Since Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) was elected to the state Assembly in 2008, he has authored quite an array of legislation.
He’s been a champion on the federal, state and local levels for the environment, protecting senior citizens against fraud, for health care, creating jobs, consumer protection, honoring veterans, fighting for Jewish community priorities and advancing technology in education.
Most recently he’s known for his fight against the proliferation of advertisements on parked in front of homes and businesses.
Blumenfield refers to them as “blight merchants,” and he told the Chatsworth Community Coordinating Council on Monday that the assembly bill took effect in January and wiped out 800 trailers, an effort for which he received a round of applause.
But, the bill had to be tweaked to stop some from skirting around the law.
Starting the first of this year, the billboards cannot be attached to any random vehicle, such as scooters or baby carriages.
“We redefined what a vehicle was,” Blumenfield told about two dozen people gathered in the clubhouse of Rockpointe condominiums in Chatsworth.
He said the Legislature has been concentrating on tackling the state’s $26-billion budget deficit. Since he was elected in 2008 the state’s budget has been reduced by one-third.
“It’s a brutal time,” said Blumenfield who is chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.
He said Gov. Jerry Brown proposed to keep taxes at their current levels, but since revenues aren’t increasing drastic cuts will most likely have to be made.
Brown has predicted $4 billion in new revenues may be coming to California, but there are triggers in the budget to make serious cuts to education and the disabled, for instance, if the money doesn’t materialize.
“This is based on what the governor predicts. It’s a crystal ball and not based on money,” Blumenfield said, adding that the full budget picture will be known by Dec. 15. “I’m sure he’ll pull the first trigger. I’m not sure he’ll pull the second trigger.”
Blumenfield described Sacramento as bitterly partisan with the state dependent on personal income tax and capital gains revenues, which makes it tough in these economic times.
Blumenfeld took questions from the audience.
Diana Dixon-Davis, program chair for the Council, shared with Blumenfield the community’s drive to keep the from closing next summer. Dixon-Davis said a volunteer group has been formed to patrol the park, but it will require $6,000 a year in insurance. She asked why an insurance pool couldn’t be formed by the state. Blumenfield told her that was a good concept and he’ll look into it.
Michelle deGaetano asked Blumenfield where the state lottery money, originally dedicated to the public schools, has gone.
DeGaetano said she believes the state gives the schools’ allotment to the Los Angeles Unified School District but individual schools never see a penny.
Blumenfield said someone asked him the same question last week and his staff is looking into the issue. He also said he doesn’t believe the lottery money is being diverted.
“It is possible it’s going to the District,” he said.
Blumenfield is working on legislation to help green-technology companies transition from research and development to manufacturing, and from existing manufacturing to full-scale consumer production, by providing bridge capital for emerging green-technology companies and a range of low-risk financing through the proposed Clean Energy Economy and Jobs Incentive Program.
Approximately 20 Valley green technology business leaders and business association representatives will gather from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday at his district office, 6150 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys.
Blumenfield represents the 40th Assembly District, which includes a piece of Chatsworth, Canoga Park, Encino, Granada Hills, Lake Balboa, North Hills, Northridge, Reseda, Sherman Oaks, Tarzana, Van Nuys, West Hills, Winnetka and Woodland Hills.