Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
California State Governor

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced that California has received a dramatic increase in port and transit security funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). California’s share of the Port Security Grant Program for fiscal year 2008 increased to more than $69 million dollars, up from $45 million last year, which is roughly one-sixth of the total national allocation of $388 million dollars. Funding from the Transit Security Grant Program for California also saw a significant increase. California will receive more than $41 million dollars in fiscal year 2008, up from $35.6 million dollars last year.

“I applaud the federal government’s increase in funding to upgrade California’s port and transit security,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Today’s funding announcement shows that federal officials understand the unique risks we face in California and recognize the significance of our security needs. We must continue upgrading the state’s security infrastructure and ultimately protect the lives and property of Californians.”

The Governor and his Office of Homeland Security (OHS), led by Matthew Bettenhausen, have been heavily involved in pushing Congress and DHS for California’s fair share of this funding for port security, considering California ports handle nearly half the nation’s containerized goods.

The port areas of Los Angeles-Long Beach, San Francisco, San Diego, Port Hueneme, Redwood City, and Monterey Harbor will receive $69,499,524 million dollars combined for port security improvements:

Los Angeles-Long Beach: $38,156,658
Bay Area: $26,772,907
San Diego: $3,049,077
Port Hueneme: $645,563
Redwood City: $850,515
Monterey Municipal Harbor: $24,804

In mass transit security grants, California systems in the Bay Area and Los Angeles-Orange County received the following allocations:

San Francisco: $25,433,749
Los Angeles: $13,511,417
San Diego: $2,254,625

Sacramento is eligible to submit projects to compete for $8.5 million in available funding nationwide.

California has used such grant funding in the past for increasing the number of urban search and rescue teams, swift water rescue teams, enhancing and protecting critical infrastructure such as the Transbay tube, and disaster medical assistance teams that were of vital importance and help in last year’s wildfires. Another example is the Governor’s recent initiative to provide federal grant funds to purchase and install telephone emergency notification systems.

Since its creation in 2003, OHS has administered over $1.6 billion in homeland security grants. All of California’s 58 counties have received homeland security funds to purchase equipment, provide training and develop strategies and plans to both prevent acts of terrorism and respond to emergencies.


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Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
California State Governor

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement after his Administration's Department of Managed Health Care announced that coverage would be reinstated for many Californians after an investigation into rescission practices by health care insurers:

“I applaud the Department of Managed Health Care, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Health Net for reaching groundbreaking agreements where Kaiser will reinstate coverage to 1,092 consumers, and Health Net to 85 consumers, who previously had their health coverage rescinded. This important settlement should pave the way to similar agreements with other health plans to reinstate health coverage for consumers. Patients should not live in fear of losing their health care coverage when they need it most. I look forward to working with my partners in the Legislature to ensure this egregious practice is stopped.”


Senate Bill 1303 invests more money in the classroom
Senator George Runner
Senator George Runner
Serving the 17th District which incorporates portions of the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura and Kern counties.

SACRAMENTO – The California Senate today adopted a measure authored by Sen. George Runner (R-Antelope Valley) that will allow school districts to withhold back-pay compensation to employees who were on administrative leave while enrolled in drug diversion programs.

“At a time when California schools are struggling to provide basic services to students, we need to carefully evaluate every dollar we spend,” Runner said. “This commonsense measure will allow us to do that.”

Senate Bill 1303 provides protection for school districts to prevent drug offending school employees from taking advantage of a loophole in the law, which forces school districts to pay large amounts of back pay to school employees who are arrested for drug use. This requirement is only found in the Education Code and does not apply to any employee outside the context of public education.

Paid leave might last upwards of a year and it could run into thousands of dollars. In one case, Palmdale Unified School District paid more than $105,000 to two employees in one year for back pay and in 2002 the Santa Clara Unified School District was required to pay a school employee $304,000. These expenses were in addition to the fact that the schools hired and paid substitutes.

“By passing this bill, members of the Senate are sending a strong message that they are serious about investing as much money into the classroom and putting an end to wasteful spending of taxpayers’ money,” Runner said.

The measure is supported by the Palmdale School District, Los Angeles County Office of Education and the Contra Costa School District, among others. It passed 24-13. It next moves to the Assembly.


“I am disappointed that the will of the voters was not respected.”

Knight issued the following statement.

In March of 2000, voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 22 that prevented California from recognizing same sex marriages. To many, this measure was known as the “Knight Initiative.” My father, the late Senator Pete Knight, was the author.

Ever since Proposition 22 was passed by more that 61% of the vote, fringe groups have been attempting to overturn the will of the voters, to change the way a family is defined in California.

Today in a divided 4-3 vote, the California Supreme Court ruled that the state’s ban was unconstitutional.

To put it lightly, I am very disappointed, and I disagree with the Supreme Court's decision. I am disappointed that the will of the voters was not respected.

