July 2014 Newsletter

July 24, 2014

Dear Friends:

On July 1st several new laws took effect and below are a few that might be of interest to you.

  • Assembly Bill 218 (Dickinson): State and local governments are now required to determine a job applicant's minimum qualifications before obtaining and considering information regarding the applicant's conviction history on an employment application, under specified conditions. 
  • Senate Bill (SB) 652 (DeSaulnier): Property sellers are now required to disclose lawsuits and claims on property.
  • SB 770 (Jackson): California workers may now be eligible to receive Paid Family Leave benefits when taking take time off of work to care for a seriously ill parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling.

For more information on these laws please visit the California Legislature website.



California Leads the Nation in Solar Installation
California is on pace to meet its 2020 renewable energy goals, with new solar installations being a major component of that success. Go Solar California, a partnership between the state and its major utility companies, reports that California residents and businesses have installed over 240,000 solar projects, producing approximately 2,250 megawatts of electricity.

In addition to the state's 2020 mandate of 33 percent of its electricity being generated by renewable sources like solar, a 30 percent federal tax credit for large solar projects that expires in 2016 is also encouraging solar investment.

The Go Solar California Campaign is a joint effort of the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission. The goal is to encourage Californians to install 3,000 megawatts of solar energy systems on homes and businesses by the end of 2016, making renewable energy an everyday reality. The program also has a goal to install 585 million therms of gas-displacing solar hot water systems by the end of 2017.

Additional statistics on California's solar efforts are available from the Public Utilities Commission.



Seaside Town Hall Meeting
Earlier this month, I hosted a Town Hall Meeting at the Oldemeyer Center in Seaside where I was able to provide a legislative update and address constituent questions and concerns. I enjoyed discussing a wide array of topics that included healthcare, education, the environment and many more. Thank you to the Pan Hellenic Council of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties for sponsoring this forum, and to all those who attended.

Morgan Hill 4th of July Parade
Every year, multiple 4th of July parades take place throughout the 17th Senate District and I always have to make the difficult decision of which one to attend. This year, I had the pleasure of participating in the July 4th Morgan Hill Freedom Festival Parade. Hundreds of people volunteered and participated in the parade and in the annual Freedom Festival, which is a three day event that also includes a bike classic, a family music festival, a car show, a 5k walk/run and, of course, a fireworks show. I want to acknowledge and thank Navy Petty Officer Second Class (SW) Joe Salyer, who drove his family's class T-Bird that I rode in during the parade. Thank you, Joe, for your service to our country and for a smooth ride!

Navy Petty Officer Second Class (SW) Joe Salyer and Senator Monning

Mid-State Fair Wine Industry Awards
On July 18th, I attended the Wine Industry Awards at the Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles where Claire Silver, Lance Silver, and Tobin James, together known as the "James Gang," were recognized as the Wine Industry Person of the Year. In addition, Simon Graves of Treasury Wine Estates was recognized as the Grape Grower of the Year and Stephen Ross Dooley of Stephen Ross Wine Cellar was recognized as the Winemaker of the Year.

As always, the event was memorable and I had a fantastic time at "The Biggest Little Fair Anywhere!"

Santa Cruz K-12 Education Focus Group
Every year I sit down with Santa Cruz County education leaders to discuss statewide education policy changes that have occurred, such as the implementation of Local Control Funding Formula and Common Core standards, as well as engage in a conversation about issues currently facing schools in Santa Cruz County. It is always incredibly valuable to hear from each educational leader about his/her priorities and about how we might better work together to make improvements.

Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter.


William W. Monning
Senator, 17th District