General Politics

Update From Jay Obernolte’s First Term as State Assemblyman, 33rd District

Assemblyman_Jay_Obernolte

Assemblyman Jay Obernolte

During my first term representing you in the State Assembly, I have had the honor to serve my constituents not only through the advocacy of my dis­trict office, but also by authoring and passing legislation that benefits our district.

My first piece of legislation that im­pacts the district and our rural areas was AB 1034. AB 1034 amended the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) of 1975 to allow the con­struction and operation of renewable energy projects on already-disturbed mining lands. Too often renewable energy projects that do not benefit our communities are sited in our neighbor­hoods, causing blight. This bill allows renewable energy projects to be sited away from our communities and pro­tects our environment by encouraging them to be located on previously dis­turbed lands and not our pristine des­ert.

Another piece of legislation I authored and passed was AB 1773. This bill expanded the Renewable Energy Self-Generation Bill Credit Transfer (RES-BCT) program to allow qualifying local government entities to participate in the program. This bill had a direct impact on the Victor Valley Waste Water Reclamation Authority and will save their ratepayers $400,000.00 annually.

AB 809, which was sponsored by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Associa­tion, requires local ordinances that im­pose or raise taxes to clearly state in the description of the measure the fact that the measure is a new tax or tax increase, the amount of money to be raised annually from the tax, and the rate and duration of the tax to be levied. Previously, when citizens would vote on local ballot measures, that informa­tion was not required to be available to the voters. AB 809 prevents local agencies from disguising tax increases from the voters.

Finally, AB 1775 adjusted California tax return due dates for Limited Lia­bility Companies (LLC) and C corpo­rations to make them consistent with federal law. The federal tax due dates were modified last year for several common federal returns. However, this discrepancy complicated the filing process for many of the state’s taxpay­ers and businesses which were required to comply with multiple tax deadlines for the same returns. AB 1775 creates consistency between state and federal regulations and saves taxpayers from costly penalties.

During the upcoming legislative ses­sion, I plan to continue authoring and advancing legislation that will keep jobs in California and promote trans­parency and government efficiency wherever possible. I believe that all Californians deserve that from their state government.

To that effect I have introduced sev­eral bills that will have a direct impact on our region. Last year the Gover­nor signed into law Senate Bill 1263, which prohibits the permitting of a home or cabin where the source of water supply is hauled water. That bill was retroactive in nature, ultimately rendering many property owner’s land worthless by taking away their abil­ity to build on land located in areas without adequate water infrastructure. I’ve introduced AB 366 in response, which would exempt property owners of existing parcels from this law and allow them to build on their property if legally obtained hauled water is the listed source of water. This bill will protect the rights of rural property owners.

Also, I have introduced AB 195, which expands on the transparency re­quirements enacted by AB 809. AB 195 extends transparency to all local initiatives that levy taxes. I strongly believe this transparency is needed be­cause voters should have access to all relevant information in order to make a responsible, informed decision about a tax increase.

I also recently introduced AB 912, the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Act. This bill would give state agen­cies the flexibility to reduce statutory fines and penalties on small businesses in cases where the violation was inad­vertent and the business is cooperating with the agency.

In the coming months I plan on in­troducing more legislation to benefit our region and all Californians. I am a California optimist, and I believe that working together we can make our state once again the crucible of in­novation and entrepreneurship that it used to be.

It is an honor to represent you.

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