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.
SACRAMENTO – Legislation introduced by Assemblyman Jim Patterson to make it faster and easier to build new escape routes in high fire danger areas in rural neighborhoods has been approved unanimously on the Assembly Floor. AB 1154 would eliminate California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements where a new road is needed in a high fire-hazard zone where there is only one road out.
SACRAMENTO – The EDD has suspended an unknown number of claims due to a new scam involving “organized criminals using stolen medical provider credentials.” Until EDD can verify the identity of the doctors in question, their patients won’t get paid. Dozens of people have reached out to Assemblyman Patterson’s office for help. People with debilitating illnesses, injuries and even new mothers have been without payments for months. Many have reached the end of their financial rope.