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Government (72)

House ACA Repeal and Replace Plan Imperils Public Health

Washington, DC, March 7, 2017 - The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), representing nearly 3,000 local health departments, is disappointed that the “American Healthcare Act” eliminates funding for core public health programs that keeps communities healthy and safe.

The “American Healthcare Act” eradicates funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) in FY2019, which makes up 12% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) funding. Among the programs at risk at the CDC are the 317 Immunization Program, Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, and Diabetes Prevention, among others.

“The Prevention and Public Health Fund provides vital resources to governmental public health at the federal, state, and local levels, and its elimination will serve to further erode our public health system. Congress continues to invest the nation’s health resources in a sick care system, while severely scaling back investment in programs that prevent people from getting sick in the first place,” said NACCHO’s Chief of Government Affairs Laura Hanen, MPP.

In addition, the “American Healthcare Act” ends funding in FY2020 for the Medicaid expansion in 32 states, which has provided access to primary and emergency care to millions of Americans. The bill also caps federal Medicaid funding that will ultimately result in shifting responsibility to the states and counties ? leaving governors, state legislatures, and local governments facing tight budgets with no choice but to reduce coverage for millions of seniors, low-income families, people with disabilities, and children.

“The bill’s provisions would severely handicap seniors and working families that are struggling to meet basic necessities, including food and shelter, and would create an untenable situation where increased costs will put healthcare out of reach for these citizens,” said Hanen. “Our nation is stronger when everyone has the opportunity to be healthy. The House bill would severely impact access to care for low-income Americans and maintenance of a good quality of life for all.”


Rep. Lee: Trump Administration’s Refugee Ban Do-Over is Still Dangerous & Un-American

Washington, DC - Congresswoman Lee released the following statement regarding President Trump’s executive order barring refugees and immigrants from six predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States:

“After the American people and the courts resoundingly rejected the Trump Administration’s xenophobic executive order, President Trump has once again closed the doors to refugees fleeing violence and persecution.

“As a proud nation of immigrants, founded as a haven from religious persecution, this heartless executive order violates our basic values. In addition, this islamophobic order alienates our allies around the world and makes us less safe.

“The hate on display in the Trump Administration is not representative of our nation as a whole. Once again, we must reject this dangerous and unconstitutional action that undermines our national security.”


State Water Board Adopts Climate Change Resolution

(March 7, 2017)-Today the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a resolution requiring a proactive approach to climate change in all Board actions, including drinking water regulation, water quality protection, and financial assistance.

“Today’s Board action is part of California’s continuing leadership on climate change,” said State Water Board Vice-Chair Fran Spivy-Weber, and co-chair of the Brown administration’s water-energy team of the Climate Action Team (WET-CAT). “As our dramatic swing from severe drought to record-setting precipitation shows, we are already experiencing the impacts of more extreme weather, and face significant challenges to improve the resiliency of our water systems, from our dams to our groundwater basins.

“The Water Boards have a critical role to play because our programs range across water conservation, recycling, stormwater management, groundwater management, and surface water allocation. We can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect our infrastructure and our ecosystems,” said Spivy-Weber.

This action builds on a resolution adopted by the Board in 2007, which set forth initial actions it should take to respond to climate change and support the implementation of Assembly Bill (AB) 32, the landmark climate change law that was adopted in 2006. Since that time, the Brown administration developed the California Water Action Plan, a blueprint for achieving more sustainable water management by improving water supply reliability, restoring important wildlife and habitat, and making the state’s water systems and environment more resilient.

Since 2007, the State and Regional Water Boards have taken a variety of actions to respond to climate change impacts. Examples include funding the expansion of recycled water to increase drought resilience, adopting regulations to increase the collection of urban stormwater, and reducing flood risk and enhancing water supply.

In addition, the Water Boards are implementing legislative mandates to strengthen climate change resilience, including the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which will bring depleted groundwater basins into balance to provide a buffer against future droughts. The Los Angeles Regional Board has been active as well. To learn more, visit their climate change portal.

The directives called for in today’s resolution include tracking and reporting on actions to reduce greenhouse gases, coordination with internal and external stakeholders to account for climate change, and development of recommendations for specific, enforceable actions over time. One of the directives requires collaboration with the California Air Resources Board and other agencies to reduce methane emissions from landfills, feedlots, and wastewater treatment plants, as part of the state’s goal of reducing short-lived climate pollutants.

