Weekly Newsletter 9.02.2020
Sadly, in so much of the west, including California, devastating fires continue to impact communities and our way of life. In the middle of fire season, records are being set for acres burned and poor air quality. That’s why as your Member of Congress, I have been working over the last month on legislation and fire disaster relief through FEMA to provide financial support to those areas that have been devastated by these wildfires.
There is some good news to report this week from our district work week, including helping schools get the necessary waivers they need to supply nutritious meals to students through the school lunch program. I’m also working to support our local transportation services. Here are the highlights:
Wildfire efforts and resources
As the Creek Fire continues to threaten lives and property in Madera, Mariposa, and Fresno counties, I’ve been involved in efforts to ensure both firefighters and affected communities have the resources they need to stay safe and ultimately recover from these devastating losses.
In addition to supporting robust funding for wildfire management and suppression in the Fiscal Year 2021 and 2020 Appropriations bills, I recently cosponsored the Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act and the Increase the Federal Disaster Cost Share Act, to strengthen our capacity to implement effective wildfire mitigation projects and increase Federal disaster support. I’ve also sent several letters to support farmworker safety, respond to firefighter emergency needs, secure IRS assistance for those affected, and urge the Administration to declare a major disaster in California due to wildfires.
- Wildfire Assistance Guide
- Wildfire Safety Tips
- American Lung Association Recommendations
- Find a Red Cross Shelter
- Red Cross Safe and Well
- Make sure PG&E has your updated contact information. Visit their website or call 1-866-743-6589.
- Sign up for alerts for your ZIP code.
- Check CAL Fire’s recommendations for protecting your home and loved ones from wildfires.
Feeding our students
Free school meal programs are critical to ensuring students continue to have access to nutritious daily meals, especially during a pandemic. I’m pleased to report an extension of waivers to make free school meals available through the end of the year. I’ve been working hard to secure these meals for our Valley students, most recently leading a bipartisan letter to Secretary Perdue pushing for this change. Over the past few months, I’ve signed on to three additional letters supporting school meal waiver extensions.
Supporting local transportation services
The transportation industry has been hit hard by COVID-19, resulting in thousands of furloughed workers, declines in revenue and reduction of services. I recently cosponsored the bipartisan Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act, which would provide $10 billion in emergency economic relief funding to motorcoach operators and other transportation industries, including the Yosemite Area Regional Transit System (YARTS), which supports our local schools.
Vote by Mail
Americans can take additional steps to make sure their vote will count:
Information for your County:
MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT!
The Valley is home to some of the best universities in the country. I’m happy to report that my Alma Mater, Fresno State, ranked 7th in Money Magazine’s list of “Most Transformative Colleges.” Fresno State also ranked 40th as the “Best Public College” and 19th for “Best Colleges Where More Than Half of Applicants Get In."
Money Magazine also named UC Merced one of the country’s top 100 schools, and Washington Monthly ranked the university at no. 19 nationally for creating social mobility for our students.
Go Bulldogs! Go Bobcats!
Bringing home federal dollars
One of my top priorities is ensuring your tax dollars come back to the district. I’m pleased to report that Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) received over $1 million in federal grant funding for noise mitigation measures for nearby residences. I participated in the groundbreaking event recently for the new Fresno Airport terminal.
Castle Airport in Atwater also received $1.8 million in grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration to rehabilitate its runway.
Local COVID-19 Cases
- State of California
- Roadmap for Individual CA Counties
- Fresno City
- Fresno County
- Madera County
- Merced County
Find a testing center near you:
- Fresno County Locations
- Madera County Locations
- Merced County Online Registration or Call 1 (888) 634-1123
We’ve compiled all the resources you need in one convenient location on our website.
If you need specific help from our district office, please submit a request and a member of our staff will contact you.
- COVID Resources Toolkit for Families (ENGLISH)
- Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act Summary
- Resources for Veterans
- Navigating Small Business Administration programs
- Food Assistance
- Ways to help your community
Recursos en Español
- COVID-19: Manual Digital de Recursos Para Constituyentes
- Informacion sobre el Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act
RESOURCES FOR FARMERS IMPACTED BY WILDFIRE
As wildfires continue to rage across our state, farmer’s fields are being affected. If you’ve been impacted by wildfires, there are federal resources that can help. The Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) provides assistance to producers for losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events or loss conditions, including blizzards and wildfires.
The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) also provides support for producers who have experienced livestock deaths as a result of adverse weather conditions.
Contact your local county USDA Farm Service Agency office to determine your eligibility and which program would best serve your needs.
WATER SMART GRANT APPLICATIONS DUE SOON!
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is currently accepting Fiscal Year 2021 applications for WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants.
DEADLINE: September 17, 2020
TIME TO RENEW YOUR INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYER ID!
At the end of the year some individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITIN) will expire. Taxpayers with expiring ITINs must renew their ID number with the IRS before the end of the year.
USDA ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
Organic producers and handlers can apply for federal funding to assist with keeping and receiving organic certification through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP), a farm bill program I advocated for.
RESPOND TO CENSUS 2020
Thank you to those of you that have already responded to the 2020 Census.
If you haven’t had a chance yet, now is the perfect time! Make sure you count and help shape our future! IT’S VERY IMPORTANT!
DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 30, 2020.
Stay strong and we will get through this crisis. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you need assistance.
Member of Congress
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