Past News

Costa Bill to Honor Former Fowler Postmaster Clears House

Washington, DC – Rep. Jim Costa’s bill to rename the Fowler post in honor of former Postmaster Cecil E. Bolt’s for his 27 years of service won approval from the House of Representatives today. Bolt who passed away in 2007 was a pillar of his community who has been remembered for quiet acts of kindness that extended to personally delivering packages to Fowler families on many Christmas Eves and beyond. Costa’s bill H.R. 4389 awaits Senate action. Both California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have sent letters encouraging its speedy adoption.

Costa Congratulates Central Valley California High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area for National Honor

Washington, DC – Rep. Jim Costa congratulated the Central Valley California High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) for their recognition by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Central Valley HIDTA was honored with an award for an Outstanding Marijuana Investigative Effort because of their role in Operation Mountain Sweep. The operation was an 8-week, multi-agency, multistate marijuana operation targeting illegal marijuana cultivation on public lands in 7 states, including California.

Costa Launches Holiday Card Drive for Troops

Washington, DC – Rep. Jim Costa announced the launch of his holiday card drive for active duty members of the military and veterans. Costa invites the people of the 20th District to write holiday messages for Valley veterans and service members who have been wounded in action. The cards will be delivered to veterans at the Fresno VA Medical Center and service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Costa: Dept. of Education Missed the Mark

 

Washington, DC – Rep. Jim Costa expressed his extreme disappointment in the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to exclude Fresno Unified School District, Central Unified School District, and Sanger Unified School District as finalists for the Race to the Top-District Competition. The three cash-strapped school districts all serve high-need populations in the San Joaquin Valley.

Costa Announces $900,000 to Improve Valley Air Quality

Grant Will Replace 35 Long-Haul, High Emission Vehicles

Fresno, CA – Rep. Jim Costa announced today that the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District has received a competitive grant for $898,833 that will replace at least 35 long-haul waste vehicles. These funds were awarded by the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program to reduce diesel emissions in the San Joaquin Valley.

Fresno Business Journal: Costa rolls out homeowner refinancing bill

Fresno Business Journal:

Costa rolls out homeowner refinancing bill
Published on 10/10/2012 - 2:17 pm
Written by Michael Kincheloe

Flanked by members of the Fresno real estate community, Rep. Jim Costa reveals legislation to help homeowners with refinancing..

Rep. Jim Costa met with the media today to announce new legislation that will allow responsible homeowners to take advantage of current low interest rates on mortgages.

Costa Joins Colleagues to Call for “Farm Bill Now”

Washington, D.C. – Congressmen Jim Costa joined a bipartisan group of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate to echo their previous calls for the House to bring up the Farm Bill before it adjourns for the election. The current Farm Bill expires on September 30th when the nation’s agriculture policy will revert to 1949 levels barring the enactment of reauthorization legislation.

Costa Announces $850,000 to Modernize Valley Airports

Fresno, Calif.  – Rep. Jim Costa announced today the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded over $850,000 to three Valley airports for rehabilitation and renovation of their facilities. Firebaugh Airport, Hanford Municipal, and Delano Municipal were the recipients of the grants that will be used to upgrade their facilities and replace outdated equipment.

Bakersfield Californian: Grant To Support Legal Services for Domestic Violence Victims

Grant To Support Legal  Services for Domestic Violence Victims
By Bakersfield Californian, September 6, 2012

A nonprofit that provides free legal assistance and representation to residents of Kern County has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to help bolster some of its legal services, according to a news release from Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno.

The nonprofit, Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, received $400,000 from the Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women.

Costa Announces $400,000 to Provide Legal Services to Kern Crime Victims

Creates Positions for 3 Additional Victim Advocates

Bakersfield, Calif.  – Rep. Jim Costa announced today that Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance (GBLA) has received $400,000 from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. With this award, GBLA will collaborate with the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault in order to strengthen its programs that provide legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Costa Urges Expedited Review for Central Valley Meat

FRESNO, CA- Congressman Jim Costa is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expedite their review process for concerns regarding inhumane treatment of animals at Central Valley Meat Co., Inc. Since learning of the investigation on Monday, Congressman Costa has made this his top priority and has spoken daily to officials at USDA and management at Central Valley Meat to help find a path forward for the plant which employs nearly five hundred in Hanford and Kings County to reopen as soon as possible.

Costa Statement on 50th Anniversary of Kennedy Visiting Valley

Now is the Time to Complete Kennedy’s Vision

 

Fresno, Calif.  – Rep. Jim Costa released the following statement in honor of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy coming to the San Joaquin Valley to break ground on the San Luis Project. Costa called on federal, state, and local officials to take the bold steps necessary to complete Kennedy’s vision by moving forward with the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).

