Dahle Beacon 07.09.2021

This eNewsletter is an opportunity for me and my staff to share some of the happenings at the Capitol and throughout the 1st Senate District. I encourage your input on future issues that may be important to you.

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Senator Brian Dahle
In This Issue
California Budget
The California Legislature passed a record $262 billion budget before the Constitutional deadline (June 15). Here’s my reaction to the initial bill. Generally, once the main budget has been signed into law, there are follow-on budget measures called trailer bills that include enacting, specific language. I have many concerns over this budget as the Legislatures were given a rare opportunity with a surplus. As a father, I dream of leaving a better future for my children. I shared on the Senate floor that every man, woman, and child in America is currently in debt $85,000. Yes, our debt is stifling. What I failed to see in the budget was usage of monies towards paying off significant debts, above-ground water storage, and manageable and sustainable funding allocations towards forest management and wildfire suppression efforts. We need policies that work for Californians, and not more frivolous spending on programs that lack real results and will run our state into a deficit. I’m calling for greater accountability and transparency with the California State Water Board and their negligence and mismanagement of California’s water supply. From drinking water tasting “earthy,” to farmers losing their crops—this is completely unacceptable, when our reservoirs were full in 2019.

We will have a full picture of where your tax dollars are going in the next few weeks. Several important budget items were negotiated to benefit the 1st Senate District, and will be announced as they become available.
Susanville Prison
One of the most shocking and disturbing news for the 1st Senate District was the announcement from the State of the closure of California Correctional Center — Susanville in 2022. Since the surprise announcement in April, Assemblywoman Dahle and I have been intently engaged. We met with the Governor’s Director of Finance, the Governor’s Legislative Secretary, the Secretary, and under-Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR); we have met with the County administration, the Sheriff, local labor unions, the Susanville City Manager, and the Mayor of Susanville, and many of our friends and neighbors. Here’s our original statement.
Susanville Visit
In addition, I recently held an impromptu meeting in Susanville to hear from community members. Travel restrictions at the Capitol were lifted, and I cancelled several appointments to meet with our rural community constituents. I listened intently as community members expressed their fears and frustrations. As a local resident residing in Lassen County, I empathize with them. I expressed that we have few opportunities to speak with the Administration, and we look for better outcomes and opportunities as we forge ahead. This includes a recent summit to discuss a 4-year nursing program for Lassen students. For more information about my visit to Susanville and CCC, click here and here.
Californians Opting to Stay on Unemployment
As our state reopens, employers throughout California are having a difficult time hiring because the extended federal and state unemployment benefits make it more enticing than accepting an open position.

The United Chamber Advocacy Alliance recently found that “78% of employers have current job openings and, among those, 78% said they were having difficulty hiring employees. And of that group, 56% said prospective employees would prefer to accept current COVID benefits than accept a job.”

California and this nation should have a safety net, not a mattress. I’m happy to see California reinstate the requirement for those who receive unemployment benefits to show they are looking for work. California should be encouraging people to return to the job market. If the economy is truly back open, then let’s make it work.
Gas Tax Increase — July 1st
Gas tax holiday
Have you noticed #GasIsTooDamnHigh? It is even HIGHER since July 1st when another gas tax increase went into effect. Californians deserve a Gas Tax Holiday and a suspension of the ENTIRE 51.1 cent gas tax for the rest of the year! Senate Republicans made this request of the Budget Chairs and leadership in this letter.
Non-Profit of the Year
Doctor of the Year graphic
Keeping our natural resources free of trash and pollution is so important to our health and enjoyment of this great state. Recently, we had the pleasure of recognizing Clean Up the Lake for their efforts to maintain Lake Tahoe as one of our shining treasures. Thank you to this organization and all their volunteers.
BioMass — Integral to Wildfire Prevention and Our Energy Needs
Biomass should be a key component of California’s fire prevention effort, while also helping us keep the lights on. Read more in a recent column I penned for the Record Searchlight.
Helping our Neighbors
One of the most important functions of a California state legislator is helping their constituents navigate the bureaucracies of our government. Here is one such story —

David K., like many constituents, reached out to our office when he was at his wits end with nowhere else to turn. He is a 77 year-old disabled veteran who recently received a letter from the Franchise Tax Board claiming he had accrued a penalty of $750 for lacking health insurance. This was especially shocking to Mr. K as he in fact has primary AND secondary coverage through Medicare Tri-Care and health care provided by the VA. This entire fiasco came about because Mr. K failed to check a box when completing the paperwork for his taxes. Our office was able to work with Mr. K and find a way that was best for him to provide us proof of insurance. Many people would want to complete this step electronically, but we took Mr. K’s accessibility into consideration and made arrangements for him to provide our office with hard copies of his paperwork. From there, we reached out to the Franchise Tax Board on behalf of Mr. K and submitted the amended tax forms and resolved the entire issue within one afternoon.

A mistake like this is easy to miss as the required forms for taxes and similar documents seem to get more and more confusing with each passing year. We are very glad that we were able to step in and provide Mr. K with the assistance he was unable to find anywhere else.

If you or a loved one needs help, please contact one of our offices.
Rental Assistance Available
The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program is designed to help low-income Californians through the payment of unpaid rent to landlords. Funding for this program comes from the $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance. Both Renters and Landlords can apply.
Only so much can be said in this quick update, please go here for regular updates.