The resolution also requires State Water Board staff to use current models and data to inform Board actions. State regulators can no longer rely solely on historical data to guide decisions under climate change. To increase regulatory consistency, the resolution also requires staff to use climate change policy guidance from other agencies. For example, for decisions relating to coastal infrastructure protection, staff must use guidance from the California Coastal Commission and Ocean Protection Council.

Additional Climate Change and Drought Resources

For more information on the state’s effort to combat and adapt to climate change, visit the climate change portal here. To follow the state and regional water board efforts on this, visit the climate change page here.

To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit Drought.CA.Gov.


Assemblymember McCarty Names Tamika L’Ecluse

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D – Sacramento) today named children’s advocate Tamika L’Ecluse as the Assembly District 7’s 2017 Woman of the Year.

Ms. L’Ecluse was born in Sacramento and raised by a single mother. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at American River College in hopes of earning an Associate degree in Science, but later shifted her focus to Early Childhood Education, and attended Sacramento City College. In 2006, she completed her early childhood education certification through the National Center for Montessori Education.

Ms. L’Ecluse became active in her community and social causes at an early age. Following generations of women who took active roles in civil and women’s rights, she began her advocacy campaigning against Proposition 22 (marriage inequality) in 2000. She also became a respected advocate for reproductive health options for women, gender equity, LGBTQ rights, children’s rights and anti-violence measures. Her advocacy has most recently focused on supporting healthy growth in her community by empowering parents and school officials to promote positive discipline practices.

After thirteen years of teaching in Early Childhood and Early Kindergarten, she joined the Greater Sacramento Urban League as a program manager, working toward reducing African-American child mortality in the Oak Park community of Sacramento. Ms. L’Ecluse has served as board member, Vice President and President of the Oak Park Neighborhood Association, serves on the Board of Directors for the California Montessori Project, is an appointed member of the Sacramento Promise Zone Resident Council and is an active voice for community members who seek social justice, smart growth, and inclusive practices for all.

“Tamika L’Ecluse is a bright light in the Sacramento region, giving inspiration and hope to people in our community and throughout the 7th Assembly District,” said Assemblymember McCarty. “I am pleased to honor Ms. L’Ecluse for her commitment and dedication to help students maximize their potential, to build a strong and diverse workforce and to improve the lives of residents throughout Sacramento County.”

The Woman of the Year event was created in 1987 to recognize March as Women’s History Month and to individually celebrate the contributions and unique accomplishments of women in each of the Assembly’s 80 districts.

The 2017 Woman of the Year event took place in the Assembly Chambers of the State Capitol on Monday, March 6, 2017.


Senator Tony Mendoza Appointed To The Joint Legislative Audit Committee

SACRAMENTO – Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León today appointed Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC). The Senate Rules Committee confirmed the appointment Wednesday afternoon.

The Joint Legislative Audit Committee is a Standing (permanent) Committee composed of both Senate and Assembly members. It is statutorily charged with ascertaining facts, and making reports and recommendations to the Legislature concerning the State, its agencies, departments, and political subdivisions of the State. Independently and through the State Auditor, the JLAC investigates, studies, analyzes, and assesses the financial practices and the performance of existing governmental and/or publicly created entities in California - in order to assist those entities in fulfilling the purpose for which they were created by the Legislature.

"It is a great honor to be appointed to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee," Senator Mendoza said. "I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly in a bipartisan manner to ensure California's government is transparent and accountable."

Senator Tony Mendoza, a Los Angeles native and former elementary school teacher in East Los Angeles, represents the 32nd Senate District encompassing portions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. For more information about Senator Mendoza visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk Dutton Holds Open House at Joshua Tree Office Recorder and Clerk services are now offered at the Assessor’s Joshua Tree Office

SAN BERNARDINO, CA (February 24, 2017) – Friday, February 24, 2017, Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk Bob Dutton, in coordination with San Bernardino County Supervisor James Ramos held an Open House to highlight the addition of Recorder and Clerk services now offered at the Joshua Tree Office. In attendance were residents who had the chance to meet with staff and learn about the new services being offered.

By utilizing existing technology, community members from the Morongo Basin are now able to have documents recorded and request copies of birth, death and marriage certificates. Marriage licenses and ceremonies are also available by appointment.

“With the large geographic size of San Bernardino County, I am pleased that we are making it easier to connect area residents and small businesses with the services they need,” said San Bernardino County Assessor-Recorder-Clerk Bob Dutton. “With the use of existing technology, county infrastructure, and staff, the addition of these new services at the Joshua Tree office means smarter use of our tax dollars, less driving for local residents, and better services to the community. We hope to duplicate these efforts in other locations in the near future.”