I support traditional family values; I support a ban on same sex marriages, and more importantly I support the will of the voters who passed Prop 22 by such a resounding margin.

Later this year, voters are likely to vote on a State Constitutional Amendment that will supercede the courts ruling. It is a shame that voters will have to head to the ballot box once again to have their voices heard and respected once and for all.

Knight is running to replace termed-out Assemblywoman Sharon Runner in the 36th Assembly District. The District includes the cities of Adelanto, Palmdale, Lancaster, and Victorville.

Knight has served in the United States Army and currently works as a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. Knight serves on the Palmdale City Council and is currently the Mayor Pro-Tem of Palmdale. He is married and is the father of two sons.


Senator George Runner
Senator George Runner
Serving the 17th District which incorporates portions of the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura and Kern counties.

SACRAMENTO –Sen. George Runner (R- Antelope Valley) today issued the following statement after the California Supreme Court ruled against the voter-approved initiative Proposition 22, which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman:

“In 2000, the late Senator Pete Knight’s Proposition 22 gave the people of California a voice in defining what constitutes marriage. It’s unfortunate that four Supreme Court judges can run roughshod over the voters by overturning this important measure.”



SACRAMENTO – Senate Republicans are committed to being a part of the solution toward a balanced budget. Our goal is an on-time, responsible budget.

In recent weeks, Senate and Assembly Republicans brought ideas to the table, including:

*Fueling the state economy and easing the burdens on workers by creating workweek flexibility and lessening bureaucratic red tape.
*Providing stable funding to our schools and upholding voters’ commitment to give 40 cents of every tax dollar to schools.
*Streamlining government to maximize limited tax dollars.

The Senate Republican Caucus is united, and committed to respectfully negotiating with our Democrat colleagues, and offer these comments on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s May Revise budget proposal:

Senate Republican Leader Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto) – “I’m pleased that the Governor’s May budget revision prioritizes state spending and has moved away from across the board cuts. Despite a slowing economy, our state’s revenues are holding steady, which shows we still need to address the spending addiction in Sacramento. Budget reform will ensure the state spends no more than it takes in. This document provides a framework for the legislative leadership to begin talks in earnest about how to give Californians the on-time, responsible budget that they deserve.”

Senator Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga), Budget Vice Chair – “While I believe the May Revision gives us a good starting point in our negotiations, I feel the governor’s proposal doesn’t do nearly enough to change the way we do business in California. I’m deeply concerned that this budget doesn’t put the measures in place that will help grow the economy and generate additional tax revenues through job creation.”

Senator Sam Aanestad ( R-Grass Valley) – “My belief is we need to cut spending to balance this budget, and I’m hopeful the Governor will listen to the concerns of Senate Republicans. New taxes are not the answer to our current budget deficit. We have a spending problem and we need to cut spending.”

Senator Jeff Denham (R-Merced) – “I don’t believe the choice is simply between more borrowing or raising taxes. Why should taxpayers have to be on the hook even more because state leaders couldn’t stop their ‘crazy deficit spending?’ For six years, I have been fighting in Sacramento to reduce government waste. As we face yet another budget deficit, the State must analyze its assets, as any business would do during tough times. We must rid the state of unused or underutilized state properties through fair market sales. These sales would help the State pay off deficit recovery bonds, and bring down California’s debt ratio. I do appreciate that the Governor abandoned his idea of releasing 22,000 convicts onto our streets - that would have created a public safety and budgeting nightmare."

Senator Tom Harman ( R-Huntington Beach) – “ California’s budget crisis is the product of fluctuating tax revenues and steadily increasing state spending. While the Governor’s proposal for a Revenue Stabilization Fund will address the first problem, if the state continues to increase spending as it has over the past couple of years, even the rainy day fund will run dry. What we need in Sacramento is to control our spending.”

Senator Bob Margett (R-Glendora) – “The Governor’s May Revision shows the acuteness of California’s financial situation. I am glad to see the Governor has met the Prop 98 minimum, backed away from releasing felons early, and kept our state parks open. However, the proposal is full of gimmicks and relies too heavily on credit card spending, including the modernization of the California Lottery.”

Senator George Runner ( R-Antelope Valley), Caucus Chair – “The governor’s lottery scheme is classic ‘counting your chickens before they hatch’ budgeting – and the voters are left with the choice of going along with his plan or paying more taxes. But what the voters demand and deserve is a budget that lives within California’s means.”

Senator Mark Wyland (R-Carlsbad) – “I applaud the Governor’s use of a ‘rainy day’ fund, an approach I’ve supported for years, to protect Californians during tough economic times. I also agree with fully funding education, a plan that Senate and Assembly Republicans recently proposed. However, I do not support a tax increase when we have failed to reduce wasteful spending. It’s unacceptable to punish California families, who are already paying too much in taxes, for the unwillingness of the Democrats to control their addiction to spending. I hope the majority party realizes soon enough that the first step toward controlling addiction is admitting that you have problem.”

