Julia Brownley lays out goals for new term

Congresswoman Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, won her recent re-election bid handily in November and has now set forth her priorities for her new term.

Brownley, who was first elected to represent the 26th District in 2013, says that her priorities include reversing Citizens United, ending gerrymandering and corruption, ensuring every American has access to affordable healthcare, and providing veterans with access to the benefits “they have earned and deserved.”

“It has been my pleasure to serve as your representative in Congress, and I am honored to be able to continue to champion Ventura County’s priorities going forward,” said Brownley in a release to her supporters.

Other priorities include working toward passing immigration reform, investing in infrastructure repairs and more.

Brownley won her re-election bid over Republican challenger Antonio Sabato, Jr., receiving 68 percent of the vote. Brownley will return to work on Jan. 3, 2019.

Jacqui Irwin addresses mental health and gun violence

In the wake of the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting in November, Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, has authored legislation to address concerns over gun violence and a lack of mental health care.

Assembly Bill 12, introduced by Irwin on the first day of the 2019-2020 session on Dec. 3, seeks to address “issues” surrounding gun violence restraining orders, availability of funds for local law enforcement’s firearm recovery efforts as well as giving options to law enforcement and mental health professionals to intervene during a mental health crisis.

The Nov. 7 Borderline shooting allegedly committed by Ian David Long, who had been visited by officers and the crisis response team following a report that Long was not well. At the time, responders decided not to place Long on a 5150 hold, which would have forced him into a 72-hour hold for psychiatric evaluation.

“This tragedy demands action, and I am working with our dedicated law enforcement and mental health professionals to identify changes to state law that will protect our community and all Californians from gun violence,” said Irwin.

Irwin won re-election two days prior to the shooting, collecting 58.7 percent of the vote.

Hannah-Beth Jackson addresses fire safety and concerns

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, has introduced legislation aiming to improve emergency alert systems days after the anniversary of the Thomas Fire.

Senate Bill 46 would allow for automatic enrollment for residents in cities and at universities to an emergency alert system, an extension of her Senate Bill 821, which automatically enrolled county residents to the system. The bill would allow local governments to collect contact information from wireless providers, including those with special needs, a turn from the current opt-in policy for most emergency alerts used in the state. Residents would be given the option to opt-out, however.

“The devastating wildfires that ravaged communities throughout our state have made it clear that we must improve our emergency alert systems to ensure residents are getting the information they need as quickly as possible,” said Jackson.

Jackson points to the Camp Fire, during which seniors and mobility challenged residents said that they did not receive an emergency alert prior to the fire reaching the city.

Jackson’s SB 1260 and SB 465 also addressed issues pertaining to the Thomas, Woolsey and Camp fires. 1260 allowed for more prescribed burns to reduce wildfire fuels and 465 would assist homeowners in paying for fire proofing their homes.

Monique Limón wins chair of Women’s Caucus

Assemblywoman Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara, has been sworn in for her second term and elected Vice-Chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve the 37th Assembly District for a second term,” said Limón. “I am proud of the work that my team and I have accomplished, and I look forward to continuing our work in moving California forward.”

The Caucus, which saw its lowest number of members at 26 in 2016, starts the new session with 36, matching the record high set in 2006.

“As the work begins, the Women’s Caucus will ensure women’s issues remain a higher priority and are present in all discussions,” said Limón. Limón also serves as Chair of the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee.