April 2016 Quarterly District News (Information on Free Tax Prep Assistance Inside!)

Friday, April 8, 2016 - 00:00

Dear Friend:

My website is always a good place to keep track of what I have been doing in Sacramento and in the district. It is also where you can find my District News.

District News is one way I can get information to you, but I hope you will also contact my office when you have questions about legislation, state programs or available services. You can call the district office at (323) 264-4949 or complete the form on my website where it says Contact Ed.

As always, it is my pleasure to serve the 49th District and you, the constituents.

Ed Chau signature
Ed Chau
Assemblymember, 49th District

In this April issue you will find:


2016 LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE & PRIORITIES

This year, I have authored a package of bills that address issues of concern to the residents of the 49th Assembly District and the people of California.

EDUCATION

AB 2536 – Pupil Discipline and Instruction on Sexting – codifies that sexting, with the purpose or effect of humiliating or harassing a pupil, is a violation of public school policy and incorporates sexting curriculum as a part of comprehensive sex education programs designed to teach students about the dangers and real consequences of sending sexually explicit photographs, videos or messages via cell phone or instant messenger.

AB 2864 – Pupil Instruction on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 – would encourage all state and local professional development activities to provide teachers with content background and resources to assist them in teaching about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

HOUSING

AB 1920 – Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) – provides TCAC the state authority to levy fines on rental housing developments that fail to comply with program requirements of the state’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, in order to conserve the supply of low-and-moderate-income housing in the state.

PRIVACY AND CONSUMER PROTECTION

In December 2015, I was appointed Chair of the Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection. Some legislation that I am authoring in the area of privacy and consumer protection this year is as follows:

AB 1662 – Drone Hit and Run - protects people from “hit and run” drone accidents by requiring drone operators to remain at the scene of an accident and provide their name and address along with valid identification to the victim and police.

AB 2307 – Credit Card Skimmers – helps cut down on credit card fraud and identity theft by requiring service agents to report to their county sealer and law enforcement within 24 hours any credit card skimming devices found in the course of their work.  

AB 2609 – Advertising of Educational Conferences – protects school-aged children from directly receiving potentially misleading solicitations from for-profit companies to attend "prestige conferences."

AB 2720 – State Government Bug Bounty Program – establishes a vulnerability reporting program, also called “bug bounty” program, for the State of California to encourage security researchers to report vulnerabilities in state agency networks, websites, and online services.

AB 2799 – Early Learning Privacy Information Protection Act – imposes requirements directly on websites, online services, and mobile apps that are designed, marketed and used primarily for preschool and pre-kindergarten purposes.

AB 2828 – Data Breach Encryption Keys – sensibly expands data breach notification law, which currently requires notice to consumers of compromised unencrypted personal information, to also include encrypted information, if the encryption keys have also been compromised.

AB 2843 – California Public Records Act (CPRA) – would simply modernize the CPRA by adding personal email addresses and personal cellular telephone numbers to the list of information that is currently protected for state and school district employees.

Veterans Affairs

AB 1972 – Distinguished Veteran Park Pass – would allow disabled veterans to receive the Distinguished Veteran Pass, regardless of whether the disability is related to military service during wartime or peacetime.

For more information about the status of these and other bills, please contact Garret Bazurto at (916) 319-2049 or Garret.Bazurto@asm.ca.gov.

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Women of the Year District Ceremony

On March 18, 2016, I presented eight outstanding women and one community organization with the 2016 Women’s History Month Leadership Award during a ceremony in the City of Monterey Park.  The awards were in recognition of distinguished service to the 49th Assembly District in the areas of community service, business, public safety, education, historic preservation, nonprofit sector, and women’s empowerment.

The recipients of this distinguished recognition included: Annabelle Chu, Acute Psychiatric Registered Nurse; Charlene Lin Ung, Engineering Manager, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Coronne Jacob, Captain, Los Angeles County Sheriff Department; Dee Moreno, Instructional Resource Specialist, La Rosa Elementary School, Co-Founder, CS First Club; Nickie Oh, Teacher, La Rosa Elementary School, Co-Founder CS First Club; Gay Q Yuen, PH.D, President, Chinese American Museum, Professor, California State University, Los Angeles; Sally Baldwin, Asian Youth Center, Advisory Board; Valarie Gomez, CEO, YMCA of West San Gabriel Valley; Soroptimist International of Alhambra, dedicated to empowering women and girls to achieve their full potential.

For more information, please contact Daisy Ma at (323) 264-4949 or by email at daisy.ma@asm.ca.gov.

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Small Business Workshop

On March 5, 2016, I held a small business workshop in the City of Monterey Park that was aimed at giving information to small business owners regarding services available through the State of California, as well as opportunities to bid for state contracts and the latest regulations for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Workers Compensation Program.

I understand the importance of supporting entrepreneurship, because it drives job creation and innovation. The workshop included representatives from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz); the Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Workers' Compensation Information and Assistance Unit; the Department of Rehabilitation, Disability Access Services; and the Department of General Services, Procurement Division.  Each presenter provided an overview of services available through their department to help businesses get up to speed on the latest regulations and resources available to them. I am glad that we are able to bring these important state services to local businesses to help them grow.

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State Resources – Highlight

Free Tax Prep Assistance!

As the deadline for filing taxes approaches, my office is partnering with California State Controller Betty Yee to encourage all eligible California taxpayers to get free tax preparation assistance.

IRS-certified volunteers can help people with household incomes of $54,000 or less prepare and electronically file a basic tax return for free through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

To find out more information for the VITA workshop sites that may be near you or offering assistance in your language, visit the IRS website. Be sure to review the details for the site you choose.

You will need to bring the following to complete your tax return:

  • Valid photo ID
  • Social Security card or Individual Taxpayer ID Number for all individuals to be listed on the return
  • All 2015 income statements (W-2s, 1099s, Social Security income, etc.)
  • Bank account number & routing number for direct deposit/direct debit
  • Receipts for child care & provider’s ID number
  • Tuition fees & expenses (1098-Ts, receipts, etc.)
  • Landlord’s name, phone number, and address for CA Renter’s Credit
  • Health care-related documents (Form 1095-A, receipts for unreimbursed costs)
  • Copy of prior year’s tax return, if possible

For any questions relating to the VITA workshops, you may contact State Controller Betty Yee’s Office at (213) 833-6010.

If you have any other need for services relating to the State of California, please feel free to contact my office at (323) 264-4949.

The new State Earned Income Tax Credit

California is now offering a New State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working low-income families and individuals! The New State Earned Income Tax Credit will put more money in the pockets of those who need it most. These credits build on the benefits of the Federal EITC, offering a hand up to families that work. This program is available to California households with adjusted gross incomes of less than $6,580 if there are no qualifying children, less than $9,880 if there is one qualifying child or $13,870 if there are two or more qualifying children. If you qualify for the California EITC and the amount of the credit is greater than the tax you owe, you will receive a refund. See below for a few general qualifications.

Qualifications

  • You must file a state tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are not otherwise required to file.
  • You must have earned income from W-2 wages, salaries, tips, or other employee compensation subject to California withholding. (For the CA EITC, earned income does not include income from self-employment.)
  • You, your spouse, and any qualifying children must each have a social security number issued by the Social Security Administration that is valid for employment.
  • You must file using the single, married/registered domestic partner (RDP) filing jointly, or head of household filing status. The "married/RDP filing separately" status may not be used.

If you have an interest in this program and believe you may qualify, please visit California Franchise Tax Board website for more information.

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