SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY CAUCUS MEMBERS
Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto)
Adam Gray (D-Merced)
Frank Bigelow (R-O'Neals)
Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield)
Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield)
Jim Patterson (R-Fresno)
Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton)
Devon Mathis (R-Visalia)
Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres)
Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto)
Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield)
Andy Vidak (R-Hanford)
Central Valley legislators are banning together in Sacramento by creating the bipartisan San Joaquin Valley Caucus, which aims to address the unique needs of Valley constituents.
“Since we all work so well together and have accomplished so much, Assembly member Adam Gray and I thought it would be a good idea to create a San Joaquin Valley Legislative Caucus with the overall objective being to make sure we are fully informed of all legislation and how it would impact our Central Valley,” said State Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres). “The San Joaquin Valley faces very unique challenges and I am pleased to be a part of this caucus working with Valley lawmakers to address these challenges, ensuring our communities remain vibrant, viable and economically healthy now and in the future.”
The caucus includes legislators from San Joaquin County to Kern County and will focus on three main issues: water, higher education and reforming the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Assemblymember and Minority Leader Kristin Olsen announced the formation of the caucus at the Best of Turlock event in January, assuring locals that the caucus will strive to find bipartisan solutions to ongoing Valley issues.
“We are stronger together than any of us are individually,” she said.
While the ongoing drought has undoubtedly been on the forefront of legislators and constituents’ minds alike, collectively advocating for the region that produces a significant portion of the nation’s agricultural goods has remained a priority for Valley representatives in Sacramento. Other than protecting the region’s resources, Olsen said that the caucus wants “to make sure more Central Valley students can access high-quality university programs which will ultimately lead to economic growth in our communities.”
“You will have a champion and partner in Sacramento,” said Olsen to the presidents of California State University, Stanislaus and the University of California, Merced at the Best of Turlock event.
The Caucus will also work to reform ADA legislation that has been abused by individuals across the state filing frivolous lawsuits in an effort to make money off of predominantly small business owners. The legislators intend to take a closer look at the legislation with the hopes that commerce can continue to thrive in the Valley and business owners will not have to fear predatory lawsuits.
“It is very important that we stand together to represent the often overlooked Central Valley. Together we will be a strong and effective coalition making sure we have a seat at the table on issues which matter most to our districts,” said Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto).