Berryhill Bulletin: June 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

image of firefighters at a fire

Fire season

Last winter’s rain was a blessing as it washed away years of drought. But it also led to lots of new grass and brush growth, making us particularly susceptible to out-of-control wildfires as summer dries everything out.

Please take extra precautions to prevent wildfires. Besides the new growth, our district is filled with thousands of dead trees, killed off by drought and bark beetle infestation.

A recent article in the Sierra Star gives excellent tips for how we can prepare for a safer fire season.

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tree mortality

Tree mortality bill

Help may soon be on the way for rural counties overwhelmed by the tree-mortality crisis. My bill, SB-187, which will increase the state’s contribution to dead-tree removal to 90 percent in Tuolumne County, cleared the Senate unanimously this month.

While Tuolumne is the only county covered in SB-187, this bill could pave the way for others to follow – and believe me, other counties are paying attention and taking the steps to qualify for the additional funding.

Governor Brown has vetoed similar measures in the past, but we’re hopeful he’ll sign this bill if it reaches his desk. Of course, it has to clear the Assembly first, but I’m confident that Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, the bill’s coauthor, will be able to get SB-187 over the finish line.

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Senior driving course

In June, Assemblyman Bigelow, Madera County Supervisor Tom Wheeler and I hosted a driving course for seniors taught by CHP Officer Kaci Lutz in Oakhurst.

The class – primarily for drivers ages 55 and up – provided updates to changes in state law and tips for safe driving. Some insurers offered discounted premiums for completion of the course. While these classes filled up fast (there were actually four classes due to overwhelming interest), we’ll be scheduling a similar event in Stanislaus County soon.

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12-month fishing license

I’m excited to announce that my bill to create 12-month fishing licenses cleared the Senate unanimously. This is the first time in three attempts this measure has made it so far.

The bill, simple enough, would create fishing licenses valid for 12 months from the time of purchase, as opposed to the calendar-year licenses we have now.

This matters because fishing license sales, which fund fishery and conservation programs, have been in decline for years. Data suggest this is largely due to the calendar-year system, which offers no extra time or prorated rates for purchases made later in the year; we see a sharp drop off in purchases past Labor Day. Furthermore, a lot of federal funding is tied to license purchases, so continued decline could imperil the program even more.

Like my tree mortality bill, this bill still needs to clear the Assembly and the governor, but I’m optimistic.

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Senator Berryhill with former Mono County Supervisor Bob Peters, Assistant CAO Tony Dublino, CAO Leslie Chapman and Mono County Sheriff Ingrid Braun

In The District

It was a pleasure to see former Mono County Supervisor Bob Peters, Assistant CAO Tony Dublino, CAO Leslie Chapman and Mono County Sheriff Ingrid Braun at the Bridgeport Inn earlier this month in Bishop. We got to talk tourism, economic development, a new local jail, my legislative package and, of course, Mule Days.

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In The News

The Modesto Bee: New gas tax leaves affordable CA in the rear-view

National Review: California’s single-payer healthcare bill isn’t based in reality

CBS Sacramento: Anglers applaud bill to change CA fishing licenses

My Mother Lode: Tuolumne County would benefit from Senate bill

Capital Public Radio: Divided CA Senate passes single-payer healthcare bill

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Small Business of the Month: Dust Bowl Brewing Company

Small Business of the Month

As I mentioned a few months ago, we are going to start honoring a small business from the district each month. The inaugural honoree is Dust Bowl Brewing Company, which has a brewery and two taproom locations in Turlock. While Dust Bowl Brewing Company started in 2009, its newest location, the Brewery Taproom, will celebrate its first birthday on July 1.

A local success story, Dust Bowl Brewing Company created 170 local jobs and counting, and is owned by Central Valley natives Brett and Karen Tate and Brett and Camy Honoré. Please join me in congratulating them on their success.

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Follow Me!

We are starting to use Twitter and Facebook more and more to communicate with all of our constituents. It’s cheaper and more efficient than many of the traditional methods of communication, like mailings and earned media (ie: newspapers, radio and T.V.). Plus, as my teenage daughter tells me, everyone is on social media now.

Follow me on Twitter: @TomBerryhill

Like and follow me on Facebook:

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We are here to help

The 8th Senate District is 27,000 square miles - one of the largest districts in the Senate and about the size of Rhode Island. To better serve you, I have set up three regional district offices with great staff available to listen to your opinions on legislation, lend a hand with problems you may be having with state agencies, or arrange an appointment with me. We also hold mobile office hours (see below). The schedule for those can be found on my website. Please do not hesitate to contact one of my local offices if we can be of assistance.

Capitol Office
State Capitol, Rm 3067
Sacramento, CA 95818

Fresno Office
6215 N. Fresno St.
Fresno, CA 93710

Jackson Office
33 C Broadway
Jackson, CA 95642

Oakdale Office
102 Grove Ave, Suite B
Oakdale, CA 95361

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Mobile office hours

Waterford – July 7th 1st Friday
2:00 – 3:00pm
City of Waterford
101 E. Street, Waterford, Ca 95386

Oakdale – July 7th 1st Friday
3:30 – 4:30pm
Senator Berryhill District Office
102 Grove Ave, Oakdale, Ca 95361

Hughson – July 13th 2nd Thursday
11:00 – 12:00pm
City of Hughson City Hall
7018 Pine Street, Hughson, Ca 95326

Turlock – July 13th 2nd Thursday
1:30 – 2:30pm
Turlock Chamber of Commerce
115 S. Golden State Blvd, Turlock, Ca 95380

Denair – July 27th 4th Thursday
10:30 – 11:30am
Denair Community Services District
3850 North Gratton Road, Denair, Ca 95316

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