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The Year Ahead: Assembly Speaker Rivas Discusses Priorities, Problems

(CBM) – Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas shared his legislative priorities and vision for the future of California during a luncheon hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) in downtown Sacramento.

Titled a “Conversation with Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas” for PPIC’s 2024 Speaker Series on California’s Future, the 44-year-old Democrat lawmaker from Hollister, who represents the 29th Assembly District, is the 71st speaker of the Assembly.

A bill to speed up reconstruction of the Pajaro river levee heads to Newsom’s desk

The California State Legislature has passed a bill that could significantly speed up the long-awaited reconstruction of the Pajaro River levee — a project that has been talked about for nearly 60 years.

The bill, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas who represents the region, exempts the project from some of those rules, and allows it to bypass review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that could have held it up for years. It also allows construction to begin next year instead of 2025, as originally planned.

Robert Rivas wants to use small-town charm to wield big political power in California. Will it work?

SAN BENITO COUNTY, Calif.  —  In case it wasn’t obvious on the two-lane highway that carves through golden hills, cow pastures and rows of grapevines, a sign inside the roadside Paicines General Store makes the point clear: “Welcome to the country.”

When Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas was a boy in the 1980s, his grandmother would walk him and his brother to the store for ice cream before heading to her night shift at a local cannery.

As El Niño gathers strength, lawmakers look to fortify Pajaro’s flood-ravaged levee

As Californians brace for the possibility of yet another wet winter — thanks to a looming El Niño — anxiety is growing in the Central Coast towns of Pajaro and Watsonville, where epic storms caused extensive flood damage earlier this year.

On Tuesday, California Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) introduced legislation designed to expedite construction and upgrades along the Pajaro River levee — a 74-year-old earthen flood control berm that breached just before spring, inundating the mostly migrant farmworker town of Pajaro.

Rivas authors bill to speed up Pajaro levee rebuild

California Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas on Tuesday introduced legislation intended to speed up the $400 million rebuild of the Pajaro River Levee. 

Assembly Bill 876 would expedite the work by exempting certain aspects of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The bill would also weigh the potential impacts of the project against its environmental and socio-economic benefits.

The urgency law would take effect immediately upon being signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Central Coast hospitals are getting help from the state

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital and Watsonville Community Hospital are set to receive multimillion-dollar funding from the state.

WATSONVILLE, Calif. — On Wednesday, Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas' office announced that two hospitals in his district will get financial help from the state.