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Browsing the archives for the Assemblyman Brian Dahle category.

Sky-high fines are self-defeating

Assemblyman Brian Dahle

By Brian Dahle

California Assemblyman Dist. 1

Arthur came into my District Office one day with a problem. He explained his situation hoping to get help. Apparently, Arthur ran a red light and was caught by an automated camera system. Because no officer on patrol actually stopped him and told him what he had done wrong, he was not aware of the violation at the time.

Arthur never received his ticket in the mail because he is in between homes. Court records show that the summonses had been returned undelivered on two occasions. Fortunately, Arthur was able to receive some mail which was delivered to a friend’s home including a letter from the DMV. The letter from the DMV warned him his license would be suspended for failing to pay the ticket.

In order to solve the issue, Arthur went to the courthouse to explain the situation. He was offered a new court date and the judge said he would consider being lenient. Unfortunately, the court date was weeks after his license would be suspended. To clear up the suspension, he would have to pay the full fine and penalties; roughly $700 including hundreds in charges for failing to respond to a court summons. A summons the court’s own records show he never received.

If he did not pay the fine, Arthur would be breaking the law anytime he drove his car. The car he happened to be living in when he was looking for work. Arthur was able to solve his issue, but millions of Californians are not as lucky. This is an issue that must be addressed.

Caught between steep fines, automated enforcement, and a system that suspends driver’s licenses as a collections tool, millions of Californians have lost their ability to legally drive. A report this spring concluded that more than 4 million Californians’ licenses were suspended from 2006 to 2013, with only a tiny fraction ever restored. They owe some $10 billion in unpaid fines.

If citizens cannot pay their fines in the first place, exactly how are they going to pay a much larger fine without the ability to legally drive? Unless they live in one of the few parts of the state with a robust public transportation network, which none of my rural constituents in the 1st Assembly District do, how are they going to obtain and maintain employment without a license?

Some people are just too heedless or irresponsible to take care of their fines. Some measure of accountability is important. But suspending a driver’s license is a severe penalty that should be reserved for keeping the roads safe. Nobody is crying for the drunk drivers who lose their licenses. But the fact is, the law often treats DUI offenders with more grace than it does the fellow who could not pay the $230 ticket for an improper lane change.

California needs to take a hard look at how its ticketing practices punish poor residents beyond reason or justice. The money raised through traffic fines pays for important programs such as DNA databases, emergency medical services, court construction. Scofflaws are an easy target, but we have crossed the line into extracting money for too many public services from those least able to pay.

Suspending licenses for unpaid debts is not only cruel to those who truly cannot pay but counterproductive when it costs people the very jobs they need. For middle-class professionals, a ticket might be an embarrassment and a headache. For a family already scraping by on low or sporadic wages, the system leaves them stuck in a legal and financial trap – a “hellhole of desperation,” as Gov. Jerry Brown recently described it. The Governor has proposed an amnesty program for unpaid tickets with penalties waived and tickets reduced on a sliding scale based on ability to pay. It is a great idea, but just a start, more needs to be done.

Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, represents California’s 1st Assembly District, which contains all of Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Sierra, Siskiyou, and Shasta Counties, and portions of Butte and Placer Counties.

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CA Assemblyman Brian Dahle joins array of select committees

Assemblyman Brian Dahle

 

Panels on digital divide, land access, water include North State voice

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, has been named to nine Assembly select committees in the current legislative session. The bipartisan bodies will tackle issues vital to the North State economy and work toward a more responsive state government.
Reflecting Dahle’s commitment to improving the business climate and job opportunities in northeastern California, the Assemblyman will serve on the select committees studying the availability of high-speed Internet service in rural areas, renewable energy resources, craft brewing, STEM education, and women in the workplace.
Dahle will also serve on the Select Committee on Expanding Access to California’s Natural Resources, promoting opportunities for all Californians to use and enjoy public lands and open spaces.
“I appreciate the opportunity to spend focused time on understanding these critical issues,” Dahle said. “We need a Legislature that is more responsive and focused on solving problems.”
Select Committees may conduct research, hold hearings on matters of interest to the state, and make legislative recommendations, but they may not consider or vote for specific legislation.
Dahle will serve on the following select committees during the 2015-16 Legislature:
• Select Committee on California’s Clean Energy Economy
• Select Committee on Civic Engagement
• Select Committee on Craft Brewing and Distilling
• Select Committee on the Digital Divide in Rural California
• Select Committee on Expanding Access to California’s Natural Resources
• Select Committee on Regional Approaches to Addressing the State’s Water Crisis
• Select Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education
• Select Committee on Waste Reduction and Recycling in the 21st Century California
• Select Committee on Women in the Workplace
Assemblyman Dahle represents California’s 1st Assembly District, which contains all of Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Sierra, Siskiyou, and Shasta Counties, and portions of Butte and Placer Counties.
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CA Senator Ted Gaines and Assemblyman Brian Dahle announce Town Hall meetings

