As amended, AB 1213, The Bobcat Protection Act has cleared the appropriations committee last week and will likely get a floor vote this week. The gist of the current bill is that it prohibits at the start of the year trapping in the area around JTNP, directs the Commission to similarly prohibit trapping in and around all other parks and preserves in the state at its next rulemaking (2014-2015 season), prohibits trapping on private property without owner permission, and directs the Commission to increase trapping license fees to cover the costs of the program.  The bill no longer requires a new population survey or management plan (deemed too expensive to pass).  So at its core it is now a parks and private lands protection bill (although the increased license fee will probably mean a reduction in the number of trappers in the state).  The bill text can be read at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_1201-1250/ab_1213_bill_20130524_amended_asm_v95.htm

Everything will move very fast this week. On Tuesday the 27th, community representatives from the Morongo Basin with the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups will be visiting offices in Sacramento to update state assembly members on the bill as amended, and on Wednesday, the 28th, they plan to do a vote count to see if we have enough to pass the full assembly (we only get a floor vote if we can show we have the votes).  The actual vote could come as early as Wednesday but more likely Thursday or Friday this week. 

To get out of the Assembly we need 41 votes. By way of example, another controversial wildlife bill, the lead-bullet ban, cleared the assembly a couple weeks ago with 43 votes.  We likely can get most or all of the votes for that bill for our bill, which means we have a good chance of passing.  Still, every legislator needs to hear from us via phone calls this week so that we can expect their vote. Of the Dems not voting for the lead bill, several were absent, one voted no and six abstained.  These legislators are probably the most important ones to target as they can potentially be convinced to vote for our bill.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP PASS AB 1213 THROUGH THE FULL ASSEMBLY:

Swing votes that should be targeted are Republican Jeff Gorell (LA) and eight Dems: Salas, Eggman, Quirk-Silva, Frazier, Gray, Bonilla, Brown, and Perea. WE NEED THESE ‘SWING VOTE’ MEMBERS CALLED ON TUESDAY, MAY 28TH – WEDNESDAY, the 29th FROM ALL PARTS OF THE STATE—ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE IN THEIR HOME DISTRICTS. Please phone their offices (see below), ask each how they plan to vote and suggest that we expect them to vote for AB 1213 to pass as well.

Please keep in mind that t is far better to spend your energy trying to round up friends/relatives who live in the swing districts to make the calls than to do them yourselves as constituents matter the most to the assembly members.  If you are calling yourself be short, polite, let them know you are from the area most affected by the bill and urge them to vote for it.  We want people to feel pressure from within their district, and interest and support from outside, but not annoy them.  In contrast, for Nestande since he is our rep, be as forceful and persistent as you feel appropriate until/unless you get a definitive confirmation from his office that he will vote for it.

CA Assembly Member ‘Swing Vote’ Target Phone Numbers to call at their Sacramento offices:

 SUSAN BONILLA (D, District 14)  PH: (916) 319-2014
North and central portions of Contra Costa County and southern portion of Solano County

CHERYL BROWN (D, District 47)  PH: (916) 319-2047
San Bernardino, Rialto, Fontana, Colton, Grand Terrace, Bloomington, and Muscoy

SUSAN EGGMAN (D, District 13)  PH: (916) 319-2013
San Joaquin Delta communities of Stockton, Tracy, Thornton and Mountain House

JIM FRAZIER (D, District 11)  PH: (916) 319-2011
Oakley, Pittsburg, Brentwood, Rio Vista, Fairfield, Antioch, Vacaville, and Isleton

ADAM GRAY (D, District 21)  PH: (916) 319-2021
Merced County and parts of Stanislaus County including parts of Modesto and the communities of Ceres, Newman and Patterson

HENRY PEREA (D, District 31)  PH: (916) 319-2031
Caruthers, Coalinga,  Firebaugh, Fowler, Huron, Kingsburg, Kerman, Laton, Lanare,  Mendota, Orange Cove, Parlier, Riverdale, Reedley, Sanger, San Joaquin, Selma  and the city of Fresno

SHARON QUIRK-SILVA (D, District 65)  PH: (916) 319-2065
Fullerton, Anaheim, Buena Park, Hawaiian Gardens, Cypress, La Palma and Stanton

RUDY SALAS (D, District 32)  PH: (916) 319-2032
City of Bakersfield, Hanford, Corcoran, Delano, Lemoore, Shafter, Wasco and the communities of Armona, Avenal, Kettleman City, Lamont, Lost Hills, Stratford and Weedpatch

JEFF GORELL (R, District 44)  PH: (916) 319-2044
Camarillo, Casa Conejo, Channel Islands Beach, El Rio, Lake Sherwood, Moorpark, Oak Park, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Rosa Valley, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village

IN ADDITION, JOSHUA TREE AND MORONGO BASIN RESIDENTS NEED TO PHONE BRIAN NESTANDE’S OFFICE ON TUESDAY, 5/28. Please phone his office, ask him how he is going to vote and suggest that we expect him to vote for it as well.

BRIAN NESTANDE (R, District 42) PH: (916) 319-2042
Beaumont, Hemet, Joshua Tree, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, San Jacinto, Twentynine Palms, Yucaipa, Yucca Valley

Note that all assembly members should be phoned to make them aware of AB 1213. Please find your representative at this link and phone asking them to support the Bobcat Protection Act: http://assembly.ca.gov/assemblymembers.