Assemblymember Chris Holden’s Bill to Kill 710 Tunnel Passes Appropriations Committee

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Assemblymember Chris Holden’s Bill to Kill 710 Tunnel Passes Appropriations Committee

Legislation to extend dual enrollment and monitor idle oil wells also passes

Sacramento, CA – Six of Assemblymember Chris Holden’s bills cleared the California State Senate Appropriations Committee today. The legislation passed includes Assembly Bill 29 that would eliminate any future possibility for the 710 tunnel; Assembly Bill 30 that ensures dual enrollment opportunities remain available to students; Assembly Bill 914 that would end the termination of Medi-Cal benefits for inmates; Assembly Bill 1075 that would increase the number of Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) positions at the Cal State University system; Assembly Bill 1097 that would require the Department of Education to examine the effectiveness of high school credit recovery programs; and Assembly Bill 1328 that would require operators of idle and abandoned oil and gas wells to report pollutants found during the well plugging process.

Assembly Bill 29 specifies that State Route 710 is from Route 1 to Route 10, eliminating any future possibility of a freeway tunnel. The legislation will close potential loopholes in both Caltrans’ Final Environmental Impact Report and the 2017 Los Angeles Metro motion that drop the tunnel concept for strictly financial reasons.

“Fixing our state’s highway code to reflect the new reality is the logical next step to bury the tunnel idea once and for all,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “We couldn’t get to this point without the decades of hard work, passion, and leadership of community stakeholders, who have also made a direct impact on my views on this issue.”

Assembly Bill 30 would extend the College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP), first established by Assemblymember Holden’s legislation in 2015, past its current expiration at the end of 2021, and ensures dual enrollment opportunities remain available to students who are not already college bound or are underrepresented in higher education.

“Dual enrollment will increase the number of college graduates, reduce time and money spent for college, and help close the achievement gap,” said Holden. “This bill is a win for students and their families.”

Assembly Bill 1328 would require operators of idle and abandoned oil and gas wells to report hydrocarbon emissions found during the well plugging process. There are about 30,000 idle or abandoned oil wells in California, many of which were improperly abandoned, or left idle.  Oil and gas pollution released from these wells can cause headaches, nosebleeds and nausea, and has been linked to certain types of cancers and birth defects. The bill requires results from these tested oil and gas wells to be collected and publicly reported by the Department of Conservation.

“We need to know how much and how often these wells are emitting pollutants in order to protect public health,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden.  “Assembly Bill 1328 will help solve a critical knowledge gap associated with aging oil and gas infrastructure in California.”

Assembly Bill 914 suspends Medi-Cal benefits and annually reevaluates eligibility for Medi-Cal for incarcerated individuals under the age of 26. The current lengthy process of terminating and reapplying for Medi-Cal benefits delays access to life saving health care once released. Assembly Bill 914 ensures that inmates coming out of incarceration have access to their health benefits immediately upon release.

“Continuity of care is critical for improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations, decreasing need for costlier health care services later on down the road, and increasing rates of successful community reintegration,” said Holden

Assembly Bill 1075 would increase the number of Speech Pathologists (SLP) slots at the CSU to help close the speech-language pathologist shortage the state is experiencing. The legislation will expand existing programs in California State University (CSU) system. Assemblymember Holden already secured $3 million through the state budget to be allocated to such a program.

Assembly Bill 1097 would provide greater transparency around credit recovery in California. Credit recovery classes in California, often offered to the state’s most vulnerable students, are undefined in statute and operate with minimal oversight by the Department of Education. Holden’s legislation would require the Department of Education to examine the effectiveness of high school credit recovery programs.

 

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