Summer Newsletter 2017
After five years of harsh drought, most regions in California were not ready for the massive amounts of rainfall this past year that had devastating consequences in many communities. While our drought-stricken state welcomed the rain, the severe winter storms caused flooding, mudslides, erosion and damage to roads, bridges, and highways.
Governor Brown issued two emergency proclamations to help communities respond and recover from damages. I applaud the efforts of the California Office of Emergency Services, California Department of Transportation, and numerous other state agencies that provided rapid emergency responses, funding, and mitigations to the storm damage. While most roadways and highways have been restored, there are still areas of the state that are still suffering from damage caused this past winter and you can find a list of construction and continued road closures here: http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/.
Additionally, if you are still suffering from damage to your property that was caused by the recent winter storms, I encourage you to contact the California Office of Emergency Services for assistance. A list of options, services, and recovery programs can be found at: http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions.
Senate Resolution 34: Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month
Recently, the Senate passed my Senate Resolution 34 to proclaim May as Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month. Cystic Fibrosis is the second most common chronic, life-threatening genetic disease in the United States, for which there is no known cure. The disease causes chronic lung infections, impacts multiple organs in the body, and leads to progressive lung damage and death. Through scientific research and medical treatments, the life expectancy for Cystic Fibrosis patients has dramatically improved. However, with more than 12 million Americans who are unknowing, symptomless carriers of the cystic fibrosis gene, there is still more research and education to be done. I applaud the advocates and families who support loved ones while advocating for expanded research and awareness.
Senate Bill 158: Entry-Level Commercial Driver Training
A tragic accident on Highway 17 in 2014 occurred when a truck driver lost control and crashed into 10 cars, injuring seven and killing 25-year-old Daniel McGuire of Santa Cruz. My Senate Bill 158 would implement a federal rule that requires those seeking a commercial driver’s license (CDL) complete a certified course of instruction from a commercial driving institution or program offered by an employer before being issued a CDL. The legislation requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to adopt regulations to comply with federal rule by February 7, 2020. Additionally, the bill would establish minimum behind-the-wheel training be complete as part of the required training.
Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee
Santa Clara County
Earlier this year, Coyote Creek flooded southern Santa Clara county causing 14,000 people to be evacuated, and causing millions in residential damages. I attended a briefing by the Santa Clara Valley Water District on the damage caused by the flood and want to thank Rick Callendar and Bart Broome with the Santa Clara Valley Water District for their update on what is being done to help those impacted along with what will be done to reduce future flood risk
Senator Monning with Richard Santos, Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Vice Chair; Senator Bob Wieckowski; Rick Callendar, Santa Clara Valley Water District Government Relations; Assemblymember Ash Kalra; Assemblymember Kansen Chu; and Bart Broome, Santa Clara Valley Water District Government Relations (left to right).
Santa Cruz County
The entire 17th Senate District has been hit hard by the winter storms of the past year. In Santa Cruz County, there has been more than $100 million in road damage alone. I was able to see firsthand some of the roads that were impacted, including Bear Creek Road and Soquel San Jose Road. Special thanks to John Presleigh, Santa Cruz County Public Works Director, and Dawne Harman, Santa Cruz County Roads Supervisor, for showing me the road damage in the County. I look forward to our continued work together to fix these roads and to addressing the other critical road repairs that are desperately needed.
Senator Monning with John Presleigh, Santa Cruz County Public Work Director.
Unfortunately, the Big Sur community was hit hard by storms this year. Because of forced road closures and the loss of Pfeiffer Bridge, I have been working with the local community and stakeholders on a bypass trail during the Pfeiffer Bridge reconstruction. Thank you to California State Parks, the California Conservation Corps, the volunteers of the Big Sur Brigade, and other community members for your dedication in helping to complete the Pfeiffer Bridge Bypass Trails. I would also like to acknowledge the California Department of Transportation which has been diligently working with specialists from around the state to safely stabilize multiple landslides on Highway 1, as well as thank all those who have committed time, resources, and support for the community during this time of rebuilding and revival. It is going to take some time to make Big Sur whole again, but I am committed to working with the Big Sur Unified Command to achieve full access to Big Sur.
Senator Monning with John De Luca, State Parks Sector Superintendent; Senator Bob Hertzberg; and Brent Marshall, State Parks Superintendent.
San Luis Obispo County
As of early April, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors terminated the Local Proclamation of Emergency Recovery after working diligently to repair all the damages from the winter storms. The heavy rains caused flooding and several road closures throughout the County, especially in the unincorporated areas. However, the heavy rains will not deter an aggressive fire season. As we head into the warmer months of summer, I appreciate San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services and local Cal Fire for working collaboratively to prepare residents for the fire season, and for their prompt and organized response to the recent wildfires.
As always, I appreciate your taking the time to read my newsletter and look forward to providing future updates on legislative and district news.
Senator Bill Monning