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Op-Ed: California’s wildfires revealed a fix for our housing crisis — if we’re willing to act - Los Angeles Times
City and county officials treated the aftermath of the Tubbs fire as the crisis it was. In the months after the blaze, they implemented programs to expedite the rebuilding of thousands of homes. Santa Rosa reduced the fees the city levies on high-density, multifamily housing and on accessory dwelling units often called granny cottages. And instead of taking years to issue rebuilding permits, the city processed thousands each month. Sonoma County also waived some housing fees and opened a Resiliency Permit Center to speed up permitting for those dealing with fire damage.

Their approach inspired me to introduce Senate Bill 330, which I call the Housing Crisis Act of 2019. The bill would accelerate housing construction in the state during the next half-decade by slashing the time it takes for developers to get building permits, limiting fees on housing and barring local governments from reducing the number of homes that can be built.
housing  Nancy_Skinner  CA  legislation  2019 
6 weeks ago by Quercki
Becerra backs change in murder law that's widely opposed by state prosecutors - The San Diego Union-Tribune
State Senator Nancy Skinner
21 hrs ·

Good news for my legislation, SB 1437, which was signed into law last year:

"The court filings from Attorney General Xavier Becerra contend the state’s new felony-murder law is constitutional, a significant break from the positions of scores of prosecutors across the state."
Criminal justice reform advocates said the law unfairly swept up and punished individuals for a crime they did not personally commit. The new law says an accomplice can only face murder charges if they directly participated in the killing, aided and abetted it, or were a “major participant” and acted with reckless indifference. The law does not apply to killings of police officers.
murder  justice  law  Nancy_Skinner 
12 weeks ago by Quercki
A Good News Budget
To help communities respond to our homeless and housing crisis, the budget includes $2.4 billion in funds that will go to cities, counties, and community-based organizations to build new affordable housing, expand homeless services, and provide rental and legal assistance to people struggling to stay in their homes.

For schools, the 2019-20 budget contains much higher per pupil funding to put more money into our classrooms, pays down school pension debt, and reduces the pension contribution individual school districts have to make.

Funding in the budget will also help middle-class Californians cover their health care costs. And California families additionally benefit with two more weeks of paid family leave time, more funding for childcare and preschool, and no more sales tax on diapers and tampons.

Here are some additional highlights:

Boosts funding for higher education so that 15,000 more CA students can attend UC and CSU.
Increases per pupil funding for our K-12 schools to highest levels in state history.
Provides more school districts with funds for full-day kindergarten.
Supports 0-4 early care and education with funding to expand childcare facilities, improve affordability, and support workforce development for childcare providers.
2019  CA  budget  Nancy_Skinner  California 
july 2019 by Quercki
Sen. Nancy Skinner Issues Statement on California’s 2019-20 Budget | Senator Nancy Skinner
Budget Highlights:

$2.4 billion for affordable housing and homeless investments, including $650 million earmarked for cities, counties, and organizations to provide care and services for homeless people and prevent homelessness through legal and rental assistance for tenants facing economic hardship.
Highest level of school funding and per pupil funding in state history
$300 million for full-day kindergarten.
$500 million to improve and expand childcare facilities, improve childcare affordability, and support workforce development for childcare providers.
California’s paid family leave plan increased from six to eight weeks.
No more sales tax on diapers and feminine hygiene products, like tampons, for two years.
Targeted funding to train law enforcement on de-escalation techniques to reduce deadly use of force incidents.
Close to a billion dollars in Greenhouse Gas Reduction funds for low carbon cars, trucks, and buses, climate smart agriculture, healthy forests, ensuring safe, clean drinking water, and reducing toxic air pollutants.
And a robust reserve of $19.4 billion in case of future economic pressures.
CA  budget  taxes  SD09  Nancy_Skinner 
june 2019 by Quercki
Calif. senator calls for audit of Alameda County Sheriff's Office, jail after 2 Investigates report - Story | KTVU
Sheriff Gregory Ahern said he welcomes any audit while the president of the board of supervisors, Richard Valle, expressed concerns about the cost of a full audit to taxpayers.

In a Feb. 15 letter to Valle, Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) noted the 2 Investigates’ reporting in November, which found that at least 29 women have sued the sheriff, alleging abuse and mistreatment, since 2014.
A female inmate and an Alameda County sheriff's deputy walk outside at Santa Rita Jail. Sheriff Gregory Ahern said “I think we’re the best big jail in the nation.” November 2018

Women sue Santa Rita over humiliating treatment; sheriff says facility is 'best big jail in the nation'

The sheriff has said in the past his department is a target of lawsuits from inmates and attorneys seeking money from the county.

“We can no longer excuse such conduct as an isolated incident,” Skinner wrote. “A strong performance audit will generate crucial evaluative data that can thoroughly assess all the current practices and policies while provide lifesaving recommendations for implementation.”

Skinner also told 2 Investigates she is extremely skeptical of how the sheriff’s money is being spent. As the jail population has decreased significantly, the sheriff’s budget has grown by $144 million in the last decade. The sheriff’s budget this year is just over $440 million.

Skinner’s letter came at the urging of the Ella Baker Human Rights Center in Oakland, where senior organizer Jose Bernal has closely watched the sheriff’s office and the jail.
police  sheriff  Ahern  Nancy_Skinner  California  audit  Ella_Baker_Center  solutions 
march 2019 by Quercki

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