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Articles written by Assemblymember Marie Waldron


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  • Humane help for homeless

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th District|Updated Feb 16, 2024

    Surveys indicate that 70% of Californians see homelessness as a big problem. That’s understandable since almost one half of all unsheltered homeless persons live in California, though we have only about 12% of the nation’s total population. Over the past three years, our homeless population increased by over 22,000 persons, to almost 174,000. In San Diego County, the homeless population increased by 10% in the last year alone. California spent $20 billion on the problem...

  • Wear red for women's heart health

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th District|Updated Feb 9, 2024

    February is American Heart Month, and this year Feb. 2 was National Wear Red for Women Day, which encourages people to wear red to help raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases. This year the Legislative Women’s Caucus has again supported a Senate Concurrent Resolution to recognize women’s heart health in the month of February. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports that cardiovascular diseases are the nation’s leading cause of death for men and...

  • Mental health priorities

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th District|Updated Feb 1, 2024

    In 1967, many state hospitals serving persons with mental illnesses were closed, but local programs to address their needs were inadequate. In 1991, oversight of mental healthcare was placed under county control, but by 2004 it was evident that this realignment hadn’t improved the situation. In 2004, voters approved Proposition 63, the California Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). The MHSA focuses on developing programs aimed at prevention and early intervention, housing, su...

  • Preparing for Wildfires

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th District|Updated Jan 25, 2024

    I recently joined several legislators to tour the site of the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire disaster in 100 years, which struck much of Butte County in 2018. The fire resulted in 85 deaths, covered almost 240 square miles, and almost totally destroyed the towns of Paradise, Concow and other communities. Sadly, this tragic death toll was surpassed in 2023 by fires that engulfed Maui, with almost 100 dead and many still missing. Our region is no stranger to wildfires. Most...

  • Economic Report Card

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th District|Updated Jan 11, 2024

    I have operated my own small business for 30 years, and eliminating burdensome regulations that get in the way of business formation and success were major reasons I first ran for public office. These efforts have continued throughout my time in the Legislature, and I am very proud that my voting record last year put me at the top of the California Chamber of Commerce’s (CalChamber) list of pro-business Assemblymembers. Last year, I was joined by only four of my colleagues...

  • Preventing suicide

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th District|Updated Sep 29, 2022

    In 2020, there were just under 46,000 suicides in the United States, making it the nation’s 12th-leading cause of death. California’s suicide rate is 10.7 per 100,000, compared to 13.4 nationally. Suicide rates across the United States have been increasing and are now double homicide rates. Obviously, more can be done to end this ongoing tragedy. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and this session I co-authored Assembly Concurrent Resolution 37, declaring...

  • New taxes down the road

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, Special to Village News|Updated Oct 8, 2021

    California has the highest gasoline prices in the country, and at 51.1 cents per gallon, our gasoline tax is also the highest. Keep in mind we have the country’s worst poverty rate, with many living just barely above the poverty level, and thousands have real problems just making ends meet. Making matters worse, SB 339 has been signed into law by the Governor. It pilots implementation of a “Road Usage Charge” (RUC), to eventually charge motorists a “per mile driven...

  • Preventing wildfires

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron|Updated Oct 1, 2021

    2020 was California’s worst year ever for wildfires – 33 people died and 4.2 billion acres burned. This year is on track to be even worse. Thankfully, the Legislature has responded to this crisis with a historic investment in wildfire prevention and response. With $200 million per year in ongoing funding, California’s land managers and firefighters will have the resources to turn the tide against our state’s deadly wildfires. Until recently, this funding was in doubt....

  • We have water, not the will

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th Assembly District|Updated Aug 7, 2021

    Droughts are a fact of life in California and shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Yet somehow we don't seem capable of preparing for them. We are now in the second year of severe drought, and much of California's agriculture, especially in the Central Valley, is facing devastation. The State Water Resources Control Board will soon vote on an "emergency curtailment" order that will prevent thousands of the state's farmers from using major rivers and streams to irrigate thei...

  • California homicides on the rise

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th Assembly District|Updated Jul 17, 2021

    According to a report by the FBI, 2020 was the deadliest year in California since 2007, with homicides increasing by 31%. Public safety should be our priority, but we’ve been moving in the wrong direction. In California, 28% of homicides last year were gang-related, 7% were the result of domestic violence. Minority populations suffered the most as Hispanics accounted for 45% of homicide victims, and African Americans, 31%. The homicide rate in 2019 was the lowest since 1966,...

  • Water for tribal governments

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th Assembly District|Updated Jul 10, 2021

    In the late 1800s, the federal government granted San Luis Rey River water rights to the cities of Vista and Escondido, depriving local tribes of water they had used for thousands of years. In essence, allocating the water rights twice. According to Bo Mazzetti, Rincon Tribal Chairman, “The cattle were dying. The Trees were dying.” In the 1960s the tribes sued, leading to a final settlement that was eventually agreed upon 50 years later. As a member of the Escondido City...

  • Helping small business get back on its feet

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th Assembly District|Updated Jun 30, 2021

    California is now reopening its economy, something I’ve been advocating for months. As a small business owner, I understand the disproportionate impact the pandemic had on small businesses, which make up 95% of all businesses in this region and employ the vast majority of workers. We’re taking a huge step in the right direction, though it’s months too late. Eliminating mandatory shutdowns is only part of the solution. Businesses need help so that they can successfully...