“The County of San Bernardino thrives when its residents and businesses are well equipped with the latest resources and services to further their goals and dreams,” said San Bernardino County Supervisor James Ramos. “Today’s announcement of the additional county services now offered in Joshua Tree expedites processes that would normally have taken hours to days to do. The County continues to progressively move forward through making services easily accessible to everyone."

The Recorder-Clerk services hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 10am – 3pm (Closed 12pm-1pm for lunch). To make an appointment for a marriage license or ceremony, please call (760) 995-8065.

The Joshua Tree Satellite office is located at 63665 29 Palms Hwy, 1st Floor, Joshua Tree, CA 92252. For more information on various Assessor-Recorder-Clerk services offered in San Bernardino County, please visit

Facebook Video Highlighting the Event:


ICYMI: Santa Cruz Police Chief Blasts DHS for Betrayal

Washington, DC - As we highlighted yesterday, law enforcement voices across the country are speaking out against Trump’s mass deportation. In a press conference held yesterday, Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel joined the chorus, big league.

Chief Vogel’s police department originally worked with the Department of Homeland Security to conduct an operation targeting suspected MS-13 gang members. During the operation, however, DHS also arrested approximately a dozen undocumented immigrant residents with no criminal record -- violating Santa Cruz’s sanctuary city policies.

As Chief Vogel noted, "This flies in the face of the values that our community holds very deeply. The community has an absolute right to be angry over this … The detention and the removal of these individuals based solely upon their immigration status flies in the face of the City Council resolution declaring Santa Cruz a place of trust and safety for all local immigrants, as well as the values our community holds very, very deeply.”

The chief declared that they will no longer work with DHS, stating: “We can’t cooperate with a law enforcement agency we cannot trust.” He added, "This has violated the trust of our community, and we cannot tell you how disappointed we are by the betrayal of the Department of Homeland Security," Vogel said.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Jennie Pasquarella, a senior staff attorney and director of the immigrants' rights project at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California noted that the actions of DHS agents in Santa Cruz were symptomatic of a greater, nationwide issue: “ICE is completely unhinged from any of the prior policies that governed their enforcement actions. They’re going after everybody that they find including collateral arrests. It signals a dramatic shift in the way that ICE is doing their work.”

In his outrage, Chief Vogel joins Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, who announced this week that the Houston county will opt-out of the 287(g) program, an effort to involve local law enforcement in federal immigration enforcement.

As Sheriff Gonzalez made clear on MSNBC this week, this would hurt his mission to police the community and solve crimes:

“[I]t really concerns me to see that kind of fear happen in communities. To me it leads to more mistrust of police at a time when we need to be growing more trust, more collaboration with communities to solve local crimes … I’m going to focus on what’s best for the men and women of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office as well as what I can do each day to make sure the residents of Harris County are safe.”

Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, said, “Chief Vogel is part of a growing group of law enforcement professionals who view ICE as undisciplined and untrustworthy and view Trump’s new blueprint for mass deportation as a threat to their public safety mission. When immigrants see local police as extensions of Trump’s deportation force they stop reporting crimes, serving as witnesses and being the force multiplier local police need to take criminals off the streets. Trump and his white nationalist aides may think they can bully local law enforcement into colluding with their fear tactics and raids. But as Chief Vogel makes clear, the priority of local law enforcement is to put public safety first, and that commitment extends to all residents, including immigrants. Enforcing flawed immigration policy on behalf of the federal government undermines that goal.”

Follow Frank Sharry and America’s Voice Education Fund on Twitter: @FrankSharry and @AmericasVoice

America's Voice Education Fund – Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform


Congressman Aguilar To Tour Inland Career Education Center

Congressman Pete Aguilar will tour the Inland Career Education Center on Tuesday, November 1, a school where thousands of area adults receive much-needed training in a variety of fields.

Aguilar will learn about the school’s efforts to educate immigrants seeking to learn English and American history as part of the process required to become U.S. citizens. In 2014, the Inland Career Education Center (ICEC), which is run by the San Bernardino City Unified School District, received a $250,000 federal grant to educate immigrants who are legal permanent residents.

The grant funding, which was secured in partnership with Catholic Charities, is funding additional citizenship-preparation class, said Jesús Galdamez, vice principal of the school.

Congressman Aguilar’s visit will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The Inland Career Education Center is located at 1200 North E Street in San Bernardino.


