Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) was sworn in Monday, Dec. 1 to serve her third term in the State Assembly, while State Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte) was sworn in to serve in the new 8th District.
Olsen received 63,003 votes for a total percentage of 67.2 to her opponent, Harinder Grewal (D-Keyes) who received 30,752 votes, less than half Olsen’s votes, for a total of 32.8 percent.
Since being sworn in, has introduced measures to increase government accountability and transparency with an Assembly constitutional amendment. She has also recently introduced legislation to discourage frivolous ADA lawsuits while still holding businesses accountable to make necessary changes should their properties be out of compliance with American Disabilities Act standards.
Upon her reelection, Olsen commented on her goals for the upcoming term.
“I am honored to have received overwhelming support for a third term from constituents of the 12th Assembly District,” said Olsen.
Olsen, who was was named Chief Republican Whip to the State Assembly in her first term, now serving as Republican Leader sits on the Assembly Agriculture and Education committees, serving as Vice Chair to each. Additionally, Olsen sits on the Insurance, Higher Education and Accountability and Administrative Review Committees.
She also served as the former Assistant Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs.
Olsen, who previously served on the Modesto City Council from 2005 to 2009, prioritizes youth and education in her work as a State Assemblymember through education reform measures; she was named Legislator of the Year in 2012 by the Regional Council of Rural Counties.
Notably, a supporter of veterans and active duty military members, Olsen introduced two bills, AB 150 and AB 151, which were signed into law by Governor Brown. AB 150 authorized the Department of Parks and Recreation to provide veterans with free admission to California’s state parks on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.
AB 151 allows counties the option of waiving building and inspection permit fees for ADA-type modifications to homes owned by veterans with service-related disabilities. Prior to the bill, counties were required to collect fees for home modifications, improvements and inspections.
“My role as Minority Leader will allow me to advocate for the unique needs of our community from an even larger platform, and I look forward to continued input from fellow community members on important issues facing California,” said Olsen at the time of her reelection.
Senator Berryhill was also sworn in Monday, Dec. 1 to represent California’s 8th State Senate District.
Berryhill received 66.5 percent of voter support in the new District for a total of 145,269 votes; challenger Paulina Miranda (D-Fresno) received 33.5 percent of the vote for a total of 73,194 votes.
Berryhill previously served the 14th Senate District which, among other areas, covered just a portion of Stanislaus County including parts of Bystrom, Del Rio, Denair, East Oakdale, Hickman, Hughson, parts of Modesto, Oakdale, Riverbank, Salida, Waterford, and 48 percent of the unincorporated area.
The new district will cover a large portion of the Central Valley including all of Tuolumne County, parts of Stanislaus, Amador, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Mariposa, Mono, Sacramento and Tulare counties. Parts of Stanislaus County include Turlock, Hughson, Oakdale and Waterford.
“This morning I took an oath to represent the communities and people of the 8th Senate District, and that is exactly what I plan to do,” said Berryhill. “It is an honor to have been elected to this position, and I look forward to working with the folks in my district to make sure we have a strong voice in Sacramento.”
Berryhill was first elected in 2010 to the State Senate and serves on the Committees on Agriculture, Banking and Finance, Business Professions and Economic Development Governmental Organization, Human Services and Budget. He is a member of Budget Subcommittee 4, which oversees State administration and general government.
“I have traveled from one end of the district to the other. Our district is not only beautiful, its people are the backbone of the state of California,” said Berryhill.
He previously served as an Assemblymember on the committees for Utilities and Commerce and Water, Parks and Wildlife, and was Vice Chair of the Agriculture and Human Services committees.
“We grow most of the produce consumed in America, our timber builds new homes for working families, and our wine grapes are surpassed by none. Small business owners, farmers, dairymen, Veterans, parents and really hard working folks – those are the people who make up this district.”
He has worked toward repealing the fire tax, protecting Williamson act and rural public safety funding, and fiscal reform. In the Assembly, Berryhill was a member of the water bond working group, and in the Senate, he continues his work towards solving California water issues.
“They simply want the best for their families, and that’s what I will work to ensure,” concluded Berryhill.
Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte) was sworn in Monday to represent California’s 8th State Senate District. 12-1-14
Courtesy of Lorie Shelley – Senate Rules Photography