SACRAMENTO — One of Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia’s most high-profile pieces of legislation this session was Assembly Bill 2439, which proposed to designate the LGBTQ Veterans Memorial at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City as the official state LGBTQ veterans memorial.

With Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature safely secured, the granite obelisk is now the state’s official LGBTQ Veterans Memorial. California is the first state in the nation to designate such a memorial.

It was an accomplishment years in the making, but it is not the only victory the assemblyman scored.

Now entering the final stretch of the 2018 California legislative session, the remainder of Assemblyman Garcia’s, D-Coachella, measures that focus on his district face their final hurdles before becoming law. With five signed bills already under his belt, the Assemblyman will have until the end of next week to bring the rest of his legislative proposals to fruition.

A majority of Garcia’s initiatives were brought forward by local entities or prompted by prevalent local issues. AB 2746 related to tax sale process and AB 2495 addressing city litigation fees are among those awaiting the Gov. Brown’s signature.

“The county of Imperial asked that I carry AB 2746 in order to clarify the California tax code to enable treasurer-tax collectors throughout the state to continue their tax sale process, without being impaired if a bankruptcy is filed after the right of redemption has expired,” Garcia said in a prepared statement. “These amendments will help save counties, like Imperial, from unnecessary litigation expenses.”

This year, Assemblyman Garcia and Assemblyman Chad Mayes, R-Yucca Valley, combined forces on AB 2495 in response to public outcry from residents being billed for prosecution fees incurred by the city or county.

“This will help spare residents from being forced to pay excessive fines that they often cannot afford,” Garcia said.

Assemblyman Garcia had numerous other pieces of legislation signed into law, including:

  • AB 2325, County mental health services: veterans, prohibits eligible California veterans from being denied county mental or behavioral health services while waiting for a determination of eligibility for, and availability of, services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Clarifies that existing law prohibiting veterans from being denied county mental health services includes whether or not the person is eligible for services provided by the VA. (Irwin, E. Garcia)
  • AB 2239, World Language Courses: A-G Course Certification, would encourage the governing board of a school district to support its schools in submitting any foreign language courses that are specifically designed for native speakers of that language to the University of California for certification and addition to the school’s “A-G” course list.
  • AB 1639, Victim Compensation Fund Expansion, would require the California Victim Compensation Board to conduct outreach to local law enforcement agencies in order to ensure that victims and their families are made aware to the comprehensive and holistic healing services available following a crime.
  • AJR 34, Agricultural workers: labor shortages, would call upon the Federal Government to recognize the agricultural labor shortages affecting our agricultural industry and urge them to address this critical economic issue.

Several other pieces of legislation from the Assemblyman await Gov. Brown’s signature. They are:

  • SB 965, California Cattle Council, establishes the California Cattle Council within the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to provide production research, producer and consumer education, and various promotional activities related to cattle in California; and provides that the council will consist of 11 members and 11 alternates appointed by the Secretary of CDFA. This bill assesses $1 per head of live cattle and calves sold to enable the council to carry out programs and administer activities. (McGuire, E. Garcia)
  • AB 2006 – Charge Ahead California Initiative: agricultural worker vanpool programs, requires the Air Resources Board (ARB) to ensure existing agricultural vanpool programs serve disadvantaged communities and low-income communities, and requires ARB to allocate a minimum of 25% of the moneys appropriated for agricultural vanpool programs to those programs servicing low-income communities. (Eggman, E. Garcia)
  • AB 1928, California Conservation Corps: contracts, would authorize until January 1, 2024, the California Conservation Corps (CCC) to enter into a contract with an individual or collective of Local Conservation Corps (LCC) groups for activities related to a CCC project or program. (McCarty, E. Garcia)
  • AB 1944, Sustainable groundwater management: San Luis Rey Valley Groundwater Basin, adjusts the basin designations within the San Luis Rey Valley Groundwater Basin in order to facilitate groundwater management.