Governor’s Budget Fixes Broken System, Fully Funds Education Without Raising Taxes
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
California State Governor

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today submitted his revised 2008-09 state budget plan to the legislature. It is a budget that includes a combination of some necessary cuts, some new revenues and some creative solutions to address California’s $17.2 billion budget problem. It fully funds education under Proposition 98, does not raise taxes and establishes a rainy day fund to address California’s chronic budget problem.

“As everyone knows we are facing an extremely difficult budget year,” Governor Schwarzenegger said. “With the subprime mortgage crisis, fewer capital gains and the stalled national economy, our revenues have flattened out. And because of our dysfunctional budget system, spending goes up no matter what. On top of that, we don’t have a rainy-day fund to soften the blow in down years like this one.”

Despite the slow economy and worsened budget deficit, the Governor has produced a budget that fully funds education under Proposition 98—increasing funding to K-14 education over the current year budget by almost $200 million—keeps state parks open, does not borrow from transportation or local governments, does not release any felons from behind bars early and does not raise taxes.

“Since January, I have traveled up and down the state to shine a spotlight on the need for budget reform and to hear about the people’s ideas and concerns,” Gov. Schwarzenegger said. “And I heard time and again that the people of California want us to live within our means. They don’t want us to raise taxes, especially now when times are tough. And they want us to fix the budget system, so we don’t have to go through this pain every time the economy cools off.”

Difficult cuts are still necessary to solve the budget problem, which was approximately $14.5 billion in January and now has grown to $17.2 billion. It would stand at over $24 billion if the Governor and legislature had not made mid-year cuts in February. Because the size of the budget problem has grown, difficult cuts, like those proposed by the Governor in January are still necessary.

Californians agree that the broken budget system needs reform. The Governor’s May revision will establish that long-term reform. It is focused on long-term solutions so that the state is never put in this difficult position again. Historically the state spends all the money it takes in during years of above average revenue growth, leading to unsustainable spending levels and budget deficits when revenues return to, or fall below, average levels. The Governor has proposed a reform plan that will bring stability to the budget system by establishing a rainy-day fund and by giving the Legislature authority to make mid-year cuts more swiftly.

“As the deficit grew these past few months, I knew that we could not solve this crisis by cuts alone,” Gov. Schwarzenegger said. “We had to get creative and find new revenues without raising taxes.”

To address the current deficit and jump-start budget reform, the Governor’s revised budget proposal seeks to get more value out of an underperforming state asset—the California Lottery, which has been outperformed by the national average for years. The Governor’s plan calls for the modernization of the Lottery to boost performance and returns on this asset. With this modernization, the state will be able to raise cash upfront by selling future lottery revenues with no risk to the state.

This cash, estimated at $5 billion in 2008-09 and $15 billion overall through 2011, will in turn be used to establish the rainy-day fund. Establishing a rainy-day fund is the long-term solution that will get California off the broken budget rollercoaster ride once and for all. It’s this rainy-day fund that will protect all of California’s priorities, so that the state is never again subjected to the feast-or-famine budget cycle that threatens funding to education, law enforcement, human services and other programs.

The Governor’s proposal also acknowledges that it is fiscally responsible to put in place a last resort safety net, so he is proposing something modeled after former Governor George Deukmejian’s sales tax trigger. If the Lottery proposal is not approved by voters in November, a trigger would go off that would temporarily raise the sales tax by one cent. The sales tax triggers off when the rainy day fund is full or by 2010, whichever occurs first. When the economy recovers and the rainy day fund is full, taxpayers would receive rebates until the entirety of the sales tax increase is paid back in full. This safety net would be a last resort, and the Governor intends to never have to use it.

In addition, the Governor will establish a bi-partisan commission of legislative and gubernatorial appointees to reexamine the state’s tax laws. This action complements the proposal Speaker Karen Bass has discussed and also builds on the Governor’s repeated calls for a more responsible, stable and predictable revenue and budgeting system.

Governor Schwarzenegger has consistently worked to achieve greater fiscal stability for the state without stealing from local governments and infrastructure funding. His actions include proposing the California Recovery Plan (2003); negotiating and championing the Economic Recovery Bond Act and the California Balanced Budget Act (2004); negotiating and championing the Protection of Local Government Revenues Act (2004); proposing the California Live Within Our Means Act (2005); and making it more difficult for the state to tap into transportation funds through the 2006 Strategic Growth Plan Transportation Funding Protection Initiative.

For more information on the Governor’s May Revise, go to Excerpts of the Governor’s prepared remarks are below.

The Governor’s May Revise proposes $1.8 billion in additional General Fund dollars for K-12 education and community colleges to fully fund the minimum Proposition 98 Guarantee in 2008-09.

