March was a busy month around the Capitol‚ with committees meeting to debate bills and begin discussions of next year’s budget. Speaking of the budget‚ I joined a bipartisan group of policymakers by sending a letter to the Senate Budget Health and Human Services Chair requesting funding for California’s hospitals. As you may know‚ Madera County recently lost a critical hospital in their community‚ and we can’t afford for something like that to happen in our district! You can read more about my fight to save our hospital’s here.
I also want to share with you another update regarding the budget. Despite the extensive destruction caused by wildfires in recent years‚ the Governor proposes to cut $35 million from various wildfire prevention programs. This includes $5 million for defensible space inspections.
In committee‚ I raised concerns that the lack of timely defensible space inspections means homeowners cannot verify to their insurance companies that an inspection has been completed‚ and we can’t afford to cut funding in this area. Too many Californians are already experiencing price increases or are being dropped altogether from their homeowner’s insurance. I can assure you‚ I’m doing everything I can to make sure Californians can afford to stay in their homes.
Last year‚ legislation I authored was signed into law to expand the boundaries of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to help promote forest and watershed restoration projects that help keep communities safe. I’m pleased to share I have successfully secured funding for several fire-safety projects around the district. You can review those here.
I will never stop advocating for our North State. It’s an honor to serve you.
Senator Brian Dahle
I had several bills pass out of committee this past week. You can also click here to review my legislative package. (Please note: This does not include bills I am co-authoring.)
SB 861 - Will streamline the CEQA review process for water projects.
SB 542 - This bill would exclude PG&E settlement payments awarded to victims of the 2020 Zogg Fire from gross income‚ meaning those payments would not be subject to income taxes. (I am working on legislation for other fires as well.)
SB 692 - Would expand the South Fork Irrigation District to allow more residents in the region to fill board vacancies.
SB 787 - Would expand the number of liquor licenses in Nevada County.
SB 648 - Would clarify the law to support Shasta County’s innovative Mountain Valley Special Education Joint Powers Authority‚ which serves students from multiple small school districts.
Do You Qualify for a Lower Energy Bill?
As energy costs rise‚ I wanted to relay information on two programs in California that can provide financial help. The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program and the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) program offer help to reduce energy costs. The CARE program provides a 30-35% discount on electric bills and a 20% discount on natural gas bills for eligible Californians. The FERA program offers an 18% discount on electricity bills for qualifying families. For more information about these programs and to see if you qualify‚ visit the California Public Utilities Commission’s CARE/FERA Program website.
Thank You, Veterans!
California’s veterans have earned our appreciation for the many sacrifices they made for our nation. As part of this recognition of their service‚ two new laws in 2023 provide benefits for veterans. The first new law exempts veterans with specialized military license plates from paying tolls on roads‚ bridges‚ highways‚ vehicular crossings‚ or other toll facilities. Additionally‚ a second new law in California will permit veterans to receive the “VETERAN” designation on their driver’s license or ID card at no cost.
Around the District
My staff and I enjoy getting to be out in the district with you! While I wish I could share every picture, it simply isn’t feasible. Here are a few pictures from around the district in March!
Team Dahle had the opportunity to attend the annual Corning Exchange Club’s Law Enforcement & First Responder Appreciation Dinner and presented certifications for excellence in community service!
Team Dahle helped honor amazing citizens of the Shasta Lake region as part of the Shasta Damboree Community Awards.
Congratulations to the honorees at the Anderson Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards banquet‚ recognizing residents and businesses for their exceptional contributions to the community.
I had the honor of speaking at the Sacramento Republican Women Federated luncheon where I gave a legislative update and discussed ways local stakeholders and community advocates can partner together to help amplify their voices on critical issues.
Our team was proud to join in honoring Shasta County’s volunteer firefighters at the annual appreciation dinner in Redding.
I was excited visit the Butte‚ Tehama‚ and Colusa County Board of Supervisors to update them on key state issues and offer my assistance with any state and local challenges.
We’ve had an exceptional year with precipitation‚ and sadly‚ infrastructure isn’t in place to capture it. I recently met with the Yuba Water Agency General Manager Willie Whittlesey for an aerial tour of flood risk reduction and water supply infrastructure projects in Yuba County.
Tax Deadlines Extended Due to Winter Storms
If you need assistance with any State agency, or have questions about legislation, please contact one of my offices below.