meet.

In the final days of session, we passed two climate bills to further reduce our emissions and make sure our largest reduction programs are held accountable. We also agreed to an aggressive and responsible cap-and-trade spending plan that will provide ongoing funding for transit and housing programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help Californians obtain clean fuel vehicles and access renewable energy.

As for my legislative accomplishments this year, I'm proud to report that two of our victories came directly from folks like you in the district! Assembly Bill 2442 (AB 2442) was signed into law and will give local governments the ability to provide housing developers density bonuses if the housing development sets aside ten percent for former foster youth, disabled veterans, or formerly homeless individuals. Additionally, Assembly Bill 2552 (AB 2552), which provided additional financial support for relative caregivers of foster youth, was adopted into our state budget and implemented immediately. You can see the full update on my legislation here.

The successful year was not limited to Sacramento. Just last week in Los Angeles, as chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Regional Transportation and Interconnectivity Solutions, I hosted an oversight hearing, "Funding Transportation: Meeting the Challenge," to discuss and address timely transportation issues for the region and state.

Earlier in the year we partnered with The Education Trust-West to host an informational briefing, "Black Minds Matter," to discuss educational disparities facing California's nearly one million black youth; worked with the California Contractors State License Board to host "Senior Scam Stoppers" seminars; and teamed up with the California Board of Equalization to provide families with free tax preparation services.

While the legislative session has ended, there is still much more work to be done at the Capitol and in the district. I look forward to keeping you up to date on our progress, and I hope to see you at our upcoming Living with Urban Wildlife Community Meeting on October 18.

Sincerely,

Signature

Chris Holden
41st State Assembly

District Update

Summer 2016 District Update

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - 00:00

Dear Friends,

We are halfway into the 2016 legislative session, and I am excited to share with you the progress and impact that we have made so far. As always, whether through passing legislation in the Capitol, or providing resources for constituents through my local office, I look forward to improving the lives and communities of the 41st Assembly District and the rest of the state of California.

In Sacramento, the majority of my legislative package has cleared the Assembly and will now move forward in the Senate. While there are numerous issues facing Californians, we can pass policies that help solve multiple problems. My bill, AB 1696, that will help Californians quit smoking, not only saves lives, but saves the state millions in health care costs. AB 2222 that creates low-cost transportation passes for California's low-income students will provide safe, reliable and inexpensive means to get to class, reduce our state's greenhouse gas emissions, and develop lifelong ridership habits among our high school and college students.

I am happy to report that the California Legislature passed an on-time State Budget. The next step is the governor's signature, which will happen before June 30. This year's budget will provide one million dollars for the Pasadena Playhouse. The Pasadena Playhouse, the official state theater of California, is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2017.

In the past few months, I have partnered with the California State License Board for two Senior Scam Stoppers seminars to help seniors and their families protect themselves from scams. I also partnered with the state Board of Equalization to provide free tax preparation in both the eastern and western parts of the 41st District.

There is still much more work to be done at the Capitol and in the district over the coming months. As we enter the summer months, I wish you a happy July Fourth, and hope to see you at my annual Block Party and Community Resource Fair on July 30.

Sincerely,

Signature

Chris Holden
41st State Assembly

District Update

Winter 2016 District Update

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 00:00

Dear Friends,

We are only a few months into the 2016 legislative session and there is already so much to share. As always, whether through new budget talks or recently introduced legislation, I look forward to improving the lives and communities in the 41st Assembly District and the state.

I am happy to report that our victories in Sacramento continue. Earlier this month, thanks to a bi-partisan effort, the California State Legislature passed a package of major health care reform bills. The first is a lowered, but more broadly distributed, Managed Care Organization (MCO) Tax that will secure federal funding for Medi-Cal. The second increases funding for developmental disability services by $306.5 million.

We also recently passed sweeping tobacco control legislation that increased California's smoking age to 21, and regulates electronic cigarettes as tobacco products. The new health care reforms provide momentum to pass my tobacco cessation legislation, AB 1696, which requires smoking cessation medications, counseling, and assessments to be covered for Medi-Cal patients.

