Accelerating Toward the Legislative Finish Line

Creating Change

 

 

Accelerating Toward the Finish

The Legislature resumes August 16 and we’re gearing up for the final consideration of bills in each house. I have nine pending in the Assembly - including my climate change package, and I’m excited about the final stretch of my first Legislative year. Bills must be passed by the Legislature by September 10 in order to advance to Governor Newsom for his consideration.

Safely Returning to In-Person Schooling

The 2021-22 school year begins in California this month with a long-awaited return to in-person learning. That’s why I called for school districts to require teachers and school staff to be vaccinated -- or be tested regularly -- for COVID-19. This strengthens our safety measures for our kids and better protects everyone in our schools.

We are at a tipping point in our fight to quell this pandemic. Vaccinations are our best weapon against COVID-19 and the highly contagious Delta variant. My thanks to the Ravenswood Family Health Network in East Palo Alto, which has been instrumental in providing the vaccine to community members, for partnering with me to get the message out. I’m also grateful to the news media in our region for their coverage of this important issue. See highlights of my call here.

 

COVID-19 Update

In San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, we’re pushing back against the rise of the Delta variant. This includes recent local health orders for everyone to resume wearing face-coverings when indoors in public settings. Here are details about the order issued in San Mateo County with links to those in the five other Bay Area counties taking this safety measure.

Our counties are also underscoring the importance of COVID vaccinations and are urging everyone who is eligible -- currently Californians 12 and older -- to get them. If you have not received a vaccine or scheduled an appointment, you can sign up for an appointment at myturn.ca.gov or by calling 833-422-4255.

As of last week, here's how our state stood with vaccinations:

  • 21,406,856 (63.1%) Californians fully vaccinated
  • 3,268,683 (9.6%) partially vaccinated
  • 44,271,553 doses administered
  • 70,041 average of doses administered per day

Locally, 89.2% of eligible San Mateo County residents and 79.3% of eligible Santa Clara County residents are fully vaccinated.

EDD Update

I am extremely disappointed that many Californians continue to endure months-long delays to receive their unemployment benefits. Thankfully legislative staff have stepped up to help. My staff alone has resolved nearly 1,000 cases in just my first 9 months in office. You can see recent coverage of this issue here.

​​I continue to push on EDD to improve their processes and systems. No state agency-especially one that must contend with cyclical crises-should be so vastly overwhelmed. We remain available to help any constituent who needs assistance with EDD or any state agency and can connect you to local government resources as well.  

District Events

Senate Budget Committee Chair Nancy Skinner joined me for an online town hall that provided highlights and insights into our transformational 2021-22 state budget. You can watch a replay of our discussion here.

The StreetCode Academy is the Nonprofit of the Year for the 13th Senate District, and I was delighted to honor this vibrant organization that is dedicated to closing the digital divide. Since 2014, StreetCode has empowered community members by providing tech education, skills training and support that has propelled students of all ages to success in our region’s tech ecosystem. More info about StreetCode’s outstanding work, especially during the pandemic, can be found here.

Legislative Update

In the Capitol, I’m happy to report that 9 of my bills passed their respective policy hearings and are currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. If passed by the Assembly Appropriations Committee, my bills will move forward for a full Assembly house vote. The Assembly Appropriations committee has until Friday, August 27 to pass bills to the Assembly Floor.

I’m incredibly proud to have gotten my bills this far in the process. But there is more to be done. We are only a few hurdles away from passing meaningful legislation in the fight against climate change, to increase economic mobility, and to improve access to equal justice. I’m grateful for the support I’ve received to get my legislation this close to the finish line. With continued support, I’m confident we can get my legislation passed and signed by the Governor.

I was also humbled to have my first bill signed by the Governor last month. SB 640 will enable cities to team up on state-funded road projects. The change is especially important for small cities, which don’t have the advantages of scale when using funds available through the state Department of Transportation’s road maintenance and repair program. You can read more about my bill here.

Meanwhile, there are hundreds of Assembly bills awaiting consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee. My team and I are reviewing each of these bills to ensure they align with my legislative priorities. I look forward to seeing my colleagues again and working with them to make our state the best in the country. As the saying goes, “Where California goes, so goes the nation.”

This is just a snapshot of the many issues I am advocating for this year. You can read all of my bills here.

Staff Update

We are currently looking to fill some positions in our district and Capitol offices. You can learn more about our vacant positions here.

As always, we are here to assist you. Please contact me at Senator.Becker@senate.ca.gov or by calling my District Office at 650-212-3313 if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Josh Becker
State Senator, 13th District