Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Left to right: Assemblymember Marie Waldron, Mireya Aguilar, Assemblymember Adam Gray, Assemblymember Monique Limon, Speaker Anthony Rendon



SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D – Merced) has named Ms. Mireya Aguilar of Winton as the Woman of the Year from the 21st Assembly District. She was honored today during a ceremony at the State Capitol. Assemblymember Gray chose Aguilar for her exceptional track record of volunteerism and community service. In addition to her profession in migrant education with the Merced County Office of Education, Ms. Aguilar holds classes to assist applicants with the citizenship process and with English proficiency. She is also very involved in supporting cultural programs such as the Ballet Folklorico and this year serves as the president of the Nuevo Latino Rotary Club of Winton.

“Mireya’s community service through her regular employment is already noteworthy in and of itself,” said Gray. “Like a true leader, she has elected to go above and beyond in her volunteer efforts and commitment to service.” 

Monday, February 25, 2019

As published in: The Merced Sun-Star

Some of my legislative colleagues began to pay more attention to our position when they learned it was about much more than farmers and agriculture. They were especially impressed with the role Merced educators played in our efforts. Our Merced County educators have stepped up big time on the water issue. Retired Merced Superintendent Steve Gomes co-signed the initial letter to the State Water Board. Our current superintendent, Steve Tietjen, appeared at hearings, signed letters and helped organize our Merced districts in support of the Valley’s position on water. Twenty-two Merced school superintendents signed a joint letter asking the state to consider educational impacts. Special thanks to Alan Peterson, Superintendent of Merced High School District, and Planada Superintendent Jose Gonzales for their support and participation at the water rally and during testimony at hearings.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

New Governor can see past coast all the way to the Valley. That’s a change.


In his first State of the State address, Gov. Gavin Newsom proved that his map of California does in fact include the San Joaquin Valley, the Inland Empire and other back-bone communities too often ignored.

The Valley has a justified history of distrust toward statewide politicians. As the former mayor of San Francisco, it’s easy to pigeonhole the new governor as another big-city politician out of touch with the unique issues of rural and inland communities. But after the Governor’s address, a lot of folks are rethinking their skepticism.

We don’t need to agree on the solution to every problem, but it is refreshing that Gov. Newsom’s vision for the future of California actually includes us.

Friday, February 15, 2019

For Immediate Release: February 15, 2019
Contact: Adam Capper
Phone: (916) 319-2021


Gray Proposes Package of Water Reform Legislation


(Sacramento) – Just days after Governor Newsom appointed a new Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board and as the