Assemblyman Brian Dahle, Ted Gaines

LASSEN & PLUMAS COUNTY TOWN HALL MEETINGS

Join me and Assemblyman Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) for a Town Hall Meeting to discuss goals and priorities for 2015, share concerns about state issues and learn how our legislative offices can provide resources and services. Below is a schedule of the meetings I will be hosting in Plumas and Lassen counties this month. For more information, please call my district office at (916) 783-8232. I hope to see you there!

DATE LOCATION
Friday, March 27
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Quincy Town Hall Meeting
Plumas County Library
445 Jackson Street
Quincy, CA 95971

Friday, March 27
2-3 p.m. Chester Town Hall Meeting
Chester Memorial Hall
500 Stone Avenue
Chester, CA 96020

Friday, March 27
4-5:30 p.m. Susanville Town Hall Meeting
Masonic Temple
84 North Lassen Street
Susanville, CA 96130

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Foresters name Assemblyman Dahle Legislator of the Year

Assemblyman Brian Dahle

SACRAMENTO – Honoring his legislative work to promote sensible and sustainable forestry laws, the California Forestry Association has presented Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, with the Legislator of the Year Award.

The award is given to a member of the California State Legislature each year for his or her dedication to creating solutions to issues facing the forestlands, including public land management and conservation efforts.

“Assemblyman Dahle has been an instrumental leader in developing greater public awareness and meaningful policy to enhance the responsible management of California’s forests,” says Calforests President David Bischel. “The Assemblyman understands there is a real connection between the health of our forests and the health of all Californians. Brian Dahle has been a true visionary in creating solutions that will have long-term sustainable benefits for our forests, our watersheds and our wildlife.”

In the 2013-14 legislative session, Dahle won passage of several timber-related bills including the following:

• AB 744, which expanded the scope of Timber Harvest Plan exemptions for small landowners in regions with high fire risk.
• AB 2082, which will bring post-harvest replanting standards in line with the latest scientific guidelines.
• AB 2112, which gives landowners adequate time to inform Cal Fire that they will be extending timber harvest plans.
• AB 2363, which directs the California Public Utilities Commission to more fairly calculate the cost of baseline renewable electricity sources including biomass power.
On Tuesday, Assemblyman Dahle was also sworn in as California’s representative to the Western Legislative Forestry Task Force, which is an international body that promotes balanced ecological and economic use of the West’s forests.

“Forestry remains a vitally important industry in rural California,” Dahle said, “Because of the effects on our water supply and wildlife habitat, what happens in the forests is important to all Californians. I’m glad that I’ve been able to achieve bipartisan reforms that promote sound forestry, and I will keep pushing measures that will encourage healthy forests and Forest jobs.”

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Assemblyman Dahle Named Vice-Chair of Two Assembly Committees

Assemblyman Brian Dahle

Dec. 19, 2014

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, has been appointed Vice-Chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Substances Committee for the 2015-16 legislative session by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.

“The North State is a place where our livelihoods and quality of life still depend directly on our forests and other natural resources,” Dahle said. “As Vice-Chair of Natural Resources, I will fight to ensure that protection of the environment doesn’t come at the expense of rural economies, and work to better manage forests to protect communities and watersheds from the ever-growing threat of catastrophic wildfires.”

