By Assemblyman Brian Maienschein
As I look back on my first year serving in the State Assembly, I am proud of the work I did on behalf of the 77th Assembly District. This year, our state finally regained some financial stability when it was announced that for the first time in years, California would have a balanced budget.
I focused my attention on issues that are important not only to my district, but to me personally: ensuring public safety, building a strong economy and improving our public education.
As a freshman assembly member, I am proud that four of the bills I authored were signed into law by Gov. Brown, and two more await his signature. Assembly Bill 68 will help alleviate some of the problems counties have been facing as a result of prison realignment. County officials will now get a 30-day notification when someone is being released into their county on medical parole. This will provide law enforcement an essential tool to help them monitor those who have been released to make sure they are not harming innocent individuals in the community.
Assembly Bill 465 will give youth sports leagues the authority to conduct criminal background checks on all paid and volunteer coaches. While many coaches play a positive role in a child’s life, there have been too many instances of abuse. As a father and coach of my daughters’ soccer team, I will continue to do anything I can to make sure our kids are safe.
Assembly Bill 216 will help foster youth high school students by allowing them to graduate once they meet the state’s minimum graduation requirements. Foster youth face a lot of challenges as a result of their unique living situation. Because they frequently change school districts, they can easily be held back longer than their peers as they work to meet different requirements. This legislation will help them graduate on time with their classmates so they can continue on to college or a career.
I also played a critical role in helping craft the new economic plan that will replace the former enterprise zone program. I helped negotiate with the governor’s office to make sure this new plan included much needed manufacturing tax exemptions and hiring credits for businesses, which provide good paying jobs in my district and throughout the state. Although more needs to be done to support our local businesses, this is a positive step giving businesses the resources needed to continue operating and employing people in California.
I am eager to move forward and begin working on new ideas and legislation. Our state continues to face challenges in areas of public safety, economic development and mental health services. I will continue to work to find the best means of addressing these challenges in a smart and practical way.
Maienschein represents the 77th Assembly District, which includes the residents of Poway and nearby San Diego communities.