Costa: Bring Real Relief to Farmers, Stop the Political Games

Washington, DC- When House Republicans offered a temporary disaster relief bill today, Rep. Jim Costa called for real relief for farmers. The House voted to advance H.R. 6233, the Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2012, which would offer some disaster relief to farmers but fails to offer American and Valley agriculture the sort of certainty that only a five-year Farm Bill can. Costa opposed the measure because there is no acceptable replacement for the bipartisan Farm Bill.

Costa Announces $4.5 Million for Economic Development & Affordable Housing Programs

Washington, DC- Rep. Jim Costa announced today that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded more than $4.5 Million to Fresno County and the City of Hanford. The funding was made available through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Grant, and the Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) programs. In March, Costa joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to urge that the U.S. House Appropriations Committee maintain funding for CDBG in 2013.

Costa Announces $2.8 Million to Build New Delano Community Center

Washington, DC- Rep. Jim Costa announced today that the City of Delano has been awarded a $2.8 million loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to build a new multipurpose community center. The new 13,000 square foot facility will replace the current community center that is over 40 years old and include a gym, basketball courts, and stage.

Costa Applauds Path Forward for Bay Delta Conservation Plan

Washington, DC- Rep. Jim Costa applauded Governor Brown and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announcement today that laid out a path forward for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). In their announcement, state and federal officials stressed that the status quo is unsustainable for both the health of the Bay Delta and the economies of the California communities that rely on water from state and federal projects.

Costa Announces $3.2 Million to Improve Valley Transit & Air Quality

Washington, DC- U.S.Rep. Jim Costa announced today that the city of Fresno will receive $2.3 million and Kings County will receive more than $900,000 to make necessary improvements to their public transit systems. The funds were awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s State of Good Repair Program, which aims to maintain and improve the nation’s bus and rail systems. Fresno Area Express (FAX) plans to use the funds for the purchase of 6 new buses that will accommodate additional passengers and reduce emissions.

Costa Announces $175,000 to Keep Kern Veterans in Permanent Housing

Washington, DC- Rep. Jim Costa announced today that the California Veterans Assistance Foundation has been awarded $175,000 to help promote housing stability among low income veterans in Bakersfield and Kern County. The funds were awarded through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The California Veterans Assistance Foundation will use the funds to assist 70 households.

Costa, Cardoza Urge Leadership on Bay Delta Conservation Plan

Washington, DC- Reps. Jim Costa and Dennis Cardoza called on state and federal officials to show leadership and find a workable solution to complete the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). In light of anticipated announcements about the project in the coming weeks, Costa and Cardoza urged officials to find a balance between improving the water supply and restoring the Delta ecosystem. Costa and Cardoza cautioned that without their active leadership and engagement, completion of the BDCP may become unviable.

Costa Announces $360,000 in Federal Funds for Valley Law Enforcement

Washington, DC- Rep. Jim Costa announced today that Valley law enforcement will receive over $360,000 to support a wide range of activities intended to control and prevent crime based upon local needs and concerns. The funds were released by the United States Department of Justice through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne JAG).

Bakersfield Californian: Love of country -- and mom

Love of country -- and mom
By Camille Gavin

Sarah Fanucchi didn't have to search far for inspiration when she received an assignment called "Faces of War" for her South High art class: She just looked into the face of her mother, who was about the same age as Sarah when she enlisted in the Air Force 30 years ago.

The acrylic painting now hangs in the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., where it will be on display for one year.

ABC 23: Over $2M Awarded to Bakersfield, McFarland, Delano Police Departments

ABC 23 Bakersfield
Over $2M Awarded to Bakersfield, McFarland, Delano Police Departments

June 27, 2012

Rep. Jim Costa announced that $2 million has been awarded to the police departments in Bakersfield, Delano, and McFarland from the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).

The funds from the COPS Hiring Program (CHP) will allow the 3 police departments to hire 14 officers.

Costa Statement on Supreme Court Health Reform Decision

Washington, DC- Rep. Jim Costa released the following statement following the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

“Health reform was not a perfect bill, but the status quo was unacceptable. Costs were rising and continue to rise, coverage was becoming harder to obtain, and over 40 million Americans were without health insurance, yet we are still paying for their care.

I support Americans having access to the care they need when they need it. That includes those with insurance and those struggling to obtain it.

Fresno Bee: Federal funds pay for new Mendota cop

Federal funds pay for new Mendota cop
The Fresno Bee
Monday, Jun. 25, 2012

Congressman Jim Costa announced Monday that the Mendota Police Department has been awarded $125,000 to hire an additional officer.