Highlights include:
Total Proposition 98 funding for K-14 education programs will increase year over year by $193 million.
Total Proposition 98 K-12 per pupil funding will increase more than $100, from $8,509 in 2007-08 to $8,610 in 2008-09.

While California’s structural budget deficit persists due to slower rates of economic growth, softening state revenues and spending increases, the May Revise makes important adjustments to better reflect improvements and downward trends in California’s state prisons. These trends include a decrease in inmate population projections and fewer parolees reoffending, resulting in significant budgetary savings of approximately $300 million. CONTINUED »

Conway Spitler
Conway Spitler

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases. If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.--Ronald Reagan
I don't make jokes. I just watch the government report the facts.--Will Rogers
If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free!--J. O'Rourke
In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one group of citizens to give to the other.--Voltaire (1764)
No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session. Mark Twain (1866)
Talk is cheap except when government does it. Unknown
The government is like a baby's alimentary canal with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. Ronald Reagan
The inherent voice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessing. The inhere net blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.--Winston Churchill
The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. --Mark Twain
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effect of folly is to fill the world with fools. Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)
What this country needs for more unemployed politicians. Edward Langley, Artist (1928-1995)
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. --Thomas Jefferson.

Have you ever taken the time to go to the website of the Fillmore Gazette? You should do it if you haven't done so!
To catch up on what has been going on in the city I went to the website and was absolutely astonished at what you can learn about the history of Fillmore, the pioneers, current events, auto accidents, construction projects throughout the city, events put on by organizations and many other groups such as the school system.
This has been a project of the photographer at the Gazette who also is a computer programmer wizard with Martin Farrell's approval for the project.
Do take the time to go the Gazette web page and you can see for yourself. Spend little or lots of time! You will be hooked!

The Hemisphere: Oil spiked $4 Friday on new evidence of Venezuela's deep involvement in terrorism. There's no glossing over such news: Hugo Chavez intends to destabilize the region. The U.S. will need to take action.

After poring over some of the 10,000 documents captured from the computer of dead FARC terrorist Raul Reyes, killed in a raid on March 1, U.S. intelligence officials are convinced that Chavez's involvement is deeper than anyone realized, according to a front-page story by the Wall Street Journal. "There is complete agreement in the intelligence community that these documents are what they purport to be," a U.S. official told the Journal.

The oil market understood the implications of this: The U.S. probably would be forced to declare Venezuela a state sponsor of terror and then end Venezuela's role as a top oil supplier, as required for other rogue states such as Iran.

With global oil supplies scarce, and Venezuela accounting for 12% of U.S. oil imports, the U.S. economy would feel the effects.

Yet the alternative of doing nothing probably is worse.

The new documents show Venezuelan complicity in the FARC's war on Colombia well beyond any past estimates. Chavez offered the drug-dealing Marxist terrorists rocket-propelled grenades and ground-to-air missiles to shoot down U.S. and Colombian aircraft.

Such rockets, remember, enabled ragtag Afghan tribesmen to chase out invading Soviet troops in 1989.

Chavez also offered port access for Russian arms shipments in Maracaibo to FARC's jungle bases. He offered FARC rest and recreational bases, along with state medical care. To cap it, he offered the terrorists a $250 million "loan," payable upon the overthrow of Colombia's government.

This is astonishing support for some of the worst terrorists on Earth. FARC is reviled by average Colombians. It should be dead or disarmed at this point because President Alvaro Uribe's courageous efforts to confront FARC have been relentless. Yet he hasn't won yet, thanks to FARC's clandestine support from Venezuela.

It's hard enough to win an asymmetrical war like this, harder still if the insurgents are stoked from other states. Chavez not only supports these jungle thugs, he's urging the West to take these killers off international terror lists, so they can openly raise more funds.

So long as America buys Venezuelan oil, Chavez will have the money to help FARC eventually destroy Colombia. He won't stop on his own, and the clandestine nature of his aid suggests he'll seek new ways to do it on the sly.

It's part of Chavez's strategy to use his petrodollars to take over the hemisphere — or at least become its main power broker.

Thus far, the open side of Chavez's quest is clear. Using democratic elections, Chavez seeks to get Latin leaders elected who will be his vassals. He does so by secretly buying off leftist political parties, and manipulating elections and the minds of poor voters. He has helped put socialist cronies in power in Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua. Now, he has his eyes on his next prize: U.S. ally El Salvador.

Bad as that is, the new FARC computer documents show an even darker side: Any nation that resists his charms, anti-U.S. rhetoric and oil cash, gets destabilized.

Colombia may be the scariest example of Chavez's destabilization efforts, but others are threatened, too — including Mexico and Peru, two stalwarts who have no interest in being Chavez's puppet states. It's significant that Mexico's and Peru's ambassadors were recently seen with President Bush at the Council of the Americas Wednesday pleading to Congress for free trade for their neighbor Colombia, whose economic success is as vital to them as their own.

