Local state legislators send several bills to Newsom for signature

Sacramento, State Capitol Building

The Santa Clarita Valley’s representatives in Sacramento sent several bills to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk this year ahead of the most recent legislative session’s end Friday, Sept. 10. 

State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, was elected the leader of the Senate Republican Caucus in January. 

Wilk told The Signal in a statement that he and his colleagues held Newsom accountable on wildfire spending and “pushed for fixes to the (Employment Development Department) that would prevent future fraud and protect unemployed workers.” 

He added that his caucus secured funding for small businesses, reopened schools, addressed learning loss within our schoolchildren, expanded access to high-speed internet and stopped legislation in what he called the “criminals-first agenda.” 

“Closer to home, I continue my fight to stop CEMEX’s efforts to open its mega-mine in Soledad Canyon. My legislation to block the mine has already cleared several legislative hurdles and will be taken up again in January. While CEMEX continues to throw every resource into opening this mine, I continue to fight alongside our community for the residents of the 21st Senate District,” he said. 

Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares told The Signal in a statement that she is “tremendously proud” of her first year representing her constituents in Sacramento. 

“My priority has been on listening to the needs I hear about across our diverse district and then working hard to deliver as much as possible,” she said. “As we all work safely to rebound from the pandemic, providing people access to the vaccine, it has also been critical to address the other important issues we face locally.” 

Valladares sent Assembly Bill 418, the Community Power Resiliency Program, to the governor’s desk.  

If signed into law, it would formally establish a program to allow the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to disburse grants to help local governments prepare for and mitigate the effects of these Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events or other emergency power outages. 

Valladares also sent AB 319 — addressing foreign interference in California elections — and AB 277 to the governor. The latter, she said, would require application forms for state programs supporting victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking and elder abuse to be offered in Chinese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese in addition to English and Spanish. 

“This will help break down language barriers and will improve access to state programs for all victims of human sex trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, and stalking,” she said. 

Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, sent two bills to the governor’s desk.  

Lackey said in a statement that AB 1305, which has already been signed into law, will clear the way for U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-approved cannabis researchers to cultivate their own cannabis for research purposes.  

“This first-in-the-nation bill is a monumental win for California, and the country, as the need for understanding the health and safety impacts of the plant increases,” he said.  

Awaiting signature, AB 565 would develop apprenticeship opportunities for foster and homeless youth. 

Lackey also received approval for a $4 million budget request to address the states sexual assault forensic evidence kit backlog and a request to audit the state’s Child Abuse Central Index database for noncompliance. 

State Sen. Henry Stern, D-Calabasas, highlighted three bills he sent to Newsom this session. 

SB 650 would require skilled nursing facilities to provide consolidated financial reports and documentation of their corporate structure to the public and the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. 

“Many large, for-profit skilled nursing facility chains use complex ownership structures to increase their profitability by making it appear they can’t do anything to control their costs, when in reality they’re keeping the money all in the dark recesses of the corporate family,” Stern said in a statement. “This shines the bright light of day on this practice by requiring nursing home chains to place consolidated financial reports on each individual facility’s website.” 

SB 790 would support habitat connectivity projects. 

 “We have failed to account for wildlife and the habitat they need to roam as we built our freeways and housing in the Los Angeles region,” said Stern. “The Southern California mountain lion will go extinct in our lifetime if we don’t start planning and building visionary projects right now.” 

Stern also sent SB 406, which would give renters and unhoused residents living near oil and gas sites like Aliso Canyon and the oil fields of Los Angeles the right to file complaints with state regulators. 

Newsom has until Oct. 10 to sign or veto legislation. 

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