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News from Santa Cruz County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty
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Supervisor Ryan Coonerty - Third District News
Your Santa Cruz County Budget
On June 28th, the Board of Supervisors took final action to approve Santa Cruz County's 2016-2017 budget. This is the most important thing we do all year. How we allocate those dollars should reflect the priorities and values of the people of Santa Cruz County. Many residents shared their thoughts with me about the kinds of local government investments they think are most important. 

The Board's goal in this process was to review the work of hundreds of programs that protect our environment, ensure public health and safety and improve opportunity while also balancing the County’s budget. This year I worked to secure funding for the Nurse-Family Partnership program in order to transform the lives of low-income first-time moms and their babies. In addition to that, I worked to increase public safety by adding two probation officers to monitor domestic violence and other potentially violent offenders. In time for what will be a critical, high turn-out election, I worked with County Clerk Gail Pellerin to make sure all Santa Cruz County voters will not have to pay postage when they mail in their ballots-removing a small but important barrier in our voting system. Click here to read more about my budget priorities.  

During budget hearings, the County Human Services Department (HSD) shared this video that helps illustrate the critical work they do to help some of our community's most vulnerable individuals.

While budget hearings are over, I always welcome your participation either in person or via email throughout the year.
 
Twin Lakes Beachfront Project

We are one significant step closer to an important coastal access project along East Cliff Drive between 5th Avenue and 7th Avenue adjacent to Twin Lakes State Beach. This project will maximize pedestrian access and safety, provide for safe bicycle access, organized parking, a drop-off area and an ADA ramp to the beach among other amenities while maintaining the natural character of this special spot. 

This week I was notified that the County received a $700,000 grant from California State Parks' Department of Boating and Waterways. This grant provides the final funding needed to move forward with this long- awaited coastal access project. I am pushing to begin construction as soon as possible. 
 
Supporting Gender Equity via Sales Tax Policy
There is a move underway to bring gender equity to our state tax code and at the urging of Supervisor Friend and myself, the Board of Supervisors has taken action to support this effort by supporting Assembly Bill (AB) 1561. AB 1561 would ban taxation on women's menstrual products in California.  Current state law provides sales and use tax exemption for goods that are considered "necessities of life." The exemption includes most food items and prescription medication.  Supervisor Friend and I agree with the bill's authors that these types of supplies are medical necessities and it is unjust to subject these items to sales tax. It is not right that roughly half the population is taxed due to their biology. 

Six states have already eliminated sales tax on menstrual products and it is time for California to adopt this reasonable policy as well. I am happy to support this small step toward gender equity.
 
Join me for a Beach Clean-Up on July 5th!
Pollution prevention is patriotic!  Unfortunately, some beach goers still have not learned to pack their trash. The July 4th celebration often results in tons of trash littering our shores.

I will be helping to clean-up Davenport Beach on the morning of Tuesday, July 5th. You are welcome to join me at 9 a.m. across the street from Whale City Bakery.

Clean-ups will also be taking place on July 5th at Cowell and Main Beach, Seabright State Beach and Twin Lakes State Beach among others. If you are able, please consider going to one of these beaches at 9 a.m. on July 5th to clean our precious beaches. Click here for more information on the beach clean-ups planned by Save Our Shores.
North Coast View

Next Board of Supervisors Meeting:
August 2, 2016, 9:00 a.m.
701 Ocean Street, 5th Floor

LINKS
Board of Supervisors Meeting Schedule
Agendas & Minutes



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Ryan Coonerty

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