I hope you are all well. First off, I wanted to let Assembly District 78 constituents know that my district office has moved to a new location at 2700 Adams Ave. in San Diego. We also have a new phone number (619) 280-7801. If you need assistance with unemployment benefits, veterans benefits, the Department of Motor Vehicles or other government services, please know that my district office staff is available and ready to serve or answer any questions you may have. Feel free to reach out and a staff member will connect with you as soon as possible.
Ensuring transparency in government is one of the most important things to keeping the public’s trust. I recently introduced the AB 302. This bill requires the California Department of Technology to conduct a comprehensive check of all high-risk automated-use systems being used by state agencies. Automated decision systems can be used to detect fraud, improve weather forecasting predictions or make more equitable reimbursements in welfare services and healthcare reimbursements. But if they are not designed or implemented correctly, they can create unfair or biased results. We need to ensure that California is harnessing the potential of these systems in a responsible way.
To give our teachers and administrators more tools to help students who struggling with substance use addiction, I introduced AB 599. This bill takes a public health approach to substance use instead of a punitive one. Currently, most schools either suspend or expel students who are found to simply possess illicit drug paraphernalia on campus. In 2022, there were 3,200 drug-related suspensions, making up about 20% of all suspensions in California. AB 599 would allow school faculty to develop a plan to handle these students to address and correct addiction issues without setting them back academically, while collaborating with local stakeholders like community-based organizations, educational agencies and treatment providers to ensure the school environment remains safe.
As always, I want to thank you for your support. I’m grateful to be your representative and work on these issues and more. I wish you, your family and your neighbors all the best this month.