Additionally, I have introduced AB 2525 that establishes the California Water Efficient Landscaping (CWEL) Program. This program creates urban landscaping incentives, such as lawn replacement, that help the state reach its climate, water and energy goals. Through the California Conservation Corps, the bill will also create green jobs for underserved youth.

I will keep you updated on other legislative proposals in upcoming newsletters. It is going to be a busy year, and my staff and I look forward to serving you.

Sincerely,

Signature

Chris Holden
41st State Assembly

District Update

Fall 2015 District Update

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 00:00

Dear Friends,

AB350 signingWe recently wrapped-up the 2015 legislative session, and I am pleased to report that we were able to accomplish so much this year, including getting nine of my bills signed into law.

In the final days of the session, we made significant gains that will provide a better quality of life for all Californians.

Environmental goals were the subject of intense debate in the Legislature this session. I supported the landmark climate change bill SB 350 and was glad the Governor signed it. I also supported SB 32 - gas emission reductions. SB 350's passage makes California a global leader in the fight against climate change. We will see the benefits of this legislation for generations to come.

Earlier in the session, I joined my colleagues in increasing public funding for California's public colleges and universities while providing billions more for our kindergarten through high school classrooms.

Another step we took strengthened healthcare and human services by expanding the Medi-Cal program and enacting an Earned Income Tax Credit which will uplift the working poor and their children.

Recognizing the seriousness of the current drought, this year we began appropriating the first part of voter-approved funds contained in the Water Bond for groundwater clean-up, desalination technology and projects to preserve our water supplies.

As the chairman of the Speaker's working group on redevelopment, I was tasked with developing a compromise to protect city budgets while ending years of messy and protracted litigation. Working with local governments from across California, my group came together to produce a fair compromise that provides clarity to the remaining Redevelopment Agency (RDA) dissolution process. Thanks to this compromise measure, cities like Pasadena and San Dimas will be able to retain control of critical city assets, like public parking facilities, and ensure money owed to local governments will be repaid.

All in all, we've accomplished a lot this year, but there is still much to be done. Please read further for details on my 2015 bill package.

Sincerely,

Signature

Chris Holden
41st State Assembly

District Update

Summer 2015 District Update

Monday, July 27, 2015 - 00:00

Dear Friend,

The Legislature recently wrapped up its marathon legislative session, hearing hundreds of measures as they were voted on in their house of origin. I am pleased to report that 16 of my bills were approved in the Assembly and are now being heard in Senate policy committees. All bills must be approved and sent to the Governor by the last day of session - September 11.

Education from K-12 through college is the big winner in this year's budget. The revised budget made big headlines with news that K-12 education will be receiving an infusion of billions of dollars. That's good news for school districts that faced drastic cuts during the recession.

As part of the Governor's budget deal with higher education, the University of California will freeze tuition for California undergrads for the next two years and will receive an additional $25 million. The Cal State University system also receives an additional $97 million.

There was also good news for California's low-income wage earners. The budget enacts the California Earned Income Tax Credit that should benefit some two million working Californians. One of the reasons I am proud to support this budget is because it represents an effort to uplift the working poor while not raising taxes or complicating our business climate.

California is mired in the worst drought in recent history. Recognizing the need for immediate action, the budget allocates the first round of the Water Bond, spending $2.38 billion on groundwater cleanup, desalination technology and projects to preserve our water supplies.

And, as part of the state's commitment to a sustainable environment, this budget provides millions in new funding to hire 42 new well inspectors to ensure that any drilling activity in California is conducted in a safe and responsible manner.

So, while we head into the summer, I want to remind you we still have lots on tap at the Capitol and in the district. We'll be hosting our annual Block Party and Community Resource Fair on August 8. I hope to see you there. Enjoy your summer.