All three nations are under fire from Chavez, and need vibrant economies to withstand him.

Peru is fighting Chavista infiltration through the dictator's newly formed "Houses of Alba" and has seen a resurgence of the Shining Path Marxist guerrillas it stomped out a decade ago.

Mexico's fighting a terrible war against drug-dealing criminals whose prime support from abroad is FARC terrorists. Last Thursday the chief of Mexico's national police was gunned down by these thugs in Mexico City, striking into the heart of the Mexican state.

Meanwhile, the raid that killed Reyes also revealed the presence of Mexican operatives in Colombia believed to be in training to destroy Mexico's oil pipelines, which supply much of America's oil.

It's an ugly picture for the U.S. We must either de-fang Chavez soon, or watch democratic neighbors collapse to his vast dictatorship. If that happens, oil prices will rise as high as his ambition.


The following is a construction update for the installation of the 60” Storm Drain and the 20” water line. This work is being done by Lash Construction, Inc of Santa Barbara, General Contractor.

Starting on Thursday, May 1st, we will be closing the intersection of Sespe Avenue and Central Ave. This will allow us to do our saw cutting. We will then proceed to excavate and install the 60” Storm drain pipe thru the intersection and then excavate and install the 20” water line thru the intersection. We will also be working on the cross walk that is on Central Ave. between Main St. and Sespe Ave.

We will post temporary “No Parking” signs at least 48 hours in advanced of scheduled work. There will also be detour signs installed to help navigate around the road closures. The detours that are in place at this current time will be modified on May 1st, 2008 so that traffic will be able to detour around the closed intersection of Sespe Ave. and Central Ave. Central Ave will continue not be a thru street but will be used for parking. In case of inclement weather, it may be necessary to reschedule the contractor’s operation. Work Hours will be 7 am to 6 pm.

We suggest that automobiles be parked in a location where it will not be necessary to drive on the street during the construction period.

We thank you for your cooperation, if you have any questions or comments, please direct them to:

Lash Construction, Inc. Rick Henderson
General Contractor 805-524-5390

Boyle Engineers: Doug Haack
Project Managers 805-340-7434

City of Fillmore: Bill Bartels

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
California State Governor

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued the following statement following the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine’s (CIRM) governing board vote today to distribute $271 million to 12 institutions to build stem cell research facilities throughout California. As a result of additional financial commitments made by these institutions, the state funding leveraged a total of $1.1 billion in new resources.

“California has taken the lead on cutting edge medical and stem cell research, and with this fantastic additional investment it's clear others are taking notice. This will go a long way toward medical research that could save lives and improve them for people with chronic diseases. But also, this kind of public-private investment in a growing jobs sector is exactly the kind of good news our economy needs right now.”

In 2004, California voters approved Proposition 71 to devote $3 billion to stem cell research and create CIRM. To date, CIRM has approved research grants totaling almost $260 million. The California Supreme Court last year upheld a lower court's ruling which frees up the $3 billion in funding from legal challenges. While this court ruling was pending, Governor Schwarzenegger authorized loans of up to $150 million to keep California on the forefront of stem cell research.

California's investment in embryonic stem cell research is three times higher than the National Institutes of Health's funding. Compared internationally, China's Ministry of Science and Technology will put up to $132 million into research over the next five years and the British government put $72.7 million into public funds for stem cell research between 2004 and 2006.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
California State Governor

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued the following statement after Moorpark High School in Moorpark, CA, won the U.S. Academic Decathlon:

“I applaud the nine students from the Moorpark High School decathlon team for winning this year’s competition. These students join a long list of California teams to earn this badge of academic excellence, and they make all of us in our great state proud.”

Moorpark was one of 41 teams vying for this year’s title. California has taken home more than half of the 25 U.S. Academic Decathlon titles, and the state set a record today for the most wins in a row at six.

The Academic Decathlon is a team competition in which students match their intellects with students from other schools. Students are tested in ten categories. Each high school enters a team of nine students: three "A" students, three "B" students and three "C" students.

Senator Runner speaks at a Tax Freedom Day event at the State Capitol Wednesday. Also in attendance (from left): Assemblyman Todd Spitzer (R-Orange), Sen. Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach), Senate Republican Leader Dave Cogdill (Fresno) and Assemblyman Bob Huff (R- Diamond Bar).
Senator Runner speaks at a Tax Freedom Day event at the State Capitol Wednesday. Also in attendance (from left): Assemblyman Todd Spitzer (R-Orange), Sen. Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach), Senate Republican Leader Dave Cogdill (Fresno) and Assemblyman Bob Huff (R- Diamond Bar).
Photo by Christian Kozska, Assembly Republican Caucus.
Enlarge Photo
California faces the fourth most burdensome tax climate in the country
Senator George Runner
Senator George Runner
Serving the 17th District which incorporates portions of the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura and Kern counties.

