Berryhill Bulletin: September 2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

Legislative Session Skips the Needs of the Middle Class

Coastal elites are doing a victory lap after this legislative session but hard-working folks are left wondering what’s to celebrate. The Legislature passed huge expansions in environmental programs and social services. However, the needs of the everyday Californian were basically ignored.

As LA Times columnist George Skelton wrote, the middle-class was “snubbed again.”

California K-12 schools continue to rate poorly, our crumbling transportation infrastructure remains un-repaired, and onerous regulations continue to strangle job growth. In rural areas the contrast is particularly sharp. While the Legislature expanded the eligibility for social services it turned a blind eye to the lack of providers in rural areas. For those of us that live in the mountain communities, dead and infested trees will remain in our backyards and forests while our local counties struggle under the financial burden to make up for the state’s lack of support.

Services that matter to every Californian were ignored while the Legislature cherry-picked programs for selected groups and ignored the needs of the rest of us. Mr. Skelton’s column is a good read. It can be found here.

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Red Ribbon Week

Classrooms throughout California will participate in a host of drug prevention activities during Red Ribbon Week October 23-31, 2016. Look for Team Berryhill at your local school.

Red Ribbon Week began in response to the senseless killing of Drug Enforcement Agent Enrique Camerena by Mexican Drug Cartels. People were outraged by the murder and began wearing red ribbons in solidarity with officials fighting the war on drugs. The ribbons also served as a symbol of the destruction drugs have caused in our communities and families. Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest anti-drug campaign in the United States.

Representatives from my office will be participating in local Red Ribbon Week activities and visiting many of the elementary schools throughout the district. They will be providing certificates and other materials for your students.

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Property Tax Assistance Reinstated
Are you eligible?

Earlier this month the State Controller announced the return of property tax assistance for eligible homeowners. Seven years ago the Property Tax Postponement (PTP) Program was suspended by the legislature during the height of the Great Recession.

All California property owners are required to pay annual taxes based on the property’s assessment. Failure to pay property taxes may result in penalties, tax liens, or foreclosures. From 1978 until the suspension of PTP in 2009, eligible applicants were able to defer payment of their residential property taxes under the program administered by the State Controller.

The Property Tax Postponement program allows low income seniors and disabled taxpayers to defer their current year property taxes on their primary residence if they meet certain established criteria including 40 percent equity in their home and an annual household income less than $35,500.

For more information or to apply, contact the State Controller’s office at www.sco.ca.gov (select Financial Reports, Taxes and Economy) then Click Property Tax Postponement or email the state at: postponement@sco.ca.gov.

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What’s going on in the 8th Senate District?

  • September 19 is the 3rd annual Central Valley Women Veteran’s Stand Up. Representatives from my office will join other community leaders celebrating the resiliency, grace and leadership of all the women that have served our nation.

  • The week of September 19th is also the Central Valley Veteran’s Stand Down. Right around the corner is the Central Valley Stand Down. John Schuler, my 2015 Veteran of the year, is once again organizing this great community event to help our veterans. Opportunities to help out are listed on the flyer.

  • Mark your calendar for the Big Fresno Fair at the Fresno Fairgrounds October 5-16, 2016.
    Enjoy one-of-a-kind food choices, entertainment and lots of fun. To learn more about the fair visit the Big Fresno Fair website. Enjoy Live Racing Excitement October 6 - 16, 2016! A longstanding tradition of The Big Fresno Fair and the Valley, horse racing is one of those things that just have to be experienced live! See you at the fair.

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Scholarship opportunity from the CA Special Districts Association

The California Special Districts Association (CSDA) is hosting a video competition as part of its Districts Make the Difference public outreach campaign for all California high school and college students.

In an effort to increase the understanding and awareness of special districts, students are encouraged to create a 60 second video for a chance to win up to $2,000 in scholarships.

Now through October 31 the CA Special Districts Association is inviting high school and college students to submit a 60 second video on special districts. Students may participate by submitting their application and a Dropbox link to their video via email to info@DistrictsMaketheDifference.org by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 31.

The top five videos will be selected by CSDA officials and finalist videos will be featured on the Districts Make the Difference website. The public will then have the opportunity to vote for their favorite video and the top three winners will receive scholarship prizes. First place will receive $2,000, second $1,000, and third $500. Additional finalists will also receive a $100 gift card. For additional information and official rules visit www.DistrictsMaketheDifference.org/contest.

 

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Local Universities Rock It Nationally!

The Modesto Bee recently reported that “The U.S. News 2017 Best Colleges rankings gave a tall thumbs-up to area universities, particularly for their success with underserved students.

“California State University, Stanislaus, placed 14th on the top public schools in the West list and 61st overall in regional rankings of the magazine.” (Read more). For the 11th consecutive year, Stanislaus State was recognized as a ‘Top University’ by the Princeton Review.

In addition Fresno State made the cut as one of the “Top 25 Colleges List” by the Washington Monthly and also for their Degree Completion Program. The annual prize works to identify, recognize and reward public universities across the country that employ innovative approaches to improve retention and degree completion.

As residents of the Central and San Joaquin Valleys, we have a lot to be proud of…. Our colleges and universities are the tip of the iceberg. Congrats to UC Merced, CSU Stanislaus and Fresno for doing an excellent job for California.

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CalVet Seeks Events for its Veterans Day Online Calendar

The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) is compiling a list of the 2016 Veterans Day events taking place throughout our State. To submit your Veterans Day or other event for consideration on CalVet’s calendar, please send the following information to PAO.CalVet@calvet.ca.gov:

  1. Event Date
  2. Name or type of event
  3. Event start and end times
  4. Name of sponsoring organization
  5. Venue name
  6. Venue address
  7. Contact person plus phone number or e-mail address
  8. Cost of admission, if any
  9. Anticipated attendance
  10. If pre-registration is required, please provide a link and the registration deadline.

Please indicate whether the event is in Northern California or in Southern California.

To view our CalVet calendar online, go to https://www.calvet.ca.gov/home/Calendar.

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Team Berryhill Out and About

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