Orange County has been experiencing beautiful summer weather and I hope you have been to enjoy some time outside. The State Senate took its annual summer recess and, before I head back to our State Capitol, I wanted to share a quick snapshot of what my office has been working on since our last newsletter.
I am excited to share that my bill, Senate Bill (SB) 290, was signed into law by Governor Newsom. This new law makes it easier for domestic violence survivors to access the evidence they need to protect themselves from their abusers in court. Under the previous system, survivors had to pay to obtain evidence, such as 911 recordings and photographs of injuries, often at an unaffordable cost. SB 290 eliminates this unfair and unnecessary barrier to survivors and I appreciate the support of partners like Angelina Jolie and my wife Jane who leads the UC Irvine Domestic Violence Clinic.
For this year’s budget negotiations, I was honored to serve on the newly formed Select Committee on Infrastructure Streamlining and Workforce Equity, which finalized California’s 2023 State infrastructure package. This historic series of bills, recently signed into law, reflect California’s commitment to achieving our urgent environmental and economic goals. Combined, the measures will accelerate the construction of green energy and transportation infrastructure, maximize the impact of taxpayer dollars, and create new jobs. I am incredibly proud to have worked on this package of bills.
My work, of course, involves more than working on legislation and I hope to see you at an event in the district. Until then, please stay in touch to share your views on bills and any local issues that are important to you.
Thank you for the honor of representing you and our Orange County community.
Yours in Service,
Senator, 37th Senate District
SB 290 Signed into Law!
Until now, domestic violence (DV) survivors have had to pay for the evidence they need to seek legal protections from their abusers, often at exorbitant costs they cannot afford. In the digital era, where storing and accessing digital records is inexpensive, it is outrageous that we continue to propagate this unnecessary barrier to the safety of survivors. SB 290 will allow more DV survivors to seek and receive the information they need that will keep them safe. I would like to thank the Governor for signing this lifesaving bill into law, as well as thank humanitarian and filmmaker Angelina Jolie for her early and poignant support of SB 290.
The first of two bills introduced as part of my domestic violence legislative package this year, the new law SB 290 modernizes the Access to Domestic Violence Reports Act of 1999 to allow domestic violence survivors to more easily access the evidence they need to try to obtain court-ordered legal protections.
$2 million secured for Pacific Symphony
They say that budgets are a reflection of our values, and the State of California’s $2 million investment in Pacific Symphony is a true reflection of the vital and central role that the arts play in Orange County. Not only does music heal, uplift, and inspire; it brings communities closer together and unites us. I am incredibly proud that the Legislature and the Governor agree on this issue and funded the Pacific Symphony’s ongoing educational programs and community events that enrich local artists, students, veterans, and Orange County families of all ages.
Governor Signs the 2023 Infrastructure Package
This summer, we made history as Governor Newsom signed California's 2023 Infrastructure Package: a series of bills that will allow us to aggressively streamline new projects that change the way we build, create jobs, and accelerate green infrastructure. Thank you to the Governor and my colleagues on the Select Committee on Infrastructure Streamlining & Workforce Equity for working together to get this across the finish line. It was an honor to be part of this process and attend the signing ceremony!
Bring Your Kids to Work Day
Look who joined me on the Senate floor! I guess you could say it was Bring Your Kids to Work Day for both of us. My wife Jane was in the Capitol doing what she does best: providing expert testimony and advocating for survivors on behalf of UC Irvine’s Domestic Violence Clinic. I couldn't be prouder.
Hero of Year Award
A big thank you to the Hwarang Youth Foundation for honoring me with the prestigious "Hero of the Year'' award. From education to climate action, I'll never stop fighting for a brighter future for the next generation. You can learn more about Hwarang and sign up to volunteer in your local community at www.hwarang.org.
Tune into the Hispanic Chamber Podcast
It was great to go live with the Orange County Hispanic Chamber's new podcast #OurCommunity hosted by OC Talk Radio. Thank you to CEO Reuben Franco for having me, and for your hard work on behalf of local entrepreneurs and small businesses. You can watch our conversation HERE.
My Environmental Roundtable in Laguna Beach
We had a full house in Laguna Beach for my roundtable on the environment! As Chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Water, the best part of my job is bringing together local experts and climate advocates to discuss how we can protect California's coastline and open spaces. Thank you to our panelists from Orange County Coastkeeper, the Natural Communities Coalition, and both the Crystal Cove and Irvine Ranch conservancies for sharing your expertise.
By working together, we can -- and we will -- turn the tide on the climate crisis.
Helping Thousands of Orange County Families
Great news! My office just resolved 3,600 unique constituent cases since we opened our doors in 2020. Many of these are Orange County families who came to us during the height of the EDD crisis. The State of California provides so many essential services for Californians and, if you need help with a state agency, my team is here to help and serve. Don't hesitate to reach out to us at: https://sd37.senate.ca.gov/contact.
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