The California Legislature is poised to begin its summer recess having passed the latest state budget. The $310-billion plan is a reflection of our values, dedicating spending to getting homeless people off the street, supporting schools, keeping public transit afloat and treating mental illness. As a member of the state Senate’s Democratic majority, I voted for all of those things.

But as many Californians know, we’ve already spent billions of dollars on the same problems — with very little to show for it.

James Madison, the author of our First Amendment, described a free press as an essential bulwark of liberty.

Madison was right. Unfortunately, both our free press and our liberty are threatened today by the erosion of the advertising model that sustained newspapers and their coverage of public affairs for more than two centuries.

Nearly one-fourth of California newspapers have failed in the past 15 years. And about half the people who read newspapers at the start of this century no longer do so.

New plaque at Caldecott Tunnel honors Congresswoman’s dedication to consensus building

This month Bay Area motorists traveling west through the expanded Caldecott Tunnel will see a new sign honoring the late Ellen Tauscher, who served as a member of Congress and a top official in the State Department under President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

When one of your bills is signed into law, it is very gratifying. It’s a nice reward for all the hard work put in by key allies and friends when the Governor ushers them across the finish line with a signature.

It’s especially gratifying to have important legislative priorities for my district signed into law. Governor Gavin Newsom signed three such bills and proposals that I’ve been working on with partners, in some cases, for years.


Wine Tasting (SB 19)

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY — People can sign up to pledge to buy mental health awareness license plates under a bill I introduced.

Our children need our help. Too many are falling through the cracks, especially as they have had to navigate through all the emotional complexities that the pandemic has created. Social isolation, a lack of human contact, remote schooling and other issues have added to the already growing mental health issues children confront today.

As we struggle through the sixth frustrating month of fighting the coronavirus pandemic, one thing should be absolutely clear: We cannot successfully reopen until we crush this virus.

The economy, the schools, the churches — everything we think of as normal in our lives — will not return until people are safe to begin interacting with one another again.

The good news is that we know how to achieve this, because most other countries in the world and several states have already done it. And if we start now, by late September we could have our lives back again.

In an interview with NBC-LA's Conan Nolan on "NEWSCONFERENCE," Senator Steve Glazer said Governor Newsom must shut down the state now.

The recent guidance from the state, the actions of counties and our behavior -- failing to keep social distance, wearing masks -- have led to the recent infection rate spikes, Senator Glazer said.

A second shelter-in-place order can help bend the curve, Senator Glazer said. If not, the infection rates will continue to go up.

My legislative agenda – including a three-bill package to help residents survive power outages – cleared the Senate this spring and moved to the Assembly despite challenging conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the power outage bills, I also carried measures to deter unsafe house parties in short-term rentals – prompted by an Orinda tragedy in which five people were killed – and another to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, which have been used to lure kids into the nicotine habit.