State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, gave an update this week regarding legislation he coauthored on Cemex and a pair of education bills, as well as a lesson he’s learned from a shift in his approach that’s come from a little over 10 years in Sacramento.
The Cemex legislation, which was carried this session by Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, is probably the most consequential piece of legislation directly impacting the Santa Clarita Valley this year.
Originally introduced by Wilk last year and reintroduced by Schiavo this year as Assembly Bill 1631, the bill represents a bipartisan effort of two legislators whose districts share a lot of common ground in the SCV.
The bill would require a public notice for all state water-permit applications more than 30 years old, with a legislative analysis of the bill acknowledging that Cemex would be the only project impacted.
The mining giant is seeking permit to use water from the Santa Clara River, which is part of an important aquifer for the area, to facilitate its efforts to open the largest aggregate mine in North America.
Their bill recently passed both houses of the state Legislature and is now sitting on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk, and Wilk said he was optimistic it would be signed. The governor has until Oct. 14 to sign the legislation.
Wilk’s plans for the fall
Another bill that Wilk’s office worked on is one of several legislative efforts “to go after Ticketmaster and their monopoly,” he said Tuesday.
“So what the Assembly Arts and Entertainment Committee is going to do is hold a special hearing sometime this fall to kind of take a deeper dive into the issue,” Wilk said.
Wilk is also aware of the reality of external factors that can influence the political process, he said, which include powerful allies and the ticket-seller’s multibillion-dollar market capitalization.
By way of example, there are also legislative efforts that have been backed by leaders in the ticket-selling industry, like Live Nation, authored by Sen. Anna Caballero, D-Merced, which seek to add a number of regulations to the ticket-resale market.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said, holding off on making any prognostications at this point for how the live-show market might change.
“I used to get really excited about this stuff early in my career, but now it’s like, I am one person. I have one vote, and I can do the best I can do — and as long as I’m doing my best, then whatever happens, happens and I’m at peace with it. I always knew this was going to be a tough battle, and it’s not over.”
While Wilk has a little over a year left until term limits mean he can no longer run for another term in the Legislature, he has some legislation left on his agenda that’s particularly important to him.
“I still have my two bills that are coming out of aftermath of the Saugus High shooting, which is the trauma kit bill, which is sitting over there in the Assembly,” he said, adding his colleagues are figuring out a way to pay for it, but also equating its $25 million to “budget dust,” particularly compared to some of the programs that receive funding, he said.
“So the opportunity to save lives, when you think of the importance of that …,” he said, “but we’re still working on it.”
He also said his Safe to Tell bill would require school districts statewide to codify an anonymous reporting system, which only 1-in-3 districts currently have done, he said.
Schiavo’s plans for the fall
In a statement released by Schiavo on Friday, she said she ran for office to work on the most important issues in the community and “the bills now awaiting the governor’s signature will do just that.”
In a phone interview Wednesday, Schiavo said, “The next few months is really focused on being in the district.”
This weekend, Schiavo said she would be knocking on doors Saturday in Newhall with Red Cross of Los Angeles to promote Sound the Alarm, a program encouraging people to install smoke alarms.
On Tuesday, Schiavo’s office is hosting the first part of a Virtual Small Business Town Hall series to support small-business owners.
The following month, on Oct. 5, she’s partnering with Wilk for a senior fair at the SCV Senior Center at Bella Vida.
As chair for the Committee on Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure, she’s hoping to host a panel discussion on the issues surrounding electric cars, such as affordability, availability and equity. Her bill seeking to electrify roads stalled in the Appropriations Committee, but she’s hoping to keep the conversation around the challenges involved in the transition moving forward.
There’s no location set at the moment, she added, but the discussion is being scheduled tentatively for Oct. 24.
The following month, on Nov. 7, as chair of the Military and Veteran Affairs Committee, Schiavo is planning to host a forum at Santa Clarita City Council Chambers at City Hall, to hear from families in the community.
“The hearing is really going to be an opportunity to hear updates about some really great new statewide programs around housing and services that have been rolled out in the last year,” she said, and also to hear from members of the community on how those programs are doing and what can be done differently.
Schiavo’s release listed eight bills she authored this past year that are awaiting Newsom’s signature after passing both houses, which touch on a range of topics.
AB 19 would require schools with “a school nurse or trained personnel to keep at least two doses of naloxone hydrochloride or another opioid antagonist,” according to Schiavo’s release. She also authored a bill to support outdoor dining, another bill that would provide “nurturing, supportive and culturally competent postpartum care for new moms enrolled in Medi-Cal for a full year after a pregnancy ends.”
Residents can sign up for the small-business town hall at a40.asmdc.org/event/20230926-virtual-small-business-town-hall. More information about the senior fair is available here: a40.asmdc.org/event/20231005-senior-fair.