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Rep. Takano Keeps Offices Open, Functioning; Issues Shutdown Guidelines

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Rep. Mark Takano issued guidelines for constituents on how government services will be affected and announced that his DC and Riverside office will remain open throughout the shutdown.

Residents are encouraged to visit the information on Takano’s website. There, residents will learn about the effects of a temporary government shutdown. The page will also be updated as new information becomes available and agencies update their contingency plans.

Residents not able to find assistance within the shutdown guidelines can visit or call the Riverside district office for any federal government problems.

Office of Congressman Mark Takano – Riverside District Office
3403 10th Street
Suite 610
Riverside, CA 92501
Phone: (951) 222-0203

Guidelines Text Below:

What does a government shutdown mean for you?

Please know that I will work to restore funding for the federal government, so that the residents of California’s 41st Congressional District will continue to receive the benefits and services they are owed. In addition, my offices in Riverside and Washington, DC, will remain open during regular business hours, continuing to provide the best service possible to my constituents.

Below, you can find information about the effects of a temporary government shutdown. I will update this page as new information becomes available. Please keep in mind that information may change as agencies adapt to operations under a lapse of funding.

Social Security The Social Security Administration will continue to distribute Social Security benefits to seniors and people with disabilities. However, a lapse in funding could result in delays in processing new claims and Social Security cards, change of address requests, and other customer service requests.

Medicare

Medicare claims are paid from Medicare trust funds, and will continue to be processed during a shutdown. However, the lapse in funding will stop the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from processing new Medicare enrollees.

Veterans Benefits

The processing and payment of veterans’ education and health benefits, disability compensation, and pension claims, will not be affected. All VA medical facilities and clinics will remain open and operational. However, VA call centers and hotlines – excluding the Veterans Crisis Line – will cease function, no decisions on claims appeals will be issued, and VetSuccess on Campus will be suspended.

Unemployment Benefits

Federal unemployment benefits will continue to be dispersed to the California Employment Development Department (EDD). Unemployed workers will continue to receive benefits, and people who have exhausted their current benefit tier will progress to the next tier. For more information, please contact the EDD at http://www.edd.ca.gov/.

United States Postal Service

U.S. Postal Service will continue to operate during a government shutdown, because the Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. All retail offices will remain open and delivery will not be affected. The Postal Service will continue to accept passport applications, although there may be a delay in processing them from the State Department. For more information about the Postal Service, you may want to visit http://www.usps.com/.

Military Pay

The House and Senate passed a bill that would pay members of the Armed Forces, including reserve components, in the event of a government shutdown. Civilian employees and contractors may also receive pay if they are deemed by the Secretary to be providing support to members of the Armed Forces.

Federal Employees and Retirees

Under a government shutdown all non-essential federal employees are placed on unpaid leave, also known as a furlough. However, essential employees that perform emergency work involving the safety of human life, the protection of property, or other exempted work, must continue to report to their job. Essential employees will not be paid unless Congress appropriates money for back pay after government funding is restored.

Each federal agency will determine which employees will be furloughed, and which must continue to report to work. Furloughs are expected to impact the services that agencies provide to the public. For more details please visit the Office of Personnel Management’s website at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/furlough-guidance/.

Federal retirees who receive benefits through the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) or the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) will continue to get their checks. However, the Office of Personnel Management will stop processing paperwork for new retirees.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF) is funded through September 30, 2013. With a lapse in federal funding, TANF recipients could see a disruption in benefits. However, states may be able to use state funds, emergency contingency funds, or leftover TANF funding from previous years to help continue TANF benefits during a shutdown. The State of California will be issuing further guidance for TANF recipients in the state. For more information visit, please visit http://www.cdss.ca.gov/calworks/.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) receives mandatory funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury on a quarterly basis. Therefore, beneficiaries will continue to receive SNAP funds as usual.

Federal funding for the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program will stop on October 1, 2013. However, Acting WIC Director Lisa Kawano “anticipates that there will be no interruptions to the CA WIC program in the near future.” State WIC programs, including California, can use vendor fines and infant formula rebate accounts, as well as NSA spend-forward, unspent food and federal contingency funds, to keep the program operating for at least a week or even two weeks, by which time a new CR is very likely to pass.

Passports and Visas

The Postal Service will continue to accept passport applications, and the State Department will continue to process passport applications visa requests as long as funding allows. This could result in delayed processing times and create a backlog that lasts even after funding is restored.

Museums and Parks

All areas of the National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge Systems will be closed to the public. This includes federal lands in California, Washington, DC, and across the country. Additionally, the Smithsonian Institution and National Gallery of Art will be closed to the public. The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will remain open for scheduled performances, but may suspend tours of the building.

If you have tours scheduled through my office in Washington, DC, please contact my Tour Coordinator, Elliot Sakach, at (202) 225-2305 for more information.

Additional Resources

For additional guidance from the federal government please visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/contingency-plans for a full list of contingency plans from all federal agencies. If you need further assistance please call my Washington, DC, Office at (202) 225-2305 or my Riverside Office at (951) 222-0203.

Children's Defense Fund-California Recognizes Students

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Summer vacation is fast coming to a close and colleges and universities throughout California are gearing up for the fall semester — and 2012 Children’s Defense Fund Beat the Odds® Scholarship and Leadership Program alumni will make the transition from high school to college! These outstanding students will be attending some of the state’s premier universities, including University of Southern California, UCLA, and Mount St. Mary's College.

The 2012 CDF Beat the Odds honorees are the embodiment of strength, determination, and resilience. These young people have faced tremendous hardships on the road to college, and survived childhoods marked by periods of homelessness, abuse, abandonment, and loss. Yet each of these incredible students have achieved academic excellence and personal success despite their difficult upbringings, with many going on to become class valedictorians, student body presidents, all-star athletes, and role models in their communities. Read more about our 2012 CDF Beat the Odds honorees and watch their inspiring documentaries.

