November 2015 Quarterly District News

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - 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.

Sincerely,

Signature

Ed Chau
Assemblymember, 49th District

In this November issue you will find:



Legislative Package Recap

This year Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a total of 12 bills into law that I authored.  I made great strides to ensure my constituents and all Californians have the resources they need to take control of the issues affecting their daily lives.  Some of the legislation I authored will ensure that more resources and tools are available to create more affordable housing; that the public has greater privacy protections against cybercrimes; and that non-English speakers have better language access for vital services. Some of the bills that will take effect on January 1, 2016 include:

Housing

AB 90 – Federal Housing Trust Fund (FHTF) – States need to designate an administering agency in order to receive monies from the Federal Housing Trust Fund (FHTF) for affordable housing.  This bill would designate the Department of Housing and Community Development and require it to develop an allocation plan to demonstrate how the funds will be spent and submit the plan to the Legislature thirty days after receiving the funds. (Signed into Law as Chapter 686, Statutes of 2015)

AB 744 – Density Bonus Law – In some cases, cities and counties apply excessive minimum parking standards to affordable housing developments that may be close to transit stations, which needlessly drive up the cost of the project. This new law would allow developers who request a density bonus from a city to also request that the city reduce minimum parking requirements for an affordable housing development if it is within ½ mile of transit, a senior-only project close to transit, or serves special needs individuals close to transit. (Signed into Law as Chapter 699, Statutes of 2015)

Privacy

AB 195 – Hacker for Hire Prevention Act – The growth of Hacker-for-Hire websites allow some individuals to seek illegal hacking services from less than ethical hackers, such as installing spyware on devices and gaining access to the email and social media accounts of unsuspecting victims.  This new law will protect individual privacy by making it a crime to assist in the solicitation of a hacker to illegally access a computer network. (Signed into Law as Chapter 552, Statutes of 2015)

AB 964 – Data Breach Notification Act – For consumers, the loss of personal information from a data breach can result in identify theft, fraud, and personal embarrassment, all of which could take years to repair and recover from, if ever.  This new law will make sure businesses and government agencies have strong technological safeguards in place, if our private information is compromised. (Signed into Law as Chapter 522, Statutes of 2015)

Language Access

AB 389 – Hospital Language Access – Current law requires each general acute care hospital to annually adopt a policy for providing language assistance to Limited English Proficient patients and to report that policy to the Department of Public Health (DPH). This bill would require hospitals and the Department of Public Health to post language assistance policies online, enabling policymakers and consumers to access information the law guarantees. (Signed into Law as Chapter 327, Statutes of 2015)

AB 1443 – Election Language Access – Current law provides a list of covered voters that need language assistance, but is silent on the methods or best practices to serve the multiple language needs of voters. This bill would establish in the Office of the Secretary of State a Language Accessibility Advisory Committee of appointed specialists to advise state and local elections officials on best practices to address language accessibility needs of voters. (Signed into Law as Chapter 347, Statutes of 2015)

For a complete list of legislation that I authored this year, please visit my legislation page.

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District Event

WATER INFORMATIONAL FORUM

I partnered with members of the San Gabriel Valley Water Community to inform the public about the current status of the drought and to equip residents with the resources necessary to continue conservation efforts in an informed manner.

California is in the midst of one of the most severe droughts on record. According to the California Department of Water Resources, the statewide water content of Sierra snowpack was at five percent of average for April 1st. These levels are lower than any year in records going back to 1950. Snowpack provides about one-third of the water used by California's cities and farms when it melts into streams and reservoirs. As such, San Gabriel Valley water policy leaders presented on topics, such as “The Status of the Drought in California,” “Conservation Methods,” and “The Future of Water in California.”

The presenters at the forum included Thomas Wong, Board Member, San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District; Ken Manning, Executive Director, San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority; Dan Arrighi, Water Resources Manager, San Gabriel Valley Water Company; Shane Chapman, General Manager, Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District; and Tony Zampiello, Executive Officer, Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster.

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

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Capitol Event

JOINT COMMITTEES ASSESS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PROPOSITION 41 (THE VETERANS HOUSING AND HOMELESS PREVENTION BOND ACT OF 2014)

On October 15, 2015, I Co-Chaired a joint oversight hearing of the Assembly Committees on Housing and Community Development and Veterans Affairs on the Implementation of the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Program (VHHP).

California is home to nearly 1.8 million veterans as of September 30, 2013, the largest veteran population in the nation according to the VA's National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also reported that California has the highest number of homeless veterans with 15,179 in 2013, of which 10,293, or 67.8%, were unsheltered on a given night. To serve the needs of these veterans, California needs significantly more housing for extremely low-income and homeless veterans.

In 2013, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed AB 639 (John A. Pérez) the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014. It was enacted by the voters as Proposition 41 during the June 3, 2014 primary election. It restructures $600 million of the $900 million in bonds approved by the voters for the CalVet Home Loan Program in 2008 and uses them instead to fund the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable multifamily supportive housing, affordable multifamily transitional housing, or related facilities for veterans and their families.

The purpose of the hearing was to assess the implementation of the VHHP, discuss stakeholders' experiences with the first round of funding, and to further explore the process for financing and developing veteran-specific, supportive housing from the developer's and service providers' perspective.

Witnesses included representatives from the California Housing Finance Agency, CalVet Farm and Home Loan Division, California Department of Housing and Community Development, Domus Development, U.S. Vets, and Trimble/Shotts, LLC.

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State Resources – Highlight

CAN YOU HELP HOUSE OUR HOMELESS HEROES?

Do you or someone you know work in affordable housing development?

The State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is accepting applications for the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program (VHHP) until December 14th. The VHHP is open to any public agency or private entity that has experience and wants to develop affordable housing projects for veterans.

The VHHP tasks HCD with administering the new funding program in collaboration with the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) and explicitly restricts the use of bond proceeds to those housing units designated for veterans and their families. The focus of the program is on housing for veterans who are homeless or at risk for homelessness and in need of services such as mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, job training, and physical therapy to address injuries.

HCD released the first VHHP Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) on February 20, 2015, announcing the availability of approximately $75 million in VHHP funding. Over $63 million was awarded in June to successful applicants. HCD recently announced that $75 million is available for the second VHHP NOFA and the objective is to distribute a little over $23 million to projects located in Los Angeles County.

For more information on this program, including a list of eligible sponsors, please visit the Department of Housing and Community Development by clicking here.

***Please note – The VHHP Program does not provide funding directly to individuals. If you are a veteran in need of assistance please contact the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ National Call Center for Homeless Veterans Hotline at 1-877-4AID VET (1-877-424-3838) or the California Department of Veterans Affairs website at www.calvet.ca.gov.

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Calendar of Events

Holiday Toy Drive and Make a Difference Awards
Monday, December 7, 2015
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Almansor Ct - Salon III & Salon IV
700 So. Almansor Street
Alhambra, CA  91801

Come discuss services and programs that the district office provides along with recent legislation to improve the quality of life for district residents. Please consider bringing unwrapped toys/items in their original packaging for families in need (optional). All toys collected will be distributed to non-profits of the 49th District. Additionally, the event will honor outstanding men and women whose dedication and commitment has improved the quality of life for many people in our community.

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