The grant, presented by the Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, has previously helped police departments maintain forces.

Costa said this year the grant specifies that new hires must have served in the military in order to utilize veterans' skills learned while on active duty.

Costa Puts Water Before Politics

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that bundled 14 different land management bills into a single package.  Despite qualms with a number of the provisions in the package and the process for consideration on the House floor, Costa supported the legislation citing that it contained legislation that would bring additional water to the Valley by allowing the modification of the Exchequer Dam spillway. Costa was an original cosponsor of the stand alone legislation to modify Exchequer.

Kern, Kings Counties Designated Agriculture Disaster Areas

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Department of Agriculture announced that Kern and Kings Counties have been designated as agriculture disaster areas due to damage from freezing temperatures, hail, and high winds that occurred between March 1 and April 30th. Producers in Kern and Kings Counties now are eligible for consideration for federal assistance through the Farm Services Agency (FSA).

Costa Announces $121,000 to Get Bakersfield Veterans Back to Work

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Jim Costa announced today that California Veterans Assistance Foundation, Inc., in Bakersfield will receive $121,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP). These funds were awarded on a competitive basis to state and local agencies and other organizations that provide assistance to reintegrate veterans into to the workforce.

Costa Announces $11.4 Million for Community and Economic Development in Kern County

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Jim Costa announced today that Kern County and the cities of Bakersfield and Delano will receive $11.4 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for community development and assistance to the homeless. The funds were made available through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) program and the HOME program. In March, Costa joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to urge that the U.S. House Appropriations Committee maintain funding for CDBG in 2013.

Costa Announces $4.8 Million in Federal Payments to Fresno, Kern, and Kings Counties

Fresno, CA– Rep. Jim Costa announced today that Fresno, Kern, and Kings Counties will receive $4.8 million under the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program as compensation for lost property tax revenue from non-taxable federal lands. Though the guaranteed funds for the PILT program expired last year, Costa has urged the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Conference Committee to extend the program. Fresno, Kern, and Kings Counties rely on these funds to help keep teachers, police, firefighters, and nurses on the job.

Costa Announces Fresno County Student Will Attend Air Force Academy

Fresno, CA.  – Rep. Jim Costa announced today that Maheep Gill, a senior at Fresno’s Sunnyside High School, was nominated and has been accepted to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Gill’s civic engagement and academic excellence, which places him in the top 5% of his class, led Costa to nominate him for admission to the Air Force Academy. Gill will be the first Sunnyside graduate to attend the Air Force Academy.

Bakersfield Californian: LOIS HENRY: Charity helps veteran gain a new smile, set of choppers

LOIS HENRY: Charity helps veteran gain a new smile, set of choppers

The Bakersfield Californian | Wednesday, May 30 2012 04:30 AM

Last Updated Wednesday, May 30 2012 04:30 AM

The military gave George Kinney a lot. It gave him a career and a sense of pride. And it's given him medical benefits he wouldn't otherwise have.

He has no complaints against the Veterans Administration, which he praised for all it has done for him.

Even so, it couldn't give the Bakersfield Air Force veteran something most of us take for granted: his smile.

Costa Announces $2.2 Million for Fresno Public Transportation

Fresno, CA– Rep. Jim Costa announced today that Fresno will receive $2.2 million for improvements to public transit in Fresno. The funds were made available through the Department of Transportation’s State of Good Repair program which aims to provide reliable, safe transit services to riders. Fresno Area Express (FAX) will use these funds to purchase three new buses that will accommodate additional riders and produce fewer emissions.

Costa Announces Grant Program for Native American Business Centers

Washington D.C.  – Rep. Jim Costa announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has opened a competitive grant process for the operation of MBDA Business Centers to support Native American and Alaska Native businesses. The centers will focus on providing business consulting services to Native American businesses.

Costa Urges Bipartisanship to Protect Women and Children

Calls on House to ‘Stop this Charade’

 

Washington D.C.  – Rep. Jim Costa called on House Republicans to abandon legislation that put politics above protections for women and children who are victims of domestic violence during consideration of H.R. 4970, a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The law was originally enacted in 1994 and offers a wide range of services and support to victims of domestic abuse.

Costa Statement on Increased Water Allocation

Fresno, CA – Rep. Jim Costa released the following statement in response to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announcement today of a 40% water allocation for south of Delta agricultural water service contractors. The initial projection for 2012 was 30%. Following an extremely dry winter and spring, the 2012 Federal Water Allocation will be lower than the 2011 allocations for the Westside of the San Joaquin Valley.

