Spring 2015 Newsletter

March 05, 2015

Dear Friends:

Members of the state Senate introduced a package of legislative proposals that will strengthen California's leadership in the development and support of clean-energy. The proposals include the establishment of historic benchmarks for pollution reduction, energy efficiency, and petroleum use that will spur innovation and investment and maintain California's lead in creating jobs in the advanced energy sector.

Senate Bill (SB) 32 (Pavely) sets an overarching climate pollution reduction target of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and identifies priorities to guide implementation. This target is guided by science and this bill provides the flexibility to adjust strategies to meet the target based on changing technological and economic conditions.

SB 350 (De León-Leno) would reduce petroleum use by 50 percent, have 50 percent of electricity come from renewable sources, and increase energy efficiency in all existing buildings by 50 percent, by the year 2030. State agencies and energy providers are already making steady progress toward these goals and setting these new "Golden State Standards" will allow them to marshal resources more effectively to help all Californians. These new targets will create incentives to invest in technologies and infrastructure that create a sustainable future for our communities and expand the market for clean-energy industries.

Keeping the focus on building the new economy of the future, SB 189 (Hueso) proposes a high-level expert Committee to advise and inform state clean energy and climate actions to ensure maximum job creation and economic benefits to all Californians.

SB 185 (De León) ensures that the state's largest public pension funds also keep their focus on the future and lead by example through moving investments beyond coal. With coal power in retreat and the value of coal dropping, massive state portfolios should be moved to lower carbon investments and reflect the values of the next generation.

To learn about any of these measures, visit the California State Legislature website at: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/.



SB 128: End of Life Options Legislation Introduced
At the end of January, I introduced Senate Bill (SB) 128 which would establish the End of Life Options Act in California, modeled after Oregon's Death with Dignity Act (1997). The bill would allow a mentally competent, terminally ill adult in California in the final stages of life to request aid-in-dying medication from a physician. Terminally ill individuals would be granted the right to obtain a prescription from their physician for medication to be self-administered after two physicians confirm a prognosis of six months or less to live, a written request and two oral requests for the medication are made a minimum of 15 days apart, and two witnesses attest to the request. The two physicians must also confirm that the patient making the request is mentally competent to personally make health care decisions. Participation by physicians, pharmacists, and health care providers would be voluntary.

Senator Monning with coauthor Senator Wolk (right) and Assemblymember Talamantes-Eggman.

SB 203: Warning Labels on Sugary Drinks
On February 11, 2015, I introduced Senate Bill (SB) 203, which would require health warning labels on sugary drinks, such as sodas, sweet teas, sports drinks, and energy drinks. The proposed warning label would be placed on the front of containers or at the point of purchase for beverages with added sweeteners that have 75 or more calories per 12 ounces and read: STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. Our experience educating the public about the dangers associated with tobacco has proven that warning labels are an effective method of informing consumers of the scientifically known health risks associated with a widely available product. SB 203 will help consumers make more informed decisions about their sugary beverage purchases and consumption.



Annual Mid-State Fair Board Dinner
I had the opportunity to congratulate the individuals honored at the Paso Robles Mid-State Fair Board dinner. The preparation and planning for the 12-day event in Paso Robles every July is extensive, especially considering the Mid-State fair is one of the largest in the California. In 2014, the Mid-State Fair won the State's 150th Anniversary State Parks display contest. It was an honor to be a part of an evening where we all came together to celebrate agriculture, recreation, and community.

Senator Monning with John Shoals, Grover Beach Mayor (left); Steve Martin, Paso Robles Mayor (left middle); and David Baldwin, Member of the Mid-State Fair Board (right).

Arts Council for Monterey County JUMP StArt Gallery
In early February, the Arts Council for Monterey County hosted the artwork of incarcerated youth who participated in the Juveniles Utilizing Massive Potential Starting with Arts (JUMP StArts) program. The Arts Council for Monterey County is one of seven organizations in California that receives funds from a JUMP StArt grant. These grants help to teach and educate incarcerated juveniles in a variety of artistic mediums. The art pieces were incredibly moving and inspiring.

Arana Gulch Multi-Use Trail Ribbon Cutting
In mid-January, the Santa Cruz community gathered to celebrate the Arana Gulch Multi-Use Trail Project that was in the making for over 20 years. The bridge at Hagemann Gulch and the causeway at Arana Creek are now complete and open to the public. This new multi-use resource will provide a safe connection for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling between the east and the west sides of town. Congratulations on this momentous achievement!


Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter.


Bill Monning
Senator, 17th District