I had the opportunity to spend part of Thursday at the Capitol with our Advocate, Allison Olson. We met a number of our newly elected Assembly members . It was a very productive and inspiring morning. We first visited Assembly member Catharine Baker, AD16, and it was especially exciting to visit her. So many Federated women in the Bay Area worked hard to get her elected and it was a thrill to see her in her office at the Capitol. We also visited Assembly members Jay Obernolte, AD33, Tom Lackey, AD 36,, and our hard working Assembly Leader Kristin Olsen, AD 12. We had very productive meetings talking about how we can work together to help get the word out for important bills and legislation to all of our members so they can act on them! We have a very inspiring group of newly elected legislators in Sacramento and I think the next two years will be very productive and exciting.
NFRW & CFRW Scholarships
I would like to share with you some important information about the NFRW & CFRW Scholarships. I know many clubs sponsor scholarships to local winners but you don’t want to forget about the NFRW and CFRW scholarships as well. The June 1 deadline for NFRW scholarships will be here before we know it! Don’t forget the Ronald Reagan Scholarship.
It is due August 15 but it doesn't hurt to start thinking of worthy applications.
Last year we only received 6 applications for the Pathfinder Scholarship and no applications for the Rendel Scholarship. I would like to encourage all of our clubs to try to sponsor young college women for these scholarships This is also a great opportunity to help mentor college women, help them organize a College Republican group if their school does not have one, invite them to your meetings and even encourage them to become members. Why not give them a Membership Gift Certificate , or provide them with a discounted cost for membership? For example: we send in $16 with our per capita for each new or renewed member per capita . If you have a category for student membership at $16, your club is not losing any money but you are gaining a new member! Just an idea, we can all benefit by helping them. Remember these young Republican Women are our future!
The National Pathfinder Scholarship (Deadline: June 1)
These three annual scholarships, in honor of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, provide scholarships of $2,500 in financial assistance to young women seeking undergraduate or graduate degrees. Undergraduate sophomores, juniors and seniors as well as students enrolled in a Master’s degree program are eligible to apply for the scholarship.
The Betty Rendel National Scholarship (Deadline: June 1)
Established in 1995 this scholarship, in honor of NFRW Past President Betty Rendel’s extraordinary leadership skills and dedication to the Republican Party, provides $1,000 each to three undergraduate women currently majoring in Political Science, Government or Economics. Applicants must have completed their freshman year of college to be eligible to apply. Both applications need to be received by the State President by June 1!
THE PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN SCHOLARSHIP (Deadline: August 15)
The California Federation of Republican Women offers a scholarship in honor of President Ronald Reagan. This annual $2,000 scholarship is offered to an undergraduate registered Republican woman who is majoring in political science, communication, or directed toward law. The applicant must be a United States citizen and have completed two years of college. The applicant must be a resident of the State of California.
Our hardworking CFRW Scholarship Chair, Rosalia Zamora, can provide you more information. Check out our CFRW website to download the applications or for more information. I hope to seem many of you this weekend at the CRP Convention in Sacramento.
God Bless America!
Thank you for all you do,
Working Together to Make A Difference
The deadline to introduce bills this legislative session is today, Friday, February 27th. This means if a legislator wants to run a bill this session, he or she has to have introduced it by today. But that does not necessarily mean the bill they introduce will be the one passed down the line. Many legislators are introducing "spot bills", or place holders for the author to fill in the language of the bill at a later date. At press time, 1,764 bills have been introduced; 1130 from the Assembly and 634 from the Senate. But bear in mind that many of these bills are spot bills. The legislation will begin to take shape in the coming weeks as committee hearings start meeting. Stay tuned, the bill count will likely go past 2,000 bills introduced by the time the day is done!
Fixing Prop 47
Last week we reported on all the unintended consequences of Prop 47's passage. Well, legislators are already working to fix it's terrible by-products. We mentioned a couple bills last week, Assemblywoman Melendez's AB 150, which aims to fix the gun theft penalty reduction in Prop 47, and AB 390 (Cooper, D), which would allow law enforcement officials to still collect DNA evidence despite Prop 47's restrictions. Yet another bill by Republican Assemblyman Tom Lackey, would restore felony charges for date rape drug possession. Get the facts from Assemblyman Lackey ◼ HERE.
Below are some quick facts from the Assemblyman's office that will help you when discussing this bill with other Californians. Get them informed!
What is the background of this proposal? In November 2014, California voters approved Proposition 47 which reclassified many crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. One of these reclassifications involved the possession of the drugs Rohypnol and GHB—commonly known as “date rape” drugs. Under Prop. 47, only offenders who have been previously been convicted of a serious crime such as rape or murder can be charged as felony offense for possession of date rape drugs.
Proponents of Prop. 47 argued the state’s prisons and jails are filled with low-level offenders serving sentences for crimes such as drug possession. One loophole created by Prop. 47’s passage is that it treats possession of drugs used for personal recreational purposes and date rape drugs equally. There must be a clear distinction between drugs that are likely to be used for malicious purposes and those intended for personal consumption.
What is the problem to be addressed? A person is not in possession of a date rape drug for their own use. Instead these drugs are weapons in the hands of sexual predators. A person found in illegal possession of them should be treated as a dangerous criminal and face a potential felony conviction. Yet, Prop. 47 treats recreational drug possession and date rape drug possession equally by reducing possession of both to a misdemeanor that will likely result in little to no jail time. Law enforcement and victims’ rights organizations pointed out this flaw in Prop. 47 prior to its passage. Because of the amnesia effects date rape drugs have on their victims, sexual assaults involving their use are under reported to law enforcement and remain a major problem.
By taking away a prosecutor’s ability to charge an offender with a felony for possessing these tools used for sexual assault, many offenders will evade serious punishment and will be emboldened to commit further crimes. AB 46 simply offers an opportunity to California voters to resolve this issue and to decide if possession of date rape drugs should be a felony.
What specifically does this bill do? AB 46 will restore the ability to bring felony charges for the possession of most commonly used date rape drugs, including Rohypnol, GHB and ketamine. District attorneys will again be given discretion to charge a felony or misdemeanor. AB 46 is a majority vote bill that will be sent to the voters if passed by the Legislature and Governor.
CRP Convention This Weekend!
We hope that many of you are joining us at our California Republican Party Covention this weekend! We will have our CFRW Caucus meeting on Saturday, February 28th, at 2pm in the Convention Center Room 104. Please join us to hear from candidates and elected officials, hear from our CFRW officers, and to hear exciting news about our upcoming Advocacy Workshop!
The CFRW will also be hosting a Wine Tasting Reception at convention on Saturday night, after the banquet. Thanks our sponsors, NFRW President Kathy Brugger and Senator Jim Nielsen, we are excited to feature Republican-owned family vineyards at Downtown and Vine from 9-11pm. Downtown and Vine is located a stones throw from the Hyatt and the convention center at 1200 K Street, #8. Our last CRP reception was the talk of convention, so you wont want to miss it!
As many of you know, the California Federation of Republican Women are on Facebook and Twitter! We want you to "Like" and "Follow" us, and invite your friends! Facebook and Twitter are easy ways to stay connected and informed about what is going on in Sacramento and D.C.! You can find us at ◼ >www.facebook.com/theCFRW
and ◼ www.twitter.com/CFRWadvocate