Appropriations Committee pushes through two Acosta bills

Assemblyman Dante Acosta speaks about this new bill that would support foster children at a press conference at College of the Canyons on Friday, May 12, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) left the Appropriations Committee Friday with one-third of his bills moving forward.

With six bills waiting for approval from Appropriations, only Assembly Bills 1172 and 1528 will be going to the Assembly floor for consideration, while the other four died in committee.

“I’m excited to see two bills that service a need within our community pass the important Appropriations hurdle,” Acosta said in a statement to The Signal. “One of my promises to our community when I was elected was that I was going to fight hard for our district.”

If passed, AB 1172 will relinquish part of Sierra Highway to the City of Santa Clarita for them to take over maintenance. This bill was the result of a request from the city to gain ownership of a portion of the road that is presently owned and operated by Cal Trans.

The portion of the highway is within city limits between Newhall Avenue and Friendly Valley Parkway.

Under Assembly Bill 1528, students who are enrolled in an online charter school will be able to continue their education through their program even if they move away from the area. Under existing law, this would be allowed until 2018, but Acosta’s bill would allow this until 2021.

This bill was introduced to aid those students and families who were displaced after the Aliso Canyon gas leak and were forced to flee from their homes.

If 1172 and 1528 pass the Assembly floor, they will go through committees in the Senate before they can be signed by Governor Jerry Brown to become law.

Among those bills that did not move forward was Acosta’s Foster Youth Enrichment Grant Program under Assembly Bill 754. The bill would have created a $15 million program that provided small grants to foster youth to participate in graduation, field trips, campus events, sports and fine arts.

“I am particularly disappointed that my Foster Youth Enrichment Grants legislation was defeated by the majority party,” Acosta said. “This was a good bill that would have helped thousands of foster kids throughout the state participate in extracurricular and enrichment activities that are proven to increase the likelihood of graduation. This bill died because often times in Sacramento, politics comes before people.”

Assembly Bill 632 would have streamlined contracting for businesses owned by veterans who have disabilities. Under AB 714, Department of Motor Vehicle customers would have had the option to store their information on the DMV’s website in order to automatically renew their licenses to avoid late fees. Both bills were killed in committee.

Also held in Appropriations, Assembly Bill 849 would have established a task force to analyze workforce development programs managed by the state, creating one standard to measure a program’s success.


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