SACRAMENTO – Members of the State Senate and Assembly Republican Caucuses held a press conference today to commemorate Tax Freedom Day, the day Californians stop working for the government and start putting their money in their own pocket. Jonathan Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and other prominent taxpayer advocates were also in attendance.

“Tax Freedom Day is an opportunity to bring awareness to the enormous tax bill working Californians foot year after year,” said Sen. George Runner (R-Antelope Valley), who spoke at the event. “In fact, taxes are the biggest financial burden that families face.”

Tax Freedom Day was founded by the Washington DC based Tax Foundation and is known as the day in which the average American has earned enough money to pay off their tax burden and start working for themselves and their families. For most Americans Tax Freedom Day comes on April 23 but with California’s higher than average tax burden, California will celebrate the day on April 30.

“Today is also a very good day to send a clear message to the Legislature: Don’t raise taxes on working Californians,” Runner said. “Enough is enough. Families are struggling as it is; food and gasoline prices have gone through the roof and the economy is lackluster. The last thing the Legislature and Governor should do is push Tax Freedom Day even later into the year.”

Coupal agreed saying “tax increase should be off the table and Tax Freedom Day should come earlier and earlier every year.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
California State Governor

SACRAMENTO -- Today, California Homeland Security Director Matthew Bettenhausen joined with the California Department of Transportation and Metrolink to announce $15 million dollars for improving rail security in the state. The funds come from voter-approved Prop 1B, a measure which Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger strongly advocated to improve infrastructure, security, and public safety.
The Governor and his Office of Homeland Security (OHS), led by director Matthew Bettenhausen, have worked extensively with the State Legislature to increase funding to enhance security for California’s rail systems.

“I am pleased that the rail, port, and transportation security funds from Proposition 1B are going where they are needed to protect public safety and secure our infrastructure investments,” Governor Schwarzenegger said. “We must continue our efforts to upgrade security infrastructure to meet the demands of our growing state.”

One billion of the nearly 20 billion dollars approved will be allocated to enhance security and safety in the ports, rail lines and mass transit systems. California voters approved Proposition 1B in November of 2006, which enacted the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006. Rail transportation is an important mobility tool for California.

Metrolink serves more than 44,000 Californians every day—taking an average of almost 25,000 vehicles off our roads each day. The CalTrans and Amtrak partnership operates and funds three intercity route services serving more than five million people a year.

“The rail systems are essential to Californians and our economy, which is why securing them is a top priority,” said OHS Director Matthew Bettenhausen. “The impact on California’s economy is very real if our rail systems are vulnerable to a terrorist attack. The Governor is a great leader in our efforts to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism or natural disaster.”

“The safety of the traveling public is Caltrans’ number one priority,” said Caltrans Director Will Kempton. “More than five million people per year travel on Amtrak California for business and pleasure. The demand for more train service by the public is proven with the passage of Proposition 1B and record-breaking ridership. Keeping Californian’s on the move is a huge benefit to the State’s economy and easing congestion on our highways.”

Under the 2007/2008 current year budget, Proposition 1B allocates a total of $15 million dollars to four (4) intercity rail services in California.

• Caltrans Div. San Joaquin Corridor $2,263,930
• Caltrans Pacific Surfliner Corridor $1,800,000
• Capitol Corridor JPA $1,900,000
• Metrolink $9,036,070

News conferences with Governor’s Office of Homeland Security Director Bettenhausen and rail and local officials to announce the awards are set for Tuesday in Sacramento and Friday in Glendale as follows:

Tuesday, April 29, 9:30 a.m.
Sacramento Rail Depot, 401 I St., Sacramento 95814

Friday, May 2, 10:30 a.m.
Glendale Metrolink Station, 400 W. Cerritos Ave., Glendale, 91204.

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security is charged with administering the Prop 1B rail security funds. It’s part of California’s comprehensive strategy to protect its 37 million residents from man-made or natural disaster. Prop 1B funding will supplement the nearly $171 million coming to California in 2008 from Federal Department of Homeland Security Grants funding.

For further information regarding the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, please visit our website,

Question: Why do we need a 5-foot drain in central ave?
Bert Rapp
Bert Rapp
City of Fillmore, Public Works Director

Answer: On January 10, 1995 flood waters cascaded down the north Fillmore cliff and filled homes on Fine Street with water and mud. Homes on 2nd Street and Lemon Way were inundated in “Lake Fillmore.” Hundreds of frantic residents worked through the night with volunteer Fillmore firefighters to build sandbag barriers to keep flood water out of their homes. Similar flood fights occurred in 1969, 1978, 1983, 1995, 1998 and 2005. The largest of these floods was a 50-year flood that occurred in 1969. We have yet to see a 100-year flood, but it will hit us someday.