  • Budget complexities

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th Assembly District|Updated Jun 23, 2021

    The Legislature just passed a budget for fiscal year 2021-22, and the Governor has until June 30 to sign it into law. Revisions are likely, and a series of “trailer bills” to fund specific programs will be considered over the coming months. More than $267 billion will be spent, including $195.5 billion from the General Fund. Positively, the budget increases funding for Special Education, including individuals with disabilities. More money for childcare will expand access...

  • Dilemma in treatment for terminal patients

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th Assembly District|Updated Jun 16, 2021

    Providing relief and dignity to terminally ill patients suffering from extreme pain can run into legal and bureaucratic roadblocks. SB 311 (Hueso), bipartisan legislation that recently passed the Senate, may help. SB 311, known as Ryan’s Law, is named for Ryan Bartell, a terminally ill patient in Seattle who found that he was often unconscious because of opioids prescribed by his doctors to deal with his pain. He wanted to spend his remaining time with his 9-year-old son...

  • Transitional Kindergarten – success for all

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th District|Updated Jun 9, 2021

    I’m very proud to jointly author Assembly Bill 22 (AB 22) with Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D – Sacramento). AB 22 will phase in Transitional Kindergarten for all California four-year-olds by the 2032-33 school year. Transitional Kindergarten programs have a major positive impact on all participating students, including language skills for English learners and math skills for low-income students. Too many children enter kindergarten unprepared, but research shows that...

  • Some good news

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th Assembly District|Updated Jun 2, 2021

    The Appropriations Committee can be a place where good bills go to die. But despite its reputation, some important legislation made it through Appropriations before the May 21 deadline. That includes two of my bills, AB 653, which creates a grant for substance use treatments in county jails and for those on supervised parole, and AB 22, a bill I jointly authored to phase in Transitional Kindergarten eligibility for all four-year-olds. Another important education bill, AB 498...

  • Expand broadband now

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th Assembly District|Updated May 26, 2021

    Access to broadband service is vital in today’s world and our rural north county area has a great need to improve access to the internet. Having a high-speed internet connection can make the difference when it comes to getting an education, a job, seeing a doctor or simply staying connected with family and friends. That’s why my caucus and I have long supported efforts to close the digital divide throughout California. A study commissioned by the California Public...

  • Equity in healthcare

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th Assembly District|Updated May 19, 2021

    COVID-19 has had a disproportionately severe impact on California’s low income, African American, Latino and Pacific Islander communities, as well as on essential workers such as those in the healthcare, grocery and cleaning service industries. That’s why I am proud to support Assembly Bill 1038 introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D – Carson). The bill establishes the California Health Equity Program within the Department of Public Health to provide grants supporting...

  • Women in California Leadership Foundation offers scholarships to female students

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron AD-75 R|Updated May 17, 2021

    On May 1st, the Women in California Leadership (WiCL) Foundation Minerva Scholarship program, now in its second year, will begin accepting online applications from eligible female students. The program was established to assist deserving female students by offering financial assistance to meet educational expenses. Eighty-four $2,500 Minerva Scholarships and one $10,000 Golden Minerva Scholarship will be awarded this year. In order to be eligible for scholarship consideration students must meet the following requirements: ...

  • Honoring – and helping – our veterans

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th Assembly District|Updated May 12, 2021

    May is National Military Appreciation Month, with several observances honoring our veterans and their families, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day on May 7, Armed Forces Day on May 15 and Memorial Day on May 31. Honoring the service and sacrifice of our active-duty military and our veterans is important, but supporting them means more than holidays or national commemorations. This session I am very pleased that members of my Caucus have introduced important...

  • Priorities for the future

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th District|Updated May 5, 2021

    As the constitutionally mandated June 15 deadline for passing a balanced budget nears, discussions in Sacramento about spending priorities are ramping up. California is facing a variety of challenges. First of all, we must get the economy up and running again, and we can use our budget surplus to help bring back jobs. Through additional investments in the Small Business Grant Program, and by targeting surplus revenues to reduce unemployment insurance debt for employers, we...

  • Public safety power shutoffs

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th District|Updated Apr 28, 2021

    Devastation from California’s wildfires has been at record levels in recent years. Last year our wildfire season resulted in over 4 million acres burned in 9,600 fires – 31 people died. The economic costs to homeowners, utilities, ratepayers, insurers and local governments has been catastrophic. While electric utility infrastructure has accounted for less than 10% of wildfires historically, downed power lines have been responsible for about half of California’s most...

  • Protecting wild horses and burros

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th Assembly District|Updated Apr 21, 2021

    This year I am joining Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D – Arleta) to author Assembly Joint Resolution 5 (AJR 5), to urge the federal government to place a roundup moratorium on the state’s free-roaming horses and burros. Wild horses and burros can trace their North American origins way back, though current populations originated with more recent European settlement. From the 1600s to the early 1900s, California was an ideal habitat for hundreds of thousands of these...

  • Arbor Day – A call to action

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, 75th Assembly District|Updated Apr 14, 2021

    Arbor Day is April 30, an observance that began in 1872 when the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture adopted a resolution creating a day set aside to plant trees. The holiday spread throughout the United States and is observed in many countries around the world. California’s observance is March 7, and coincides with the birthday of botanist Luther Burbank. Today, many communities organize tree-planting and litter-collecting events to coincide with the holiday. But whichever...

  • The crisis continues

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron, AD-75 R|Updated Apr 7, 2021

    The Employment Development Department has been mired in crisis for more than a year now. The massive backlog in unemployment claim processing hasn’t really budged, millions of daily calls go unanswered, fraud is rampant – estimated at $11 to $31 billion – and appeals can take over three months; the failure list is long. There’s plenty of blame to go around too. Former Governor Jerry Brown ignored a 2011 audit that pointed out EDD’s shortcomings, and new directives...

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