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Huber seeks to cut state’s wasteful spending

By: Art Garcia Telegraph Correspondent
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One of the priorities of Alyson Huber, the Democrat re-elected to a second term in the California 10th Assembly district, is to put wheels on a committee created by her bill, approved by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwar-zenegger. The goal of the Joint Sunset Review Committee, she said, “is to go through our entire government structure and look at things we can get rid of, things that were created to solve a problem, but the problem no longer exists.” After newly elected legislators are sworn in on Dec. 6 and the 2011 legislative session convenes in January, “we have to get that committee up and running, get the members on it, start setting the schedule, hold hearings about what should be reviewed and in what order and start writing bills,” she said. Huber wants to eliminate unnecessary state boards stacked with political appointees making more than $100,000 a year for meeting once a month. The measure calls for regular review of hundreds of state boards, commissions and departments. She claims long-term reform will save the state billions of dollars. Huber, a 38-year-old business litigation attorney who practiced law for 10 years after graduating from the University of California’s Hastings School of the Law, lives in Serrano in El Dorado Hills with her husband, Tim, a local attorney, and two children, ages 6 and 8. Two other children are in college. The assemblywoman, first elected two years ago, currently serves as chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, is a member of the Accountability Administrative Oversight Committee, chairs a select committee on lowering California’s high school dropout rate and sits on the Joint Committee on Emergency Response. Her district includes Amador County and portions of Sacramento, El Dorado and San Joaquin counties, embracing the cities of Lodi, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Stockton and Jackson, as well as El Dorado Hills and Rancho Murieta. For El Dorado Hills, she said infrastructure and transportation are among her top priorities. Huber also is trying to get additional signs east and west on Highway 50 for the California Welcome Center in El Dorado Hills’ Town Center “to capture as many folks as we can so we can bring more tourism and economic activity into El Dorado County.” Named Legislator of the Year by the California Small Business Association and Outstanding Legislator by an association of California sheriffs, Huber, who grew up on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, fights to protect the interests of the Delta region and for residents to have a voice in decisions on water issues. Earlier this year she reintroduced legislation to prohibit construction of a peripheral canal through the Delta without a full fiscal analysis and a vote of the legislature. Construction could move ahead only if authorized by the legislature. The bill also would require that construction and operation of a peripheral canal not diminish or negatively affect water supplies, water rights or quality of water within the Delta watershed. Besides being an advocate for a streamlined government and water for the Delta, Huber causes include keeping open the Preston Youth Facility in Ione in Amador County, which the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has said it will close. She argues nearly 450 jobs could be lost if the CDCR moves ahead with its plan and that other youth facilities in the state should be closed, rather than Preston. Huber also works to stop job-killing regulation and to protect existing jobs. Early last year, she responded to Lodi-based DART Container Company’s concerns about a proposed law that would have banned the types of products the company makes. To make a case with other legislators, she organized a tour of the DART plant to educate them about the company’s products and its efforts to recycle. The bill didn’t advance and, said Huber, 400 jobs were saved. As of a late count of November ballots, Huber won her assembly race by a 7.5 percent margin in a district in which Republicans hold a 1 percent voter registration edge. Huber’s capitol office phone number is (916) 319-2010. Her El Dorado Hills office hours are the second Thursday of the month, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Community Services District pavilion meeting room, 1021 Harvard Way. Her web address is alysonhuber.com.