The Environmental Safety and Toxic Substances Committee’s jurisdiction includes hazardous materials, drinking-water regulation, and pesticides. Assemblyman Dahle will promote safety regulation that protects the public’s health while keeping compliance as clear and simple as possible for manufacturers, farmers and other business owners, to protect the competitiveness of California’s economy. As a family farmer in Lassen County’s Big Valley, Dahle has firsthand experience that helps him understand the importance both of safety and of cost-effective regulation.

“Brian’s career has been dedicated to protecting rural Californians,” said Assembly Republican Leader Kristen Olsen, R-Modesto, “and he understands the importance of balancing economic growth with the protection of our environment and natural resources. Brian successfully passed legislation to help our forestry industry and small business owners when no one else could. Our state benefits from his continued leadership on these committees.”

In the 2015-16 session, Dahle will also continue to serve on the Water, Parks and Wildlife and Utilities and Commerce committees, and become a member of the newly formed Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection.

Brian Dahle represents California’s 1st Assembly District, which includes all of Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties and portions of Butte and Placer counties.

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Dahle earns 100% rating from taxpayers group

Assemblyman Brian Dahle

SACRAMENTO — Reflecting his strong pro-taxpayer record, Assemblyman Brian Dahle is one of three members of the Assembly to earn a 100 percent rating from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers’ Association for the 2013-14 legislative session.
The scorecard, released Tuesday, is based on votes on 15 bills over the two-year session. Dahle’s score reflects his opposition to new taxes and new mechanisms for raising taxes, but it’s about more than saying “No” to bad bills. The score also shows his support for measures to strengthen the initiative system, protect low-income seniors from being taxed out of their homes, create new criminal penalties for misusing state funds, and increase transparency about the true long-term cost of bond measures put before the voters.
“Californians already pay high taxes and don’t need to pay more,” Dahle said. “I’m proud to have built a record of respecting taxpayers’ money instead of asking them to reach deeper into their pockets to solve every problem.”
One of California’s best-known taxpayer advocacy groups, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers’ Association is “dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights, including the right to limited taxation, the right to vote on tax increases and the right of economical, equitable and efficient use of taxpayer dollars.”
Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, represents the 1st Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes Shasta, Lassen, Nevada, Siskiyou, Modoc, Plumas, and Sierra Counties, and portions of Butte and Placer Counties.

 

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Dahle bill cuts red tape for small retailers

Assemblyman Brian Dahle, State gov

 

AB 2031 exempts mom-and-pop stores from collecting lumber tax

A measure sponsored by Assemblyman Brian Dahle to relieve small stores from the burden of collecting a new tax on retail lumber sales has been signed into law by the Governor.
Assembly Bill 2031 waives the obligation of retailers that sell less than $25,000 per year worth of lumber to collect the 1 percent assessment on wood products. The Legislature enacted that tax in 2012, before Assemblyman Dahle took office. Dahle argued and the Legislature agreed that the record-keeping and reporting requirements were a senseless burden compared with the revenue involved.
“California’s rural areas are full of mom-and-pop stores where you can buy a gallon of milk, a fishing license, and a 2-by-4 or sheet of plywood,” Dahle said. “The cost of paperwork for collecting this tax outweighed any benefit to the state. I appreciate the Legislature’s willingness to see reason and make life easier for small businesses.”
AB 2031 passed both houses of the Legislature with broad bipartisan support.
Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, represents the 1st Assembly District, which includes Shasta, Lassen, Nevada, Siskiyou, Modoc, Plumas and Sierra counties, and portions of Butte and Placer counties.

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Assemblyman Brian Dahle reforms of SRA fee become law

Assemblyman Brian Dahle, Fire Fees, State gov

AB 2048 waives fee in disasters, reduces late penalties

A measure sponsored by Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, to reform the state’s “fire prevention fee” will become law.

The Governor signed Assembly Bill 2048 on Tuesday, fixing some of the worst parts of the Cal Fire “fire prevention fee” imposed on residents of the mostly rural State Responsibility Area.
It waives the fee for homeowners who lose their residence to a wildfire or other natural disaster – commonsense relief that was not allowed under the original legislation. It reduces a steep penalty for late payment — 20 percent per month – to just 10 percent, in line with other state fees. It ends mandatory annual increases for inflation. And it streamlines appeal procedures.