The ultimate Central Avenue Storm Drain will dramatically reduce the flooding problems experienced in 1995 and other floods. It provides drainage to the area of east Fillmore that was built between 1910 and 1940’s and has no storm drains. It will divert the water to the Santa Clara River before it causes flood problems.

The natural slope of the land in Fillmore is such that flood waters take the longest possible route to the river. For example, the rain water that falls on the hillsides above Foothill Drive or in North Fillmore naturally flows through the city until it enters the Santa Clara River at D Street, threatening homes all along the way. This flooding is only reduced when it is captured by a storm drain that diverts it to the Sespe Creek or Santa Clara River.

The 5-foot diameter storm drain being installed in Central Avenue has been part of the City of Fillmore Master Plan of Drainage for the last 36 years. This construction will complete the drain from the Santa Clara River to Sespe Avenue. Future phases will extend the drain up to 4th Street with laterals serving the neighborhoods east of Central Avenue.

This phase will mitigate flooding downtown. Every additional block we are able to extend the drain up Central Avenue the greater the flood relief for homes on Galvin lane, Fine Street and Fern Glen, 2nd Street/Lemon Way area and along Price Street, Ortega Street and Village Square.

Contrary to popular rumor, this storm drain is being built to solve existing flooding problems not to serve some mega development on the hills above Fillmore. If such a development were to occur some type of totally separate storm drain system would have to be built.

This phase of the Central Avenue storm drain could have been constructed in A Street or Central Avenue. Before choosing the street the City took a survey of business and property owners on both streets. The feedback was overwhelmingly in favor of placing it in Central Avenue because it would provide immediate flood relief for downtown.

The construction is difficult for the business downtown so I hope everyone will make an extra effort to shop and eat at the businesses downtown. While some parts of Central Avenue are closed to vehicles it will always be open to pedestrians.

If you have questions regarding our public infrastructure please send them to: Bert J. Rapp, P.E., Public Works Director at City Hall, 250 Central Avenue, Fillmore CA 93015, or leave a message 24 hours a day at 524-1500 x 231 and he will address them in a future column.

Bert Rapp, Public Works Director

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
California State Governor

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today praised the 3 million Californians who have pledged to save and improve lives by signing up for the state-authorized Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. The Governor, joined by families, legislators, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) representatives and allied health professionals, also signed a proclamation declaring April 2008, “DMV/Donate Life Month.”

“The benefits of organ and tissue donation are simply staggering,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “I am proud of the 3 million Californians who have signed up to be organ and tissue donors. Each person who becomes a donor can save the lives of eight people and dramatically improve the lives of 50 people. It truly is the gift of life.”

The number of individuals who wait for a life-saving transplant continues to increase every day. California has the highest proportion of people on the national organ transplant waiting list, with about 20 percent of the nearly 100,000 candidates awaiting a life-saving transplant in the state.

Registered organ and tissue donors saved or healed more than 3,000 people in 2007. Anyone can sign up on the Donate Life California Registry and, unlike blood donation, there are few automatic rule-outs.

Assemblymember Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster) authored Assembly Concurrent Resolution 125, a resolution recognizing April as DMV/Donate Life Month to encourage Californians to sign up with the Donate Life California Registry.

“Californians have an extraordinary opportunity to help save lives and ensure their decision to do so is honored,” Assemblymember Runner said.

“We are pleased that in the last year, the Donate Life California Registry has shown its value as a tool to save and heal lives,” said Bryan Stewart, president of Donate Life California. “With one million designated donors signing up every eight months, the life-saving impact of the registry is on an upward trajectory.”

The success of the Donate Life California Registry owes much to its partnership with the DMV. The vast majority of the registry’s 3 million designated donors have signed up since the DMV began enrolling designated donors in July 2006. Due to the five-year license renewal cycle, two-thirds of California drivers have not yet had the opportunity to check ‘yes’ when they renew their license, and the Governor and state lawmakers urge individuals to do so.

“Those ‘pink dots’ are more than mere symbols; they have taken on the power of advanced directives for organ and tissue donation for any California motorist who proudly chooses to display them,” DMV Director George Valverde said.

In all cases in which an eligible donor has not registered with Donate Life California, the donation decision falls on families, who consent to donation in about 60 percent of cases. When families are unsure of what their loved one wanted, they may decline to donate. Thus, the decision to be a donor can be a gift both to one’s family and to potential recipients.

Donate Life California is a nonprofit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry, administered by California’s four nonprofit, federally-designated organ procurement organizations, each responsible for facilitating the donation process in the state: California Transplant Donor Network, Golden State Donor Services, Lifesharing and OneLegacy.

For more information, please visit,, or in Spanish at

Plan would create workweek flexibility and lessen bureaucratic red tape

Senate Republicans today joined with members of the business community to unveil measures that would help stimulate California’s economy now and provide for financial stability in the future by improving market conditions for consumers and workplace environment for employees.

