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SCVNews.com | Castaic Assemblyman Back from Afghanistan | 04-10-2012
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Assemblyman Jeff Gorell

Assemblyman Jeff Gorell returned to the state Legislature Monday, having completed a one-year tour of duty with the U.S. Navy in Afghanistan.

“It has been a challenging year”, stated Assemblyman Gorell.  “However, the support I have received from other members of the state Assembly has been tremendous, and their effort to work with my staff and introduce my legislation while I was overseas means that I am able to immediately resume my duties representing the 37th Assembly District.”

In his absence, Gorell’s assembly district staff continued to provide constituent services, while his capitol staff worked with other state legislators to guide his legislation through committees in both houses of the legislature.

During 2011, the legislature approved Gorell’s legislation which will save Ventura County residents millions of dollars in flood insurance premiums by jumpstarting flood protection infrastructure improvements, as well as a bill that allows California’s architectural firms to remain nationally competitive by allowing them to organize as limited liability partnerships.

Gorell’s legislative bills for 2012 have been submitted by other Assembly members in his absence in an effort to meet introductory deadlines, and it is expected that he will immediately begin advocating for their passage.  A complete list of Gorell’s current 2012 legislation is attached.

During his absence from the state legislature, Assembly Member Jeff Gorell did not receive legislative salary or benefits.

A third generation naval officer, Assembly Member Jeff Gorell was called back to active duty by the U.S. Navy a year ago for deployment to Afghanistan.  He currently holds the rank of Lt. Commander with the Navy (Reserve) as an intelligence officer and has previously served a tour of duty in Afghanistan shortly after the events of 9/11.

A summary of Gorell legislation, presented by other legislators on his behalf, follows:

 

2012 Legislative Package:

AB 2016 – Following last year’s move to realign state prisons and the local jails, the legislature has been working to give local law enforcement authorities the ability to better manage their own jail population.  Law enforcement officials are looking at GPS monitoring of former inmates as a cost effective alternative to incarceration for some criminals, and Senator Wright has introduced a bill that will give local authorities greater flexibility to expand the use of this electronic monitoring.  Unfortunately, there is no clear consequence in these laws to deter individuals from tampering with or removing their monitoring device other than charging a violation of probation, which may not lead to jail time.  This bill will clearly define tampering with an electronic monitoring device as a criminal act, and provide appropriate penalties.  (This bill has been introduced by Assm. Mike Morrell)

AB 2025 – Current law states that communication between a mediator and a client are considered confidential and are not admissible as evidence in any other action or proceeding.  This bill creates a narrow exemption in the law, allowing relevant communication to be admissible as evidence in cases where a client is suing the attorney for malpractice.  (This bill has been introduced by Assm. Don Wagner)

AB 2044 – Current law requires that a prejudgment claim of right to possession must be served by a “marshal, sheriff, or registered process server”, creating added costs and responsibilities.  This bill extends the law to allow any person who is legally allowed to serve a summons to be able to also serve a prejudgment claim of right to possession.  (This bill has been introduced by Assm. Don Wagner)

AB 2059 – The current process of reporting state use taxes is inefficient and extremely expensive.  Current policy requires all individuals who gross $100,000 or more in receipts to register with the Board of Equalization (BoE) as a “qualified purchaser”.  The BoE has found that the cost to follow-up with all qualified purchasers actually exceeds the amount of revenue collected from the use tax.  This bill changes the reporting requirements to allow for the use of a tax lookup table to simplify reporting requirements, and increases the minimum annual threshold for registration of qualified purchasers from $100,000 to $500,000.  (This bill has been introduced by Assm. Katcho Achadjian)

AB 2275 – Current laws allowing retired educators and administrators to return to work in specialized positions are scheduled to sunset this year.  Because of the tremendous cuts to school spending, many smaller school districts have difficulty finding and hiring experienced staff, and the sunset of this law will make the problem even worse by forcing these employees out.  This urgency bill will extend the sunset date by an additional two years.  (This bill was introduced by Assm. Katcho Achadjian).

 

Veterans’ Bills:

All of Assembly Member Gorell’s Veterans’ bills have been introduced by Assembly Member Paul Cook.

AB 1929 – Current voting law disenfranchises our military service members on overseas duty because the process often results in ballots not being received by election offices in time to be counted.  This bill will help develop and implement a system that would allow service members to print out and mail in their ballots earlier, allowing those votes to be counted.

AB 1930 – California’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs (CalVet) is the state agency tasked with making sure that our military veterans receive the benefits they have earned.  This bill helps CalVet inform our service members of state job opportunities by requiring that the State Personnel Board send information regarding promotional exams to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

AB 1931 – Enhancing the California Department of Veterans’ Affairs (CalVet) ability to provide opportunities to our returning veterans, this bill will give CalVet the ability to provide a “one-stop shop” that service members can go to in an effort to transfer military training to meet state licensing requirements, and to help service members pursue business opportunities.

AB 1932 – State agencies regulating health care have been required by law for over 40 years to help service members transfer their military training to meet the licensing requirements for health care workers in California.  Unfortunately, even though this law has been on the books since the Vietnam War, many service members find it nearly impossible to apply their military training to qualify for jobs in health care.  This bill will require that state agencies that license health care workers clearly identify what they are doing to help trained military health care workers become civilian health care workers.

AB 2130 – California’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) develops the training standards for police officers throughout the state.  This bill will help POST incorporate military police training received by service members into their own civilian training program to help service members more quickly and efficiently move from a military police job into a career in civilian law enforcement.

 

Regulatory Reform Bills:

AB 1982 – Following concerns that costly state regulations are often put into effect before elected representatives have an opportunity to review and repair the consequences, this bill requires that all regulations that have an economic impact greater than $50 million must be submitted to the legislature for review.  (This bill was introduced by Assm. Don Wagner)

AB 2117 – The State Water Quality Control Board recently considered adopting expensive rainwater cleanup requirements that exceed Federal EPA regulations, without providing any cost/benefit analysis of the proposed regulation.  This bill will prohibit the adoption of these regulations until after the board completes an independent study identifying the costs and benefits of this regulation to the local communities and the environment.  (This bill was introduced by Assm. Katcho Achadjian)

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