CHRIS R. HOLDEN

District Update

Spring 2015 District Update

Friday, May 1, 2015 - 00:00

Dear Friends,

CA drought dry riverbedNow that Governor Brown has ordered the first mandatory water cutbacks in California history, the Assembly will be working hard to ensure water conservation and efficiency in every part of the state. Recently the legislature approved and the Governor signed a package of emergency drought relief bills that will provide over $1 billion in funds to alleviate problems caused by the drought. Now it’s up to all of us to do our part to get through this unprecedented drought. Save the Date: Water Wise Workshop, June 25, 2015, more details to come.

The Assembly is moving rapidly hearing scores of bills as they go through various committees until the May 29 deadline. Again, I have a strong legislative package ranging from protecting small business franchisees, elderly homeowner property tax relief, to improving pathways to college.

With the introduction of my Assembly Bill 288, I hope to expand opportunities for students to take community college courses while still in high school. The measure accelerates learning by increasing the number of classes students can take from 11 units to 15 units. Additionally, this bill increases transparency by requiring reports to show if students are succeeding in the program or not. Read more in the Op Ed in the Sacramento Bee. Next month we’ll be dealing with the budget. I’ll keep you posted on the Governor’s May Revision and the details on the final budget deal. With tax revenues holding strong, it looks like we’ll have good news.

Sincerely,

Signature

Chris Holden
41st State Assembly

District Update

2015 Winter District Update

Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 00:00

Dear Friends,

As we begin the 2015 legislative session, education and economic growth are two of my key concerns for this term. California has made progress on many important issues including a stronger business climate and balancing our budget. But there is still much to be done to improve middle-class job growth.

As you may have seen in news reports, I am taking steps to introduce a school facilities bond of $1.8 billion. It will not come as a surprise to you that our public schools are in bad shape lacking proper air conditioning and heat, toilets that work and up-to-date classrooms. Building classrooms and modernizing facilities must be a statewide priority, especially for poorer districts that lack the ability to raise funds on their own.

You may have heard me discuss "concurrent enrollment" - I'm bringing it back this session because it's obvious that high school students can benefit from taking college and tech courses while still in high school.  Concurrent enrollment isn't just for high-performing students. Studies show that underachievers benefit significantly when they are exposed to college courses and college life.  For many, it opens a door to higher education they never anticipated.

I'm also introducing a bill to help consumers who turn to Buy Here, Pay Here auto loans as a last resort. Many of these car buyers have poor credit histories and no other way of purchasing a car.  They often end up paying tremendous interest rates, agreeing to payments they can't make and having their cars repossessed if they are even 48 hours late with their payment.

We'll have more on other legislative proposals in upcoming newsletters.  It is going to be a busy year and my staff and I look forward to serving you.

Sincerely,

Signature

Chris Holden
41st State Assembly

District Update

August/September 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014 - 00:00

A Note from Chris

Dear Friend,

Welcome to my Sacramento update, an e-newsletter for the 41st Assembly District.

I hope you have been enjoying the summer, despite the heat and the drought.  It has been an extremely busy and productive summer both at the Capitol and in the district. With hundreds of bills making their way through the Legislature by the August 31 deadline, we heard a number of important issues including the fight over water.

It took months of pushing and negotiating, but in the end, I joined fellow lawmakers in approving a $7.5 billion replacement Water Bond for the November ballot – it’s good for the state and good for our district. This new bond, called Proposition 1, will be more affordable than the existing ballot measure, and eliminates the wasteful pork contained in the current measure while protecting the necessary projects to improve California's water security. This bond contains $900 million in new funding for further clean-up programs that will be available for local agencies.

The other important water issue this session is the groundbreaking package of bills that we approved that will, for the first-time, regulate the use of groundwater. California has been one of the only states not to regulate groundwater. Working late into the night, we passed the state’s first groundwater regulation legislation that will provide much-needed oversight by requiring each groundwater basin to set specific objectives for stabilizing water levels.

With these efforts, we make a big investment in ensuring safe, accessible water for generations to come. 

Sincerely,

Signature

Chris Holden