Big news: The fire tax is suspended and on track to expire without taking any more money illegally from rural Californians. This is huge. But to get there, I had to take a tough vote - one I agonized over for days. I voted to support an extension to the state’s cap-and-trade program. For a fuller explanation of my vote, click here. But the highlights are: the fire tax will be suspended, there will be increased state funding to help with the tree mortality crisis and there will be increased concessions made to small businesses and farmers that will help them survive Democrats’ aggressive and harmful environmental agenda.
Tree mortality bill
Speaking of tree mortality, SB-265, my bill to increase the state’s contribution for dead-tree removal to 90 percent in select rural counties is getting closer to the finish line. Originally, the measure only applied to Tuolumne County - for technical reasons - but has since been expanded to include other counties affected by the tree mortality crisis.
The bill has come so far, but has three big hurdles left: The Assembly Appropriations Committee, the full Assembly and Governor Jerry Brown. Brown has vetoed similar measures in the past, but we’re hopeful he’ll sign this bill if it reaches his desk. I remain optimistic.
Senior Driving Course in Oakdale
Riding on the success of our June senior driving course, I added a similar event, which will be held on August 15 in Oakdale. I am cosponsoring the event with Assemblyman Heath Flora and Oakdale Mayor Pat Paul.
The course - primarily for drivers ages 55 and up - will be taught by CHP Officer Tom Olsen. Participants will receive updates to changes in state law and tips for safe driving. Some insurers are offering discounted premiums for completion of the course.
National Night Out in Oakhurst
National Night Out, an annual event promoting police-community partnerships, is coming to Oakhurst on Aug. 1. The event also aims to raise awareness for mountain area emergency programs and nonprofit organizations.
Groups participating in the event will be members of the California Highway Patrol, Madera County Sheriff’s Office, Cal Fire, Sierra Ambulance, Red Cross, California Fish and Wildlife, Yosemite Unified School District, Visit Yosemite Madera County, Sierra Tel, and the Central California Blood Center.
Please see this Sierra Star article for more information.
In The District
Congratulations to Rembrandt & Rosé - a paint and sip studio - for moving into a new location in Turlock. Shown above is Pat O’Brien from my Oakdale district office and owners Gina Blom and Lauren Denton.
In The News
Marketplace/NPR: New law could make CA fishing licenses more user friendly
Fresno Bee: Ananya adds another stop to her Spelling Bee victory tour - California statehouse
CBS Sacramento: Anglers applaud bill to change CA fishing licenses
Oakdale Leader: United Samaritans Foundation recognized as top nonprofit
Modesto Bee: What the approved cap-and-trade package could mean to Central Valley Residents
Modesto Bee: Central Valley legislators protect ag industry through cap and trade
We are starting to use Twitter and Facebook more and more to communicate with all of our constituents. It’s cheaper and more efficient than many of the traditional methods of communication, like mailings and earned media.
Follow me on Twitter: @TomBerryhill
Like and follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SenatorTomBerryhill/
We are here to help
The 8th Senate District is 27,000 square miles - one of the largest districts in the Senate and about the size of Rhode Island. To better serve you, I have set up three regional district offices with great staff available to listen to your opinions on legislation, lend a hand with problems you may be having with state agencies, or arrange an appointment with me. We also hold mobile office hours (see below). The schedule for those can be found on my website. Please do not hesitate to contact one of my local offices if we can be of assistance.
Mobile office hours
Sonora - August 1st 1st Tuesday
10:00 - 11:30am
Sonora City Fire Department
201 South Shepherd Street, Sonora, CA 95370
Oakhurst - August 1st 1st Tuesday
1:00 - 3:00pm
Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce
40061 Highway 49, Ste. 102, Oakhurst, CA 93644
Waterford - August 4th 1st Friday
2:00 - 3:00pm
City of Waterford
101 E. Street, Waterford, CA 95386
Oakdale - August 4th 1st Friday
3:30 - 4:30pm
Senator Berryhill District Office
102 Grove Ave, Oakdale, CA 95361
Hughson - August 10th 2nd Thursday
11:00 - 12:00pm
City of Hughson City Hall
7018 Pine Street, Hughson, CA 95326
Turlock - August 10th 2nd Thursday
1:30 - 2:30pm
Turlock Chamber of Commerce
115 S. Golden State Blvd, Turlock, CA 95380
Denair - August 24th 4th Thursday
10:30 - 11:30am
Denair Community Services District
3850 North Gratton Road, Denair, CA 95316