For more than two decades, the CDF Beat the Odds Scholarship Program has recognized outstanding high school students who have overcome adversity to excel in school and as leaders in their communities. The college prep program awards $55,000 in scholarships annually, as well as provides awardees with intensive SAT preparation, one-on-one college counseling, leadership development, college tours, career counseling, and other services to support them through their college career.

The application for the 2014 CDF Beat the Odds program will become available next month. For information on the program or how to nominate a student, contact program associate Joanna Flores at jflores@childrensdefense.org.

Metrolink to Make Special Stop at the L.A. County Fair

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LOS ANGELES - Metrolink will offer safe, affordable service directly to the L.A. County Fair beginning this weekend and continuing on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month of September. Metrolink's San Bernardino Line trains will add a special stop at the Pomona Fairplex, while a free shuttle will transport passengers to the main entrance.

Metrolink riders with a monthly pass can ride all Metrolink trains at no additional cost on the weekends. Others can take advantage of the $10 Weekend Day Pass, which allows them to ride Metrolink trains either Saturday or Sunday for one low fare. Riders can transfer to and from other Metrolink lines, along with Metro rail and most buses with the $10 Weekend Day Pass.

This year the L.A. County Fair is offering all Metrolink riders a special $10 admission ticket on weekends. Regular weekend fair admission tickets for adults, ages 13 and over, is $19, children ages 6-12 is $12, while seniors, 60 and over is $15. Vehicle parking on weekends is an additional $15 or $30 for valet.

Fair goers are encouraged to "UNLEASH YOUR INNER FAIR!" by indulging in food galore and shopping, while enjoying the many entertainment acts and other attractions. The L.A. County Fair will also feature animal competitions, art exhibits, carnival games, the big Ferris wheel and much more.

Metrolink representatives will be staffing the Fairplex station during train service operations to assist passengers.

Assemblymember Isadore Hall Issues Statement on Adult Film Industry's Lifting Moratorium

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Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement in response to the adult film industry’s decision to lift their self-imposed moratorium on production due to a confirmed HIV transmission of an adult film actress.

“Today’s move by the Free Speech Coalition to lift their self-imposed moratorium on adult film production without requiring condoms is dangerous and irresponsible. The Free Speech Coalition is great at putting out a press release, but sadly, they are horrible at understanding science. The fact is it can take up to three months for a person with HIV to test positive. For those with HIV, use of current HIV medication can also bring viral loads below detectable levels, leaving fellow actors and the public susceptible to this deadly disease.

The industry’s testing only policy has failed. The fact is a voluntary testing only policy is as effective at preventing the spread of STDs as a pregnancy test is at preventing pregnancy. Short of requiring condoms in all adult films, STD transmission in the adult film industry will continue and California workers will continue to be exposed to injury, harm and potentially death.

I call upon to Free Speech Coalition and the adult film industry to join adult film actors, responsible adult film producers, medical professionals and the public in supporting my AB 640, which would require condoms in all adult films produced in California. No more stalling, no more excuses, no more lies. Too much time has been wasted while California workers have been harmed. The time to act is now.”

Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III, represents California’s 64th Assembly District that includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor Gateway, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, South Los Angeles, Torrance, Watts/Willowbrook and Wilmington in Los Angeles County.

California State Assembly Appropriations Passes Yee Bills on Foster Youth, Hospital Safety, Transparency

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SACRAMENTO – The state's Assembly Appropriations Committee voted to pass Senator Leland Yee’s (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) Senate Bills 3, 342, 528 and 718 today, which is intended to bring increased transparency to the lobbying process and modernize filing practices under campaign finance law, provide assistance to foster youth, and protect hospital employees.

SB 3 would set a statutory deadline for the Secretary of State and the Fair Political Practices Commission to create a modern online database for campaign disclosures. In 2011, the Cal-Access system went offline for a month due to technical difficulties, affecting the public's ability to track lobbyist activity in Sacramento, according to a press release from Yee's office.

“The public has a right to know who has influence in Sacramento,” said Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo). “This information must be easily accessible through a modern online system."

SB 3 is part of the Sunshine in Campaigns Act, along with SB 2, authored by Senator Ted Lieu, which could strengthen disclosure requirements, including requiring campaign ads to disclose the top four campaign donors within the ad. SB 2 was also passed by the Appropriations Committee Aug. 30.

In addition, two of Yee’s foster care bills were passed by the Committee. SB 342 will require that social worker visits to foster youth will take place in the home, to assure the child is living in an adequate home environment. SB 528 would prioritize access to subsidized child care, as pregnant and parenting youth are 200% more likely to drop out of high school than to graduate. In addition, it expands access to pregnant and parenting teen conferences to assist parents in utilizing all the resources available, directs the Department of Social Services to start collecting data on parenting and pregnant youth, and provide age appropriate reproductive health education.

“These bills are common sense measures to protect and assist foster youth so that they can succeed and flourish,” said Yee.

The Committee also voted in favor of SB 718, which would require hospitals to craft plans for how to respond to workplace violence and protects survivors of workplace violence from retaliation for seeking necessary evaluation and treatment.

“Hospital employees should be able to go to work without fear of violence,” said Yee. “This bill will give them the protections they deserve so they can do their jobs with the confidence that they are protected from danger.”

Not all of Yee’s bills made it out of committee. SB 343, which would have ensured that foster youth who are at least 16 years old be provided with critical documents, such as their social security card and copy of their birth certificate was held, as was SB 327, which offered legal protections to survivors of human trafficking.

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