In the News
Feds are wrong to demand return of Secure Rural School dollars
First Appeared in the Union Democrat April 5, 2013
By Senator Tom Berryhill & Assemblyman Frank Bigelow
For the federal government to demand a ‘give back’ for its Secure Rural Schools’ dollars is one more example of the continuous assault on rural communities by government. Even more insulting in this case, is the reason – the complete failure of the Obama Administration and Congress to address federal spending.
Rural communities suffer from poverty, unemployment and a host of problems that also plague urban areas, yet the government crafts policies based mostly on the needs of urban areas. Unemployment remains in double digits in most of California’s rural counties. The state’s solution: eliminate enterprise zones, implement a fire tax, and dump state criminals in our communities without funding to incarcerate them. That’s just plain wrong. When legislators – federal and state –attack gun laws, it is always to the detriment of law-abiding citizens that use firearms for home protection, sport or hunting. Calaveras, Tuolumne and Amador are not South-Central LA or downtown Oakland, yet that is how they are treated. The one-size fits all approach to policy is appalling, especially since the one-size rarely fits all.
To read the entire op-ed on rural school funding, click here.
You may be richer than you think!
You may be richer than you think!
The State of California is holding over $6.1 billion in unclaimed property of individuals and businesses. These assets have been turned over to the State for safekeeping by businesses and other organizations as required by law.
Unclaimed property is any financial asset that has been left inactive by the owner. The most common types are savings or checking accounts, stocks, dividends, uncashed checks, certificates of deposit and safe deposit box contents.
By law, most accounts become unclaimed when there is no owner contact with the institution or account activity for three years. Often the owner forgets the account exists, moves and does not leave a forwarding address or the forwarding expires. In some cases, the owner dies and the heirs have no knowledge of the property.
There is no charge to file a claim for unclaimed property.
Currently the state is in possession of unclaimed property belonging to more than 11.6 million individuals and organizations. To find out if you have unclaimed property, visit the State Controller’s web site at sco.ca.gov
, or call 1-800-992-4647. Once at the website click on "Search for Unclaimed Property" on the right side of the homepage and follow the instructions.
Check out our Website Photos
Did you know that my website has a photo gallery of shots from throughout my work at the Capitol and in the district? Check it out by clicking here
The photo below is one of the many photos you'll see there from all the great work that was done on behalf of agriculture at the annual Ag Day at the Capitol.
Two Bigelow Bills to be Heard next Week
Assemblyman Bigelow will have two bills heard in committee next week.
Assembly Bill 925
, a good government bill, co-authored with Assemblymember Beth Gaines, ensures taxpayer dollars are returned to the state if they are intentionally mismanaged by a state employee. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee
Assembly Bill 924
will also be heard and seeks to prevent livestock theft by providing prosecutors the necessary tools to appropriately punish repeat offenders and those found guilty of high value theft. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee
Both bills will be heard on April 23, 2013.
Like my Facebook Page & Follow me on Twitter
Stay up to date with all the happenings in Assembly District Five by liking my State Assembly Facebook
page or by following me on Twitter
Rural Health Care
More Outreach on Rural Health Care
Below is a photo from the Madera Hospital Association's annual event that discussed the importance of rural health care. I'm committed to making sure rural health care is a top priority in all health care discussions.
Bigelow Continues to Fight State's Fire Fee
Recently, you may have received notices in the mail from the California Board of Equalization informing you that you owe the state a fee to pay for fire prevention and safety services.
Although proponents say the fee is for fire protection, it really amounts to nothing more than a 2011 state budget gimmick. The burden of this tax falls on property owners in State Responsibility Areas – residents primarily living in rural and unincorporated parts of California.
That is why repealing the fire tax is one of my top priorities in Sacramento and the reason I am coauthoring Assembly Bill 124 to do just that.
This week, Assembly Natural Resources passed AB 124 out of committee and I'm looking forward to its continued legislative success. Our state cannot attempt to balance the books on the backs of some Californians for the same services we all use and rely on.
Proponents who passed this tax claim that it is only fair to have those who live in high-risk areas pay the higher costs of firefighting. However, when an earthquake causes damage in urban areas – all California taxpayers are expected to fund the high costs of repair. That same principle should apply across the state. Fire protection in unincorporated areas preserves the water, air quality, and forests everyone enjoys and from which we all benefit.
For my complete comments on the state's fire tax, visit my website by clicking here
In the District
The People's Assemblyman
What's been going in Assembly District Five? Quite a bit! Click on the photo below to visit my Facebook
page for a few snapshots from a number of different events!
Visiting with Lupita Leomeli, one of the fabulous staff working for California's Univision Television!
Honoring California 4-H's Centennial Anniversary!
VA Rural Health Mobile Medical Outreach Available
ATTENTION - All Military Veterans!
The VA Rural Health Mobile Medical Outreach Clinic Team, in collaboration with American Legion Post 108, will be at the:
American Legion Post #108 Hall
12134 Airport Road
Sutter Creek, CA 95685
Thursday, May 2, 2013
11:00am - 3:00pm
No Appointment Necessary! Veterans Service Officers, Enrollment Specialists & Medical teams will be on site.
If you are uncertain about your eligibility for medical or mental health services please contact VA Outreach Coordinator, Kimmie Ezeike at 916-869-1908.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY!
In the News
Freshman Assemblymember Talks Issues
First Appeared in The Calaveras Enterprise
How does a former janitor and high school band member known by many as “geeky” win election to the state Assembly?
“Hard work, an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to reducing government,” were some of the keys for Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, who represents Calaveras County as part of California’s 5th District, which also includes Amador, Tuolumne, Madera, Mono and parts of Placer and El Dorado counties.
“I’ve worked many jobs, but, for all intents and purposes, I’ve always seen my place in life as a janitor,” Bigelow said during a sit-down interview with the Enterprise Friday. “Because you really are cleaning up other people’s stuff. That mentality gave me direction of what I’m doing here in government – trying to clean up the mess.”
Click here to read the rest of the article!
Calling All Rural Taxpayers - Fire Fee Town Hall
Register Now for a Fire Fee Tele-Townhall
You’re invited to join Board of Equalization Member George Runner, State Senator Ted Gaines and Assemblymembers Frank Bigelow and Beth Gaines for a teleconference townhall regarding the confusing and controversial “California Fire Prevention Fee.”
The tele-townhall will be Tuesday, May 7 at 6 PM. Taxpayers in Alpine, Amador, Calaveras and El Dorado counties are specifically invited to participate in this event, but everyone is welcome.
During the call, the elected officials will discuss the latest fire tax news and answer questions from callers.
To participate you must register by May 6 at
or by calling (916) 445-3032
Interested participants who pre-register will receive a telephone call at the start of the event inviting them to connect to the townhall.
This tele-townhall is part of a series of regional townhalls Board of Equalization Member Runner is holding for taxpayers in his district.
“Many of my constituents have expressed concern about the fairness and cost of this new tax,” said Runner. “As their elected taxpayer advocate, it’s important for me to hear their concerns and keep them apprised of the latest developments.”
For the latest news and information about the fire tax, visit calfirefee.com