News Briefs: Bonnie Lowenthal Updates Constituents

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California Assemblymember Bonnie LowenthalThank you again for your support during the difficult budget process. We got it done, our check book balances, but there’s not much to celebrate. There is, however, a lot of other work to do. For example, I’ve recently been given charge of the Joint Emergency Management Committee, which is the Legislature’s eyes and ears on the state’s readiness.

The committee will hold its first hearing at Lakewood City Hall, 5050 Clark Ave., Friday, August 12. We’ll be looking at the government’s plan to keep residents informed in the event of an emergency. We need to make sure that several years of budget cuts have not opened up new vulnerabilities for our communities.

Go Slow in the Cone Zone

You’ve probably already seen at least one of the 700 portable electronic warning signs on freeways all over the state. They are there to remind you to be extra careful in construction zones. In the last two months, three CalTrans workers have lost their lives to motorists who failed to “go slow in the cone zone.” These are easily preventable tragedies, and you can help spread the message that extra caution literally saves lives.

DMV Grace Period …

Because of the last-minute back-and-forth budget negotiations about vehicle registration fees, the DMV will give you an extra 30 days to register your car this year.

Your vehicle license fee has been cut nearly in half, while the registration fee went up a bit. While these changes were being negotiated, the DMV was unable to send out thousands of renewal notices. Officials there say they’ve pretty much caught up with their backlog. Still, just to be on the safe side, you have automatically been granted a 30-day extension on your registration. Whether you renew by mail or online, the grace-period is available to you.

Legislation Approved

The governor has signed my bill to give community college boards the same kind of oversight that applies to other school boards.

He now has a chance to sign my bill that would add homelessness to the list of conditions given civil protection in the event they are attacked for being members of a particular group. Current law lets you sue for enhanced penalties if you are attacked for your race, religion, political views or marital status. After learning of a series of horrifying attacks on homeless people, I felt strongly that homeless people deserve this protection as much as anybody else.

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