SACRAMENTO – The California Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee voted to approve a bill that would help recent wildfire victims trying to rebuild their homes. Assemblyman Jim Patterson introduced AB 1078 in to include victims of devastating 2020 wildfires in a solar panel exemption granted to previous wildfire victims. Without this bill, anyone trying to rebuild after a wildfire would be required to put solar panels on their home – even if it burned down in a wildfire.
SACRAMENTO – Legislation to create a new grant program to educate people about the dangers of the fentanyl overdose crisis was approved unanimously today on the Assembly Floor. AB 2365 would provide funding for six pilot projects within local government agencies (i.e. education, law enforcement, public health, etc.) to increase awareness and education about the dangers of fentanyl. Assemblyman Patterson has requested three million dollars in total to fund the six projects. The exact amount of each grant will be determined at a later date.
SACRAMENTO – The California Highway Patrol could join local law enforcement agencies to investigate and prevent catalytic converter theft thanks to a proposed Assembly bill. AB 1653 was introduced by Assemblyman Jim Patterson and was approved in the Assembly Appropriations Committee Wednesday. The bill will help local law enforcement agencies struggling to keep up with the dramatic rise in catalytic converter theft by allowing counties in the hardest hit areas to seek additional support from the CHP. This would include help with theft ring investigations, logistical support, personnel, and equipment.
SACRAMENTO – A bill that would force California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) to post wait times for services on their website was approved unanimously in the Assembly Insurance Committee Wednesday. Assemblyman Jim Patterson introduced AB 1821 to require the EDD Director to post current average processing times for unemployment claims as well as the average number of days it takes for claimants to be contacted by EDD for a required determination interview. The information must be posted on the EDD website and updated bi-weekly.
FRESNO – Assemblyman Jim Patterson was joined by partners in law enforcement, education, and addiction treatment to announce legislative efforts that would create a new state grant to fund outreach, prevention and awareness of the fentanyl crisis. AB 2365 would fund six pilot projects throughout the state focused on reducing fentanyl overdose and use. Local government agencies (i.e. education, law enforcement, public health, etc.) would apply for grant funds to increase awareness and education about the dangers of fentanyl.
FRESNO – The California Transportation Commission voted Wednesday to approve $23 million (ITIP) in statewide funding along with $10 million (RTIP) in regional funding needed to complete a dangerous six-mile stretch of Highway 41 in Fresno County. A statewide crash and injury database shows fatal accidents in this area accounted for 35 percent of all fatalities on Highway 41 in Fresno County between December 2011 and January 2020. The state funds approved today will be combined with $13 million of local Measure C dollars. The remaining $17.2 million will be provided by the Cal Trans State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP).
SACRAMENTO – Legislation introduced by Assemblyman Jim Patterson to make it easier for law enforcement to track down hit and run drivers was approved in the Assembly Public Safety Committee in a unanimous vote. Under AB 1732, local law enforcement agencies that need the public’s help finding a hit and run driver would ask the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to activate a ‘Yellow Alert.’ Freeway signs in a designated area would then be lit up with a vehicle licenses plate or description.
SACRAMENTO – A bill introduced by Assemblyman Jim Patterson would allow local law enforcement agencies to tap into CHP resources to investigate and prevent catalytic converter theft. The theft of catalytic converters has risen dramatically throughout the state. In Los Angeles County, it is estimated that catalytic converter thefts were up by 400 percent in 2020. In Fresno County, reports of stolen catalytic converters went up over 900 percent from 2020 to 2021.
LOS ANGELES  — Fraudsters are once again targeting EDD but this time, they’re going after disability claims. The department is now being accused of moving too slowly while it weeds out the bad claims so it can pay those who have legitimate ones.
FRESNO – The latest fraud scheme to hit the California Employment Development Department (EDD) is impacting thousands of state disability insurance claims.