“Like most North State residents, I’d rather see the fee simply repealed,” Dahle said. “In the meantime, this bill reforms some of the worst aspects of the fee. In particular, it was egregious that the law taxed homeowners who’d lost their homes to fire.”
Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, represents the 1st Assembly District, which includes Shasta, Lassen, Nevada, Siskiyou, Modoc, Plumas and Sierra counties, and portions of Butte and Placer counties.
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Dahle utility bill signed into law

Assemblyman Brian Dahle, State gov

AB 2363 protects ratepayers, levels playing field for biomass, geothermal power

A measure sponsored by Assemblyman Brian Dahle requiring utility regulators to calculate the full cost of reliably integrating renewable energy into the state’s power grid has won the governor’s signature.

Assembly Bill 2363 directs the California Public Utilities Commission to calculate the integration cost of different sources of “green” power to ensure ratepayers get the best deal for their renewable electricity dollar.

“California has the nation’s most aggressive plans to promote renewable energy,” Dahle said. “As we push ahead, we need to protect ratepayers and be fair to businesses that have invested in renewable generation.”

Wind and solar electricity, in particular, require expensive backup power or storage to ensure consistent availability of electricity despite changes in the weather, yet the CPUC has not included those costs when figuring the cost of renewable energy sources as it reviews utilities’ power purchases.

A better accounting will level the playing field within the renewable sector and ensure small hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass energy producers have a fair shot at selling power into the market. Large tax credits and other incentives for wind and solar have undermined the financial viability of some of the North State’s most valuable contributions to the state’s renewable-energy future.

“In order to ensure the security and stability of California’s energy market, our renewable portfolio standards need to be balanced and diversified,” said Julee Malinowski Ball, Executive Director of the California Biomass Energy Alliance. “Assemblyman Dahle’s AB 2363 is a significant move in that direction by requiring the Public Utilities Commission to accurately consider the full costs and benefits of renewable resources being offered.”

“On behalf of Calpine and the over 300 men and women who work full-time at The Geysers, the world’s single largest geothermal resource developed for electric generation, we want to thank Assemblymember Brian Dahle for his tenacious support of a renewable energy policy that creates a more level playing field among all new and existing renewable resources in the utility contracting process,” said Jim Kluesener, Calpine’s Vice President of Geothermal Operations. “The Geysers has been in operation for nearly 55 years and we look forward to continuing to work with Assemblymember Dahle, members of the State Legislature, Governor Brown and the California Public Utilities Commission to implement this important piece of legislation and other policies necessary to ensure The Geysers continue to provide affordable and reliable low-carbon energy for years to come.”

The measure will also protect ratepayers. AB 2363 will help ensure utilities buy power that meets customers’ needs at the true best price, instead of hiding the long-term costs of new renewable power sources.

In signing AB 2363, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statement stressing the need to maintain affordability and reliability, and noting the importance of geothermal and biomass power in meeting the state’s environmental goals.

“I thank the Governor for signing this bill,” Dahle said, “and it’s encouraging that we share a similar, bipartisan vision for these important North State industries.”

Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, represents the 1st Assembly District, which includes Shasta, Lassen, Nevada, Siskiyou, Modoc, Plumas and Sierra counties, and portions of Butte and Placer counties.

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Assembly Member Dahle’s Statement on the Water Bond Legislation

Assemblyman Brian Dahle, State gov

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Member Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, issued the following statement responding to Wednesday’s vote by the Legislature to place an alternative water bond on the November 2014 ballot:

“After holding an Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee Hearing in Redding and receiving feedback from over 8,000 constituents, it was evident that securing funding for above ground storage was at the top of the list of any comprehensive solution for folks in the North State.

Adequate new water storage to meet the needs of California’s growing population and agriculture is imperative to secure California’s economic stability.

I am confident that, with this bi-partisan water bond, all Californians will be able to support a plan that will finally get our state on the path to creating a more reliable water supply for generations to come.”

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___________________
Erik Brahms
Communications Director, Assemblyman Brian Dahle
Tel 916-319-2001 • Fax 916-319-2101
erik.brahms@asm.ca.gov

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