By Assemblymember Laurie Davies
It’s a busy month in Sacramento, with more than 730 bills to process in the State Legislature before the September end of the first year of Session.
Still to come are bills addressing the insurance crisis, critical public safety measures, and funding for supportive housing. I remain committed to supporting common-sense measures in Sacramento and have co-authored key pieces of legislation ranging from supporting our veterans to reducing the cost of living.
I’m proud to share that one of my authored bills has already been signed into law by the governor. Assembly Bill 303 will get illegal guns off the streets. We must do all we can to tackle gun violence and keep guns out of the hands of those who should not—by law—own firearms.
My two bills focused on addressing coastal erosion in the state are also close to the governor’s desk.
Assembly Bill 966 is a common-sense measure that would require the state to prepare and submit a report to the legislature on shoreline erosion control and public beach restoration programs.
It would detail all existing programs, evaluating the need for continued projects and program applications and, most importantly, identifying the beaches that contain critically eroded shoreline. This triaging of California beaches will help to ensure needed funding goes directly to those who need it most.
I would like to thank the many experts and constituents from UCI, Scripps, San Clemente neighborhoods, Dana Point, Surfrider, State Parks and Recreation, and local leaders for joining my coastal erosion roundtables and helping to develop this legislation. We will be holding additional meetings of these groups later this year.
Also moving closer to the governor’s desk is Assembly Bill 882. This bill would authorize the State Coastal Conservancy to begin early payments of grant funding to use for coastal erosion or wildfire resilience projects.
Once a project is identified and found satisfactory, this measure would ensure 25% of grant funds are given out immediately, while the additional paperwork is going through the process, to ensure rapid forward movement to address the problem.
The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group of legislators who share a common goal of finding practical and effective solutions to address the challenges in our state.
During the interim recess, there are plans underway to hold a hearing on the issue of coastal erosion here in South Orange County. I will share more information as soon as it is confirmed, but I remain committed to reminding leaders that this is not just a coastal issue.
Our beaches are a significant part of the state economy; those tourism dollars are critical to the entire state. We cannot let our beaches erode away, and we must protect this precious resource for generations to come.
As students return to school, please remember I have student internships available; contact my office if they are interested in interning for the California State Assembly. I welcome the opportunity to expose young, bright minds to the world of public service.
I also want to share any scholarships or grants that could help offset the cost of higher education for constituents. The 2023-2024 Coke Scholars application is now open for high school seniors through Oct. 2 at 5 p.m. EDT.
Those interested can apply online at CokeURL.com/Apply2023. It awards 150 scholarships of $20,000 each year. Watch my columns and newsletters for future technical career and scholarship opportunities.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve. I am honored to represent you in the State Assembly.
Laurie Davies is a small business owner and former mayor who was elected to the State Assembly in 2020 and reelected in 2022. She represents the 74th Assembly District, which includes Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano in South Orange County—down through Camp Pendleton, and Oceanside, Vista and part of Fallbrook in North San Diego County.