The Sacramento Chronicles


May 3, 2024

Hello Laguna Beach!

In Sacramento, the end of April brings not showers, but tsunamis of bills that need action. April 26 is the deadline for all bills that cost the state money to make it out of the policy committees to which they were initially referred. This deadline led to a flurry of committee meetings (often held at the same time) while Assemblymembers negotiated amendments, presented bills to respective committees and advocated for bills to be set for hearings.

As a member of six active committees, I spent many hours debating and voting on hundreds of Assembly bills that came before me. Your taxpayer dollars are at work (that I am working hard to protect!) and your Legislature will not be slowing down any time soon.

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Courtesy of Diane Dixon

Diane Dixon (R-Newport Beach)

The next major fiscal deadline is May 17 to send all bills with a cost to the state from the Assembly Appropriations Committee to the Assembly Floor. Then we must vote to send bills introduced in the Assembly to the Senate by May 24 to meet the House of Origin deadline. There will probably be about 700+ bills before the Appropriations Committee for the big suspense file hearing. One benefit of serving on the Appropriations Committee is members have a preview of most every bill (because most every bill has a fiscal impact, regrettably) that will ultimately come to the Assembly Floor.

Some bill updates: I have good news and bad news. I will start with the good news! On Earth Day, I introduced Assembly Concurrent Resolution 182, which intends to promote and encourage solutions and resources for keeping the oceans and coastlines healthy and eliminating the Great Pacific Garbage patch. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a collection of debris, trash and waste that has collected in the North Pacific Ocean, forming two giant circulating groups. It is also known as the Pacific trash vortex with a mass of approximately 100,000 tons covering 617,000 square miles, which is twice the size of Texas.

This week, I introduced ACR 190 to recognize the month of May as ALS Awareness Month. My mother passed away from ALS 20 years ago, and I am proud to raise awareness in honor of the many thousands of ALS victims who succumb to the disease in California every year.

AB 1952, my bill to increase support for parenting foster youth, unanimously made it out of the Assembly Committee on Human Services. Its next hurdle will be the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 2393, which extends the lease terms for public trust lands at Newport Bay from 50 years to 66, is already over in the Senate. It will be referred to a policy committee soon.

Additionally pending referral to a committee in the Senate is AB 2504, which would recognize the Black Abalone as the State Seashell.

Finally, this year I worked with Assemblymember Low to re-introduce a bill from last year. AB 2766 would add more transparency to why an incarcerated person receives early release credits and thus a shorter sentence. This bill made it through the Assembly Public Safety Committee and the Assembly Judiciary Committee. Next, it will have to make it out of the Appropriations Committee.

Now, the bad news. AB 3153, which would have provided a 15-year extension to the Balboa Island Ferry to comply with CARB’s zero-emission electrification mandates, was killed in the Assembly Transportation Committee last week. I intend to continue working on this bill with the committee chair to see if we can find a way forward — to save the Ferry from having to meet impossible near-term compliance deadlines. The Chair is reasonable and was impressed by Ferry owners – Seymour’s and Joe Beek’s – testimony. Although she voted “no” she believes there may be a workable solution for the Ferry and CARB. Our Balboa Ferry is truly a symbol of the larger issue of the State of California regulating small businesses out of business and driving them to other states.

Do you know a woman pursuing higher education? Encourage her to apply for scholarships offered by the Legislative Women’s Caucus. The Minerva Scholarship offers female students financial assistance to meet educational expenses. The Breaking Barriers Scholarship offers financial assistance for women pursuing a certification program, apprenticeship or degree in the field of STEM. Check out application requirements for both opportunities here: WICL – Women In California Leadership | Scholarship Program.

Mark your calendars! On Memorial Day, I look forward to honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our great country. Please join me for the Field of Honor by the Exchange Club of Newport Harbor at 12 p.m. on May 27 at Castaways Park – Dover Drive and 16th Street.

Additionally, on Friday, May 31, I will be hosting a Business Round Table with the Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce at 11:30 a.m. I hope to see you there.

Not receiving invitations to my events? Send an email to to be added to our distribution list or visit my website: Diane Dixon website. Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and X.

Thank you Stu News for keeping our local residents informed! I am honored to reach Stu News readers with highlights about my life and times serving you in Sacramento. Until next month – be well!

Diane Dixon is a two-term Newport Beach City Councilmember and two-time Mayor. She is currently serving her first term in Sacramento.

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