Assemblymember Skinner: You Deserve the Right to Vote

Assemblymember Nancy Skinner believes Californians should have the right to vote on whether temporary taxes should be continued to help close the budget deficit. The text of her letter follows after the jump:

. . . → Read More: Assemblymember Skinner: You Deserve the Right to Vote

Brown Halts Budget Negotiations

Governor Jerry Brown announced that he has suspended budget negotiations with the Republicans. As the Governor writes:

I put forth a balanced balanced budget plan that included deep cuts and extensions of current existing taxes.  Under our constitution two Republicans from the Assembly and two from the Senate must agree before these tax extensions can be put to a vote of the people.

Each and every Republican legislator I’ve spoken to believes that voters should not have this right to vote unless I agree to an ever changing list of collateral demands.  Many of the Republican demands will actually increase our budget deficit and mean additional cuts to education and public safety.

Much is at stake, and in the coming weeks I will . . . → Read More: Brown Halts Budget Negotiations

Senator Mark DeSaulnier to Chair Three New Select Committees

Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) announced that he has been designated the chair of three new select committees: the Select Committee on Excellence and Innovation in State Government, the Select Committee on Restoring California’s Middle Class, and the Select Committee on Small Business and the Underground Economy.

To learn more about these new Select Committees, and what Senator DeSaulnier hopes to accomplish with them, please click here to read the press release from his office.

Budget Workshop with Asm. Susan Bonilla at Los Madanos College

At Los Madanos College about 137 people gathered in the library's lecture room to go over the latest presentation by Next 10 with Asm. Susan Bonilla on choices to be made and possible impacts on the budget.

The audience was given a vote indicator, which would then signal the votes of the audience and tabulate the results as a Percentage response to each question and the options below.  For example:

Question- what level of funding and fees should be applied to the community college system?

1. No change

2. Increase credit fees from $26 to $36 a credit saving $290M

3. Increase fees to $62 saving $400M

4. Leave the fees alone but increase the $5,700 spent on each . . . → Read More: Budget Workshop with Asm. Susan Bonilla at Los Madanos College

Miller Addresses Health Care Anniversary

Before an overflow crowd of 100 at the Concord Senior Center, Congressman George Miller and other speakers celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Health Care Act, which was signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010. Dr. William Walker of the County health services and health advocate with numerous podcasts on the subject  was present.  Miller called him his mentor on provisions of the bill.  Walker  called the repeal the act as the most serious threat to the health services of the county. Dr. Walker said that 500 dependents in the County are now eligible for care and that the eventual coverage under a Federal program would relieve the county of a major fiscal burden.

Congressman Miller expressed great satisfaction with being a leader . . . → Read More: Miller Addresses Health Care Anniversary

Happy Birthday Affordable Care Act

The California Budget Project notes the one-year anniversary of President Obama's signing of the Affordable Care Act into law by issuing a new budget brief describing the benefits of the law, including a description of the "new consumer protections and the law’s impact on coverage – both for individuals who purchase coverage privately and for those who obtain coverage through public programs, such as Medi-Cal."


Concord in Focus at the Diablo Valley Democratic Club

Concord in Focus was the subject of the Diablo Valley Democratic Club's March meeting.

There were several presentations starting with Mayor Laura Hoffmeister of Concord who gave an overview of the City. Some of the salient features of her talk included:

The sales tax income (about 1/3 of the city's general fund revenue) is leveling off. In fact, Sun Valley Mall reported a 2% rise compared to last Christmas, but it is unsure if this was a trend or a blip from deferred purchases. The reassessments of commercial property are not expected to be severe in Concord but could be an impact in Antioch, and points east. The Measure Q tax increase is expected to stabilize the budget and built up a reserve, currently at . . . → Read More: Concord in Focus at the Diablo Valley Democratic Club

Assemblymember Susan Bonilla To Host Budget Workshop with Next10 on March 24

You are invited to join Assemblymember Susan Bonilla for an Interactive Budget Workshop including the Next 10 California Budget Challenge on Thursday, March 24, from 6-8 p.m. at the Los Medanos Community College Community Room in Pittsburg.

To RSVP or for more information, please visit this web site or call 925-521-1511.

Diablo Valley Democratic Club’s March 16 meeting will feature a focus on the City of Concord

The Diablo Valley Democratic Club's March 16 meeting will feature a focus on the City of Concord.

The meeting features conversations with Mayor Laura Hoffmeister, who will discuss the state of the city; Edi Birsan of the Concord Naval Weapons Station Restoration Advisory Board, who will discuss the redevelopment of the Naval Weapons Station; and Dori Kojima of Satellite Housing, who will talk about affordable housing.

The DVDC meets from 7-9 p.m. at the Ygnacio Valley Library, 2661 Oak Grove Road, Walnut Creek. Please park on Deerpark Drive, the first right after the library, unless you have difficulty walking. For more information, call 925-946-0469 or visit the club's web site.


Lafayette School District Superintendent Addresses Lamorinda Democratic Club March 10

Fred Brill is the Superintendent of the Lafayette School District covering four Elementary Schools and a Middle School.  He had a simple message for the Lamorinda Democrats at their March 10 meeting:

The School District needs help and wants support of the Measure B parcel tax of $176 to close the funding gap caused by the drop in the state funding.  The salient features of his talk including responses to some questions were:

He visited a school this morning and was very pleased to see the high degree of volunteerism with the school. He commented that there were 5 adults in each class in the Elementary school helping kids. In the past 3 years the funding has been cut back by 18% with the district . . . → Read More: Lafayette School District Superintendent Addresses Lamorinda Democratic Club March 10

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