“At a time when Californians are paying more at the gas pump and the grocery store, the last move the Legislature should make is to raise taxes; instead, we need to enact common-sense solutions to help our economy grow,” said Senate Republican Leader Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto). “We also believe we need to cut the red and green tape, so we can give workers and employers the tools they need to make the choices that work best for them.”

Senate Republican Caucus Chairman George Runner (R-Antelope Valley) said that current state laws are rigid when it comes to employees’ work hours and meal and rest schedules.

“No one is more inconvenienced by California’s meal and rest laws than the worker,” Runner said. “The employer and the employee should be able to decide – in good faith – the appropriate time for meal and rest breaks and the best type of work schedule. People have individual needs and many employers are willing to work around those needs. We just need to get government out of the way.”

Senate Republicans propose to do the following:

Give flexibility to employee work schedules by establishing a family-friendly schedule, making it easier for parents to pick up children or attend midday personal appointments; ease traffic congestion, as fewer people will be on the road at the same time; help meet environmental standards, as fewer cars on the road producing emissions.
Extend deadlines for diesel engine retrofits. Burdensome regulations calling for entire fleets of trucks, tractors and heavy-duty equipment to be turned over twice within 8 years to meet state regulations will only exacerbate the problem. Instead, we need to establish a smoother glide path so that all businesses comply with new environmental laws, but use a common-sense approach that does not make them clear multiple hurdles to comply with the law.
Expand health care options for employees by allowing individuals and employers to purchase health insurance through any licensed provider.
Regulatory flexibility. Provide flexibility to small businesses by calling for agencies to examine and review the economic impact of any regulation on small business. This will ensure that small businesses continue to meet all the goals of the laws without having to jump every regulatory hurdle.
Streamline the building permitting process. California was not ready for the downturn in the housing market, but we can prepare for the rebound by getting government out of the way. Eliminating red tape and redundancies, while keeping all existing environmental laws will shorten the paperwork and the overall time to complete the permitting process for new home construction and infill development.
Giving business the opportunity to address mistakes. When a California business is found out of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the owner ought to have an opportunity to make the necessary upgrades before damages and fines are levied.
Extend deadlines for greenhouse gas regulations. The Governor has the ability to temporarily suspend greenhouse gas regulations, which will allow technology to catch up with the changes in law and allow for a smoother implementation of the law, while saving California businesses and consumers hundreds of millions of dollars.

“When AB 32 passed, it gave the governor the authority to adjust implementation of the regulations if it would cause ‘significant economic harm,’” said Senator Bob Dutton, (R-Inland Empire). “I believe given the state of the current economy, coupled with the cost of $511 billion to implement the regulations, the governor should use his authority to adjust the deadline.”


We are revamping our local Republican Women's club - the Santa Clara River Valley Republican Women's Federated!
If you are interested in learning more about us and meeting current members, please come to our new membership event and BRING A FRIEND! We need to get organized for the upcoming 2008 elections. This is something you cannot resist! It will be a chocolate party! It is in Ventura because it is a joint event with Ventura Republican Women.

Saturday May, 3, 2008
2 - 4 PM
1215 Anchors Way Dr.
Ventura, CA

Invited Guests: Elton Gallegly, Tony Strickland, Audra Strickland, Neal Andrews (Ventura County Campaign Chair for the McCain Campaign), Jim Monahan

RSVP or questions to:
Larissa Nelson

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
California State Governor

Sacramento -- Governor Schwarzenegger proclaimed April 27 – May 3 as “Volunteer Week” in California, CaliforniaVolunteers announced today.

“California depends on its volunteers who willingly work to improve the state we call home, and I deeply appreciate all those who selflessly commit themselves to bettering the lives of others,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

National Volunteer Week was designated in 1974 to call attention to the tremendous contribution of volunteers. This year’s theme, "Volunteer to Change the World" reflects the power volunteers have to make positive and lasting impacts in their communities.

During National Volunteer Week, the Governor’s new Secretary of Service and Volunteering, Karen Baker, will hold roundtable discussions with over 100 leaders in the nonprofit sector in Southern California to discuss barriers to volunteering and service and how the state can play a role in addressing them.

“I extend my deepest gratitude to every Californian who gives a small measure of themselves to improve the world around them,” remarked Karen Baker, secretary of Service and Volunteering. “I encourage more Californians to find ways they can make a difference at”

To view the full text of the proclamation, visit

CaliforniaVolunteers is the state office that manages programs and initiatives to increase the number of Californians involved with service and volunteering, including the state AmeriCorps program, California Citizen Corps and the Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning. Through the innovative Web site,, individuals and families can find more than 40,000 volunteer opportunities throughout the state involving the arts, education, animals, disaster preparedness, the environment and other areas of interest. Karen Baker, the nation’s first state cabinet secretary of service and volunteering leads the organization and First Lady Maria Shriver serves as the honorary chairperson. For more information, please visit