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Olsen Bills Pass State Assembly

Sacramento – Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) announced today that most of her bills from her 2015 legislative package have successfully passed the Assembly and now move onto the Senate.

“My bills are focused on presenting solutions to very real problems,” Olsen said.  “I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate and with the Governor to ensure that these proposals become law and help improve the quality of life in California.”

Economic Vitality

AB 323 (Remove Sunset on CEQA Exemption for Minor Roadway Safety Projects) – In 2012, my AB 890 created a statutory exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for cities or counties with populations under 100,000 that need to make minor roadway repairs to improve safety.  The positive outcomes of AB 890 warrant the extension of its sunset, which is scheduled for January 1, 2016.  By extending the sunset to January 1, 2020, AB 323 would allow the streamlined process to continue to save lives and taxpayer money, while creating good jobs in transportation.

AB 604 (Electrically-Motorized Skateboards) – Allows electrically-motorized skateboards to be used as an alternative mode of transportation, allowing an innovative industry to continue to grow and create jobs in California. Note: A version of these electric boards (“ZBoards”) is manufactured by Intuitive Motion, a company based in Riverbank.

Education:

AB 288 (College and Career Access Pathways) – Seeks to allow more students to take community college courses, at a local college and/or on their high school campus, in order to improve workforce readiness and better prepare students for college.  Joint-authored with Assembly Majority Leader Chris Holden (D-Pasadena)

AB 1099 (School Accountability & Transparency) – Empowers parents to more actively engage with schools by requiring schools to disclose funding priorities, as well as their process for teacher and principal evaluations.

AB 1161 (Expanding Pre-School) – Establishes a pilot program in five counties, selected through an application process, for high-quality preschool education for low-income and English-learner students that would be funded through private investments in exchange for state tax credits. Joint-authored with Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego)

Government Reliability / Transparency:

AB 507 (DCA/BreEZe Auditor Recommendations) – In response to my audit request approved last year, the State Auditor recently released a report on the Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) implementation of a technology system called BreEZe, which left the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) unable to meet the licensing needs of thousands of nurses and nursing school graduates.  The BreEZe project was supposed to encompass 37 boards and bureaus under DCA, but due to poor planning and decision-making, the remaining 19 boards will not be using the system.  At the same time, costs have more than tripled from $23 Million to a staggering $96 Million. To ensure timely and meaningful information regarding the status of the BreEZe project moving forward, AB 507 would require DCA to report annually to the Legislature on its plan for the remaining implementations, the results of any cost-benefit analysis it conducts during the decision-making process for the remaining boards, and a description of anticipated efficiencies resulting from BreEZe.

Water:

AB 647 (Groundwater: Beneficial Use) – Would allow for groundwater recharge when it supports beneficial uses, including protecting water quality, preventing or reversing saltwater and contaminate intrusion, and preventing land subsidence.  Groundwater recharge is an essential component of groundwater management and sustainability.  Without it, there will be a smaller chance that groundwater will exist to cushion the State during the next drought, leading to even higher costs to the State.  Principal co-authored with Assemblymember Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), and Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte).

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Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, is recognized as a solution-focused reformer. She represents the 12th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes portions of Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties in the Central Valley. Follow her on Twitter: @KristinOlsenCA