I hope this finds you well. It’s a difficult time of year, with so much loss throughout our beautiful district. My heart breaks for the residents of Greenville and so many in the surrounding counties who have lost homes, been evacuated, and experienced devastation. Our beloved North State has been hit hard with wildfires, and yet I know we will arise. We are resilient, and we are strong.
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 a typical year, the Legislature would finalize the state budget by the June deadline. Not so this year as only a shell budget was passed in June, but dozens of trailer bills that actually laid out the real spending plan continued throughout July, and likely through the Legislative year – September 10th gavel. This is no way to conduct an honest and transparent process, and I expressed my frustration at the lack of focusing on urgent priorities leading up to the summer recess. Here are just a few of my comments in Budget Committee and on the Senate Floor.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Governor Newsom’s California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) would close the California Correctional Center (CCC) in Susanville in 2022, despite the increase in violent crime throughout the state and the severe detriment it will cause that community.
Recently, the City of Susanville felt their best course of action is to sue the state in an effort to protect the jobs and financial multiplier effect on their region. With that, my efforts to persuade the Administration to reverse course has been met with a communication shut-out. I will continue to make the case, but you can help by contacting the Department (CDCR) and Governor’s Office to share your opposition.
It’s been said to plan for the worst, and hope for the best. With announcements by CDCR offering reassignments to other facilities in the state for CCC employees, anxiety is high, and some are wanting to stay in the community where they started a family and raised their children. It’s never easy to consider such dramatic life changes, but the Alliance for Workforce Development is stepping-up to help. Give them a call if they can be of assistance.
Wildfire season is here, as if it ever left. Obviously, the severe dry weather has only intensified the need to be diligent in avoiding situations that can spark a fire, including making sure our homes are fire-safe in order to protect the ones we love. For some tips and information on what you can do to help, go to my wildfire website.
While wildfires continue throughout the state, residents in those areas should be focused on their safety and not the fear of losing their property insurance. But, this is a stark reality many face every day. Insurance companies just don’t want the risk caused by California’s inaction on severely needed forest management practices. State law, however, protects those affected by and adjacent to fires.
On Friday, July 23, 2021, a state of emergency was issued covering the counties of Alpine, Butte, Plumas, and Lassen due to wildfires in those counties, which is the first step in protecting residents from insurance cancellation. Click here for more information.
The major problem for property owners is that insurers are simply abandoning rural communities altogether. We need an insurance system that brings companies – and competition – back into the market so homeowners have options to insure their property. Strict rate regulation is no bargain if you can’t get insurance at any price.
Meanwhile, I remain committed to reducing the underlying risk of wildfire by making it easier to thin fire-prone forests and investing in community fuel breaks to make our homes safer.
On July 28, I visited the local Dixie Fire evacuation center in Quincy where young children played outside, and evacuees anxiously discussed with local law enforcement their eagerness to return home. The destructive fire has destroyed multiple homes and decimated lush forests. The fire continues to burn and is less than 50% contained. Click here for continuous information on its progress.
This is only the beginning of what I fear is going to be a long season until the rains come, and lawmakers in Sacramento get serious about building more water storage.
California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and Department of Water Resources are saying that counties are the first point of contact about dry residential wells and that they in turn can work with CalOES on solutions. So, report a dry well to your county, then go here for more information.
In an effort to end on a more positive note…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 –
Abe is a small business owner in the 1st Senate District who recently added trucking to his business model. He sent his application to the California Department of Motor Vehicles with payment and waited patiently for his Motor Carrier Permit (MCP). Understanding that the DMV can be notoriously slow, Abe noticed they had cashed his check, and he assumed the MCP was on its way. When Abe followed up with the DMV, they told him there was no record of his application or check on file. Naturally, Abe was frustrated and didn’t know where to turn. Luckily he called our office for help. Our office took on the case and worked with the DMV on Abe’s behalf. We were able to elevate his case, submit a copy of his application along with proof of the cashed check, and then the DMV staff processed his application in an expedited manner.
One of the most precious commodities we have is time. Call us and let us help you. We are here for you. We know the ins-and-outs of state government, their agencies and departments. We can’t promise we can solve every problem, but we will try our best.
Only so much can be said in this quick update, please go here for regular updates.