Governor Signs Leyva Bill Helping Homeless Students

SB 1068 Ensures Stronger Continuum of Services for Homeless Students

State/Government News

SACRAMENTO – Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) is pleased to announce that SB 1068—which develops a more comprehensive and coordinated network of services for homeless students in California—was signed by Governor Jerry Brown earlier today.

Under SB 1068, the California Department of Education (CDE) will be required to provide valuable training and informational materials to local education agencies’ homeless student liaisons. These materials will help homeless student liaisons stay informed about state and federal laws and offer support for liaisons as they provide professional development for school staff. SB 1068 will also improve the standard of services provided to homeless students by requiring the CDE to ensure that liaisons participate in professional development in accordance with federal law.

“With over 300,000 homeless students, California has a clear responsibility to ensure that these traditionally underserved students receive the much needed support and services that will help set them on a path to future success,” Senator Leyva said. “Everyday things that many students take for granted—such as getting to and from school safely, being able to do their homework in a quiet place or even the ability to participate in after school activities—can be very difficult for students who do not have a consistent place to call home. By increasing the assistance that we offer homeless student liaisons across the state, SB 1068 will help homeless students excel both academically and personally by making sure that the staff responsible for providing services and helping them navigate the education system are well trained and have the necessary support from the state. I thank Governor Brown for signing this important bill that underscores California’s commitment to homeless students in our state.”

School districts and county offices of education are currently required to designate a homeless student liaison to help identify homeless students and assist them in accessing the rights and resources available to them by law. These liaisons are tasked with identifying and providing services to hundreds or even thousands of these students in their district and, in many cases, the homeless student liaison is just one of several responsibilities held by a single staff person.

SB 1068 did not receive any “No” votes during its legislative journey and will take effect on January 1, 2017. The bill was supported by the California Coalition for Youth, California Federation of Teachers, K to College, Los Angeles County Office of Education, Los Angeles Unified School District, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, and the National Association of Social Workers.


Illinois Supreme Court Kicks Redistricting Reform Off Ballot

On September 13, the Illinois Supreme Court denied a request to reconsider its 4-3 decision removing a redistricting reform proposal from the November ballot. The constitutional amendment, proposed by a coalition of reform and civic groups, would have created an 11-member independent commission to draw the state’s legislative districts starting in 2021.

The court ruled that the group’s proposal was unconstitutional under Illinois’s state constitution. In its decision, the majority held that the plan to turn over the legislative reapportionment to a group composed of mostly non-lawmakers was improper because some of the power to select members of the commission would be given to the state’s auditor general, thus exceeding the permitted scope of initiatives under the state constitution. This is the second election cycle in a row in Illinois that a redistricting proposal with a broad-based citizen effort was thrown out for technical reasons.

A Victory in Maryland in the Battle Against Partisan Gerrymandering

Challengers to Maryland’s 2011 congressional map won a significant victory at the end of August when the three-judge panel in Shapiro v. McManus voted 2-1 to deny the state’s motion to dismiss their complaint. The plaintiffs allege that the General Assembly’s congressional map unconstitutionally targeted Republicans in Maryland’s Sixth District.

The ruling established a three-part test for a claim of First Amendment partisan gerrymandering, requiring plaintiffs to show that the mapmakers intentionally targeted a group of voters because of their political affiliation (intent), that they drew the map in a way that flipped the district or caused other harm (injury), and that the injury would not have occurred absent this retaliation (causation). The panel decided the allegations of the plaintiffs’ complaint were sufficient enough to proceed to a trial.

As the Brennan Center’s Thomas Wolf explained, the case could provide the U.S. Supreme Court with an opportunity to address the practicality of partisan gerrymandering claims brought under the First Amendment. The Maryland decision is the second case, after Whitford v. Nichol in Wisconsin, where a partisan gerrymandering case has survived efforts to have it dismissed early in proceedings.

SCOTUS Could Hear Partisan Gerrymandering Case from North Carolina

The U.S. Supreme Court could take up a claim of partisan gerrymandering this coming term in Harris v. McCrory, a challenge to the remedial congressional map adopted by the North Carolina legislature in February 2016.

After a three-judge panel struck down the state’s original congressional map as a racial gerrymander, the North Carolina legislature held an emergency session to draw a remedial plan. Republican legislators openly acknowledged that the new plan was drawn with the aim of preserving the state’s existing partisan balance of 10 Republican and three Democratic seats. Although the panel denied the plaintiffs’ partisan gerrymandering objections this summer, the challengers have asked the Supreme Court to step in. The Court is expected to decide if it will hear the case sometime this fall or winter.

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