Fresno Business Journal: Water districts receive project funding

Rep. Jim Costa, D-CA, has announced a $5.3 million award for five Central Valley water districts to improve efficiency in water delivery, storage and management.

Four of the five are in Central California: Tulare Irrigation District, Firebaugh Canal Water District, Central California Irrigation District and Henry Miller Reclamation District. The fifth is Rancho California Water District in Southern California.

The funds were part of a cooperative program between the agencies of the Department of the Interior and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Costa Announces $5.3 Million to Improve Valley Water Systems

Fresno, CA.  – Rep. Jim Costa announced that $5.3 million has been awarded to 5 Central Valley water districts to improve efficiency in water delivery, storage, and management. The funds were part of a  cooperative program between the Agencies of the Department of the Interior (Bureau of Reclamation) and Agriculture (Natural Resources Conservation Service).

Costa Statement on Revised High-Speed Rail Business Plan

Fresno, CA – Rep. Jim Costa released the following statement regarding the release of the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s revised 2012 business plan.

“I want to commend the High-Speed Rail Authority and the Governor for listening to the concerns raised about high-speed rail,” said Costa. “Transparency, construction costs, ridership numbers and long-term funding have to be addressed to make the project viable. Mitigation in the Valley, especially for agriculture, must be a part of the solution.”

 

Congressmen Costa and Cardoza Congratulate UC Merced Violence Prevention Program on Prestigious Award

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressmen Jim Costa (D-Fresno) and Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced) announced that the University of California Merced’s Violence Prevention Program has been awarded the Allied Profession Award by the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus for their work in addressing sexual violence, dating and domestic violence, and stalking on campus.  Costa and Cardoza will present the award to the director of the UC Merced program during a Capitol Hill ceremony tomorrow.

Costa Calls for Bipartisan, American Solutions to Deficit

Washington, DC – Rep. Jim Costa opposed partisan budgets put forth by both Republicans and Democrats, and called on lawmakers to set aside their differences to put the nation’s fiscal health first. In that spirit, Rep. Costa joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Reps. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Steve LaTourette (R-OH) in offering a budget alternative that mirrored the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles Commission.

Costa Nominates Valley Advocate for 2012 Victims’ Rights Caucus Award

Fresno, CA – Rep. Jim Costa announced that he has nominated Candy O’Donel-Browne, President of the Board of Directors of Mountain Crisis Services, Inc. (MCS), for the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus’ Ed Stout Memorial Award for Outstanding Victim Advocacy. On April 19th, the Victims’ Rights Caucus will hold their annual award ceremony to honor outstanding individuals who have devoted countless hours of their time and service to helping victims of crime.

Costa Announces Funding for Tulare Basin Wildlife Management Area

Over 780 Acres of Valley Wetlands Set Aside to Protect Migratory Birds

Washington, DC – Rep. Jim Costa announced that 783 Acres in the San Joaquin Valley have been added to the National Wildlife Refuge System for waterfowl and wildlife habitat protection. The decision by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission will add 508 acres to the existing Tulare Basin Wildlife Management Area.

Costa Urges Regulatory Flexibility to Maximize Water Flowing to Valley

Let’s Not Make a Bad Situation Worse

 

Fresno, CA – Congressman Jim Costa released the following statement in response to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announcement today of a federal water allocation of 30% for south of Delta agriculture water service contractors. In light of recent dry conditions in California, the 2012 Federal Water Allocation Outlook is far lower than last year’s initial forecast of 45% for growers on the Westside of the San Joaquin Valley.

Costa: Cooperation Needed to Bring More Water to Valley

 Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) urged bipartisan cooperation on comprehensive solutions to California’s water challenges during the House Natural Resources Committee consideration of H.R. 1837, the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act. Historically, the Central Valley has borne the brunt of sacrifices in previous California water compromises. While Costa voted to advance the bill out of committee, he renewed his call for the bill’s authors to work with Democrats in order to improve chances of actually delivering more water to the Valley.

Costa Statement on South-of-Delta Water Announcement

Requests Commerce Secretary’s Direct Engagement in California Water Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. Jim Costa released the following statement upon the announcement from the parties involved in litigation under the 2009 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) biological opinion that they have came to an agreement on an interim operational criteria for the Central Valley and State Water Projects for the spring of 2012.

Costa, Lofgren, Richardson Call for Comprehensive GAO Review of California High-Speed Rail

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Reps. Jim Costa (CA-20), Zoe Lofgren (CA-16), and Laura Richardson (CA-37), co-chairs of the California High-Speed Rail Caucus, sent a letter Tuesday to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in support of conducting a study on the long-term feasibility of the California high-speed rail project requested by House Republicans in December.