Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia Celebrates 2017 Legislative Victories and Outlines Priorities for New Year
Our local legislator will see over 30 of his successful measures go into effect January 1st
(SACRAMENTO, CA)— This year, local Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) worked collectively with colleagues, across both sides of the aisle to successfully usher over 30 legislative measures across the finish line.
In his first term, a Desert Sun article dubbed him as one of the “most prolific lawmakers in Sacramento” for his body of accomplishments as a freshman legislator. Now, halfway through his second term he is on pace to more than double that number; accumulating a spectacular batting average of wins for our community.
“I am tremendously grateful for all we have been able to accomplish this year. We made remarkable strides to mitigate the Salton Sea, provided critical statewide leadership on climate change policies in order to prioritize investments into our region, ensured that our district is positioned to receive significant investment dollars to address our road and housing shortfalls, advocated for equitable access to parks and led a bipartisan coalition to bridge the digital divide,” reflected Garcia.
“The proposals were all community driven; stemming directly from resident ideas and regional concerns. These victories belong to the Coachella, Imperial and Palo Verde Valley areas that I proudly represent.”
Full List of Assemblymember Garcia’s 2017 Chaptered Legislation:
-2017 Legislative Highlights-
CA Parks/Salton Sea
With the success of SB 5 – Park Bond voters across our state will soon have the opportunity to invest $4 billion for parks, recreation and safe drinking water with 20% of the bonds funding designated for disadvantaged communities. This measure additionally allocates $200 million dollars to fund the 10-Year Salton Sea Management Plan, $10 million for the New River parkway and specifically prioritizes funding for Imperial County State Fairground improvements.
“By bringing human health impacts to the forefront of these conversations we have been able to garner greater state support and resources toward Salton Sea mitigation.”
Climate Change/Air Quality
“The passage of AB 398 – Cap-and-Trade Reform and AB 617 – Air Quality established a comprehensive, statewide program that will allow us to achieve our ambitious climate goals, while ensuring the market stability necessary to retain industry jobs and address vital public health and air quality issues. Importantly, these measures will help further climate equity in disadvantaged areas and directs the Air Resources Board to help region air districts to identify communities in need of air quality monitors; often low income communities of color that historically have been disproportionately impacted by pollution. The community plans developed will be essential to mitigating problems and improving air quality for our families”
“We will continue to fight for our region to receive its fair share of climate investment funds.”
AB 1665 – Internet for All Now Act of 2017 will extend the California Advanced Service Fund (CASF) to support broadband infrastructure deployment and adoption in unserved and disadvantaged communities like many of our local rural agricultural areas. Additionally, ACR 115 - Disabled Individuals: Technology and Information Access affirms that the states’ policies and procedures should ensure technology and information access for individuals with disabilities to the greatest extent possible.
Small Business Protections
“AB 1615 – Small Business Gender Discrimination Compliance Act will better protect small businesses from frivolous lawsuits. This will assist our small and predominantly minority owned businesses from predatory gender discrimination lawsuits by allowing the opportunity to hold the lawsuit in order to rectify the problem.”
“I am proud to have been able to secure $3 million in this year’s budget for the expansion of the Cal State San Bernardino Palm Desert Campus. Investments in higher education are an absolute prerequisite to boosting economic development, expanding jobs and counteracting poverty within this region.”
“The passage of AB 1453 – Transportation to Literacy will allow local Read With Me Volunteers Program to continue providing literacy assistance in underserved schools across the Coachella Valley by eliminating a prohibiting vehicle code that jeopardized their services.”
AB 1127 – Baby Diaper Changing Stations will require state and local agencies and specified public facilities, including theaters, sports arenas, or libraries, to install and maintain at least one baby diaper changing station if the building or facility is open to the public.
“This measure will alleviate the burden experienced by many Californian families; helping fathers like me, be able to chip in our fair share of diaper duty.”
We were able to secure $329 million in cap-and-trade program investments for our agricultural industries to update their equipment, transition to cleaner environmentally sound technologies, support renewable energy projects and research along with workforce training and development.
AB 822 – Sale of California Produce will help Californian farmers and ranchers competing against out-of-state products by requiring all California state-owned or state-run institutions, except public universities and colleges and school districts, to purchase agricultural products grown in California when the bid or price of the California-grown agricultural product does not exceed, by more than 5%, the lowest bid or price for an agricultural product produced outside the state and the quality of the produce is comparable.
“Our inclusion of Veteran Homes Services into the budget would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct a survey to assess the ability of veterans’ homes to assist veterans with complex mental and behavioral health needs, and develop a plan to accommodate that population.”
“AB 1111 - Breaking Barriers to Employment will help California address barriers to employment for our most vulnerable populations, such as veterans. This measure aims to help counteract poverty, unemployment, while meeting the critical workforce demands of our businesses and providing much needed support for those who need it.”
-Looking Ahead -
The California State Legislature reconvenes on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 and Assemblymember Garcia is already hard at work shaping his next legislative package. Issues among his top priorities include boosting our local economy, creating jobs, particularly supporting opportunities in renewable energy and geothermal as well as alleviating healthcare disparities within the region through the expansion of the Desert Healthcare District and exploring legislative solutions to address physician shortages within both the Coachella and Imperial Valley.