GMSP! Rep. Gallegly’s chief aide discusses national, local issues

May 27, 2005
Santa Paula News

The Good Morning Santa Paula! crowd heard about issues decided in Washington, D.C. when the Chief Aide to Rep. Elton Gallegly offered an update at the May meeting.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesThe Good Morning Santa Paula! crowd heard about issues decided in Washington, D.C. when the Chief Aide to Rep. Elton Gallegly offered an update at the May meeting. Brian Miller said that Rep. Gallegly “apologizes for not being able to be here,” but that the 10th term Congressman is busy in the nation’s Capitol.Congress is “played out on a seniority basis...Rep. Gallegly is number 375 now out of more than 400 members. It’s been exciting to see the changes” the Congressman has accomplished through service on several committees, including the Judiciary and those dealing with foreign policy and security issues.On the national level, the 109th Congress is continuing to examine tort reform and the class action lawsuit reform bill that would prevent court shopping and malpractice award limits for pain and suffering, “not actual damages,” but punitive judgements. A potential fund for asbestos damage compensation without court action is also being examined.The House and Senate also passed an energy bill in conference committee, and “One of the most contentious” aspects of the bill is Alaska oil drilling - less than one-tenth of one percent of oil producing land that would allow the U.S. to replace exports from Saudi Arabia for the next 30 years. “Everything will go up as fuel goes up,” Miller noted.
Congress is also trying to pass an association health plan that would allow “people to band together to negotiate better health insurance contracts.”Locally, the Ventura County Transportation Commission has received about $5 million to “help repair some of the inter-city roads” that connect county cities.Rep. Gallegly has been involved in the Santa Clara River master management plan, “everything from the flood aspects to the nature of the recreation portion to water quality to put together a plan,” that would address needed projects and programs in a single document.Rep. Gallegly also ensured a $50,000 grant to the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Paula, and has been highly involved in Santa Paula Airport repair rehabilitation efforts. “The main part of the project was to cut a new sandbar” in a portion of the river now owned by the Nature Conservancy. The Department of Fish and Game remains a challenge, as they want a full Environmental Impact Report, a delay that could eliminate funding deadlines.



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