Cal Dooley on the Economy
"Estate Tax Relief -- Seventy percent of family farms
and businesses are not passed on to future generations, largely because of the burden
imposed by estate taxes. Since most family-owned farms do not earn the kind of profits
necessary to pay large estate tax bills, future generations are often forced to mortgage
the farm or liquidate assets. Cal is a cosponsor of legislation by Reps. Jennifer
Dunn and John Tanner to repeal the estate tax completely, and also supports more
targeted initiatives to repeal the estate tax for family-owned farms and businesses.
He joined the House in approving the Dunn-Tanner legislation in June 2000. The legislation
now waits consideration in the Senate."
Cal Dooley on Education
"Connecting Classrooms to the Information Superhighway -- Cal is a strong supporter
of the "e-rate," which enables needy schools, libraries and rural health
centers to receive Internet service at discounted rates. When the program came under
attack, Cal led 70 of his colleagues to urge the FCC to fully implement the e-rate.
In addition, Cal hosted a seminar for Valley school district representatives in the
spring of 1998, which instructed school officials in how to develop comprehensive
technology plans. Cal believes this program, which has so far brought more than $57
million to Valley classrooms, is essential to providing our youth with the skills
they need to succeed in the information economy of the 21st century. Because the
successful use of classroom technology depends on teachers who are well-trained in
the best use, Congressman Dooley supported federal funding to help provide this training.
Increased Education Flexibility -- Cal played a leadership role in advancing legislation
to give schools, parents, and teachers more flexibility in determining what works
best for students. The bipartisan bill, which was signed into law by President Clinton,
allows states to apply for waivers from certain federal education regulations so
long as states develop accountability standards to measure student progress. Cal
also supports public charter schools, supporting federal funding that would double
the number of charter start-up grants, bringing more choices for Valley students
and their families.
Teacher Training and School Accountability -- Cal is the
leading Democratic sponsor in the House of the Public Education Reinvestment, Reinvention,
and Responsibility Act ("Three R's" Bill), which streamlines a number of
federal education programs to give school districts greater freedom in making spending
decisions, while bolstering school standards and ensuring greater accountability
in the use of funds.
Support for Bilingual Education -- Cal opposed California state Proposition 227,
which requires limited-English proficient (LEP) students to master English within
one year before being placed into an all-English classroom. Such requirements rob
teachers of the flexibility needed to deliver the most effective teaching methods
to our youth. Cal also opposed a bill that would block grant all federal aid for
bilingual programs and require schools to teach LEP children English within two years
or risk losing funding for such programs. Cal also applauded a $448,282 grant from
the Department of Education to help Golden Plains Unified School District in San
Joaquin enhance its bilingual education program. Given the high LEP concentration
of the area's students, these grants are designed to enable these students to compete
in advanced college preparation courses."
Cal Dooley on the Environment
"CalFed program -- Securing an adequate water supply for
the Valley has always been among Cal's highest priorities. As a farmer himself, he
understands all too well the importance of water to our Valley's agriculture economy.
After Congress passed, and President Bush signed, the Central Valley Project Improvement
Act (CVPIA) in 1992 -- a bill that Cal vigorously opposed -- our Valley water supplies
have been dramatically reduced. In 1995, in an effort to achieve more stability and
certainty in our agriculture water supply, the farm community joined with urban concerns
and the environmental community in agreeing to an historic "accord", which
resulted in the "CalFed program", a joint state-federal effort to devise
a roadmap for water use in California in the coming decades. Cal has been very supportive
of this process, as he believes it is the most effective way that the agriculture
community can gain increased certainty of water deliveries.
This Spring, under the leadership of Governor Gray Davis, a CalFed framework was
announced. If implemented in a fair and equitable manner, the framework could serve
the Valley's agricultural economy well, providing additional water storage capability
and greater flexibility in the implementation of environmental requirements. Cal
is currently working with his colleagues to develop a fair authorizing bill for the
CalFed program, and to seek funding for the full implementation of CalFed, a process
that will take a number of years.
Second Generation of Environmental Stewardship -- Cal believes
that there are alternatives to the false choice between unlimited free enterprise
and strict environmentally conscious regulation. Cal has led a bipartisan effort
to bring a new and innovative approach to environmental regulation that is known
as the Second Generation of Environmental Stewardship. It embraces initiatives that
are both pro-growth and environmentally friendly. Rather than expecting the federal
government to dictate both the environmental standards and the means used to achieve
them, this new approach allows business to explore creative ways to get better results
at lower cost.
Environmental Cleanup Reform -- Cal is the lead Democratic sponsor of bipartisan
legislation to reform the Superfund program by facilitating cleanup of contaminated
industrial sites in order to return them to productive use whenever possible. In
addition to making key changes to the Superfund program, the bill provides support
for state-led efforts to clean up "brownfields" sites, which are those
contaminated sites that EPA has not yet addressed, usually because it has determined
that they do not rise to the level of hazard necessary for inclusion in the federal
Superfund cleanup program. The bill, which enjoys the strong support of the U.S.
Conference of Mayors and the National Federation of Independent Business, was approved
by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in August 1999."