Hello, Assembly District 78! I'm your representative Chris Ward and I want to bring you up to date on the latest for the month of April.
While bills are still making their way through the Legislature, I thought it would be a good time to outline the state budget process and walk you through how California's budget gets passed each year. Deciding on the state budget is no small task, and there are several steps along the way allowing Californians to stay engaged and weigh in before funds head to their final destination.
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Since the last newsletter update, I introduced one of my biggest bills this year to help spur housing development and simultaneously address the climate crisis. AB 68, The Housing and Climate Solutions Act, will make it faster and easier to build more homes near jobs, schools, transit, and other amenities, while adding provisions to state law that will help protect Californians from increasingly frequent and severe wildfires and floods. Current land use policies have left unchecked sprawl that puts more Californians in harm's way in areas with frequent and severe wildfires and floods. Pushing development into remote areas also increases climate pollution and strains infrastructure. Our housing and climate crises are intertwined, and our solutions must be too. AB 68 comes from an unprecedented and historic union of housing and environmental advocates from California YIMBY and The Nature Conservancy, who have both partnered to sponsor my bill. The Housing and Climate Solutions Act would require local governments to prioritize new housing within existing communities before allowing sprawl into critical natural and working lands that are vital resources for climate resilience. We're expecting the bill to be heard before its first committee some time this month.
I also wanted to note that last month several of my bills moved forward in their respective committees, with some being passed with unanimous and bipartisan support. AB 223, the Transgender Youth Privacy Act, was passed in the Assembly Judiciary Committee and now heads to the Assembly Floor. AB 30 to expand the atmospheric river research program in California passed out of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on a bipartisan vote. And AB 251 to study the relationship between vehicle size and fatalities passed out of the Transportation Committee.
|HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY|
As part of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, I have nominated Sandy Scheller as Assembly District 78's Holocaust Remembrance Honoree. I recently sat down with Sandy to talk with her about her work keeping the memory of her mother Rose Scheller, and other holocaust survivors, alive though the curated exhibit "RUTH: Remember Us The Holocaust" and opening a new museum in San Diego County to educate and honor the memory of Holocaust survivors like her mother.
|OUT IN THE COMMUNITY|
From left to right: Top left: Attending the Jewish Family Service San Diego annual gala. Top right: Grand opening of the San Diego LGBT Community Center's Hillcrest Youth Center. Bottom left: Assemblymember Ward hosts the Assembly Fellows for their Brown Bag Lunch. Bottom right: Speaking at a meeting with the East County Homeless Task Force Shelter and Housing Solutions Group.
As always, I want to thank you for your support. I'm grateful to be your representative and work on these issues and more. One of the best ways to stay informed is to follow my social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where you can know in real time what developments are happening or what I'm working on every day.
And if you need assistance, please know that my district office staff is available and ready to serve or answer any questions you may have. Feel free to reach out to the contact information at the end of this segment, and a staff member will connect with you as soon as possible. I wish you, your family and your neighbors all the best.
Christopher M. Ward
Assemblymember, 78th District