Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Ronhert Park Patch

Assemblymember Marc Levine recognized The Wattle Guys as the North Bay's 2018 Small Business of the Year. The California State Assembly annually recognizes small businesses throughout the state.

The Wattle Guys were early pioneers in the storm-water technology industry. Their namesake product, straw wattles, look something like thick lengths of rope, which can be draped along denuded hillsides and staked in place to prevent erosion and help retain pollutants.

Monday, June 18, 2018

J Weekly

By Rob Gloster

The California state budget for 2018-19 includes $3.6 million for social service agencies to care for Holocaust survivors, $1.2 million for a training program on hate speech at public universities, and other items supported by leaders of the Jewish community.

Approved late last week by both houses of the state Legislature, the budget also includes $10 million to maintain and restore the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and $5 million to assist in rebuilding the 6 Points Community Center at Camp Newman that was destroyed last October in the Sonoma County wildfires. The budget still needs to be signed by the governor.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Press Democrat

By Hannah Beausang

California lawmakers this week approved a nearly $200 billion budget that includes an “unprecedented” investment in recovery for fire-ravaged counties and future disaster response, state Sen. Mike McGuire said Friday.

“This is a historic budget for the state of California,” said McGuire, D-Healdsburg. “Never in our history have we invested as much as we have this year in fire recovery, rebuilding and response.”

It provides critical relief to the North Bay, including $29.1 million to cover the costs incurred by local governments during the debris cleanup, the largest since the 1906 earthquake. The estimated $13 million Santa Rosa and Sonoma County each would have owed will be covered, said state Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa.

It’s the first time Gov. Jerry Brown has backed such an agreement, McGuire said.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Press Democrat

By Marc Levine

This week, I will cast one of the deciding votes on a state budget that bolsters our commitment to education and health care, invests in our crumbling infrastructure, strengthens our rainy-day fund and addresses the changing weather patterns that overflowed our rivers, washed away our roads and fueled the most devastating fires in state history — catastrophes from which we will be recovering for years to come.

The budget I plan to vote for will include nearly $100 million to cull drought-stricken trees from our forests and take other steps to reduce the natural fuel load for wildfires. Another $50 million will go toward restoring and rebuilding public property lost to natural disaster. Tens of millions will flow to school districts and local governments to make up for lost tax revenue.

There will be at least $15 million to modernize California’s public safety radio systems. And we will see a significant increase — $160 million — to Cal Fire’s operating budget.

It won’t include everything we want or need. Budgets don’t work like that. Although you would never know it from watching cable news, compromise is still very much at the heart of our political system, and everyone leaves the table with some, but not all, of what they want.

The budget is an indispensable tool for mitigating disaster and building a resilient future, but it is not the only means by which we can do what’s right for our community in the aftermath of the fires last October.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Mercury News

By Erin Baldassari

Faced with freeways that seemingly double as parking lots and BART cars that mimic sardine cans, voters in all nine Bay Area counties on Tuesday will decide whether to dig into their pockets to help pay for a suite of transportation projects aimed at curbing traffic congestion and easing long commutes.

If approved, Regional Measure 3 would raise tolls on all seven state-owned bridges by $3 over six years, not including the Golden Gate, raising an estimated $4.45 billion over the next decade for capital projects and roughly $60 million annually to support transit operations.

Monday, June 4, 2018

KNX 1070 News Radio

By Craig Fiegener

What's the first thing you'll do this morning after you mark your ballot? Tuesday marks the first statewide election where taking a ballot selfie is no longer against the law.

Assemblymember Marc Levine co-wrote the bill that made the ballot selfie legal here in California. He's encouraging selfies Tuesday at the ballot box.

Only rule: if you do snap a picture, don't show another person's ballot, unless you have their permission. 

Although nobody was ever prosecuted for it -  the ballot-box selfie used to be illegal. 

Listen here.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Point Reyes Light

By Jordan Bowen

After a year of calamitous wildfires that capped four years of historic drought, Governor Jerry Brown is ordering additional resources and prioritization toward managing the health of the state’s ailing forests. 

In an executive order issued this month, the governor directed the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Natural Resources Agency and the Department of Fish and Wildlife to tackle the serious threats facing the state’s 33 million acres of forests and nearly 1,300 square miles of urban forest canopy. 

The order could help public and private landowners in West Marin receive state assistance and regulatory relief to help manage dead and dying trees, and directs state agencies to increase cooperation with federal parks.