In My Own Words

June 14 is Flag Day

June 14, 2011

By Jerry Hill

The American flag is very special to us. It is a symbol of our national unity. It is meant to be honored each and every day as the emblem of our history, our values and our heritage.

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Commemorating Yom HaShoah at the State Capitol

April 28, 2011

Sunday, May 1 is Yom HaShoah, the International Day of Holocaust Remembrance when we all are asked to reflect on the atrocities that occurred during World War II, when more than 6 million Jews — and millions of other individuals — were put to death by the Nazi regime.

Cesar Chavez Day of Service

March 30, 2011

Thursday March 31 is César Chávez Day of Service and Learning, a holiday established in 2000 to promote service to the communities of California in honor of the life and work of César Chávez.

César Chávez's life story is one of courage and a selfless commitment to justice for all. His example has great significance for Californians today.

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Cal Grant money for college

February 19, 2011

By Jerry Hill

As parents and grandparents, we all want what is best for our children. Of paramount importance is providing our children with the best education possible.
The California Legislature understands the significance of access to higher education and understands that the search for financial aid sources can sometimes be challenging and expensive. That is why we have designed the Cal Grant program to help you obtain the financial assistance you need.

High-speed rail - Do it right!

January 28, 2011

By Jerry Hill

Like many people who have been involved in the discussion over high-speed rail, I was pleased — even relieved — by the decision of the Federal Railroad Administration to require the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) to assign federal high-speed rail money to be spent in the state’s Central Valley, rather than along the Peninsula Caltrain right-of-way.

For the CHSRA and local communities, this decision presents the opportunity to put everything back on the table and get the project done right.

Resilience in the face of tragedy

September 11, 2010

By Jerry Hill

Nine years ago, when the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks upended America’s sense of security, the nation came together.

Brave emergency workers rushed into burning buildings to rescue people who were trapped. Americans opened up their hearts and wallets to comfort mourning families. We have not forgotten the planes that on Sept. 11 crashed into the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. Nor have we forgotten the nearly 3,000 innocent people who lost their lives.

Opinion: Legislature, governor have made a start at closing deficit

March 29, 2010

By Jerry Hill

Special to the Mercury News

California's budget hole was not dug overnight, and the problem will not be solved by a single action but rather by cumulative efforts. It will require hard work and cooperation on the part of the Legislature and the governor — and an improved economy.

Cal Grant money for college

February 19, 2010

By Jerry Hill

As parents and grandparents, we all want what is best for our children. Of paramount importance is providing our children with the best education possible.

The California Legislature understands the significance of access to higher education and understands that the search for financial aid sources can sometimes be challenging and expensive. That is why we have designed the Cal Grant program to help you obtain the financial assistance you need.

Just laws

December 10, 2009

By Jerry Hill

Legislatorum Est Justas Leges Condere is the motto of the California State Assembly. “It is the duty of Legislators to make just laws.” This motto is written in large gold leaf lettering above the rostrum of the presiding officer in the Assembly Chamber. It serves as an important reminder of our responsibility.

Poachers hunt for Bay Area biotechs

October 09, 2009

By Jerry Hill

Forty-five states and 27 countries are organizing efforts to attract biotechnology companies away from California. I learned that at last week’s Legislative Biotechnology Committee hearing held at Exelixis in South San Francisco.

It’s no wonder that competition is fierce. From 2003 to 2007, employment growth at biomedical companies in California was 70 percent greater than other industries, and salaries for biomedical companies were 80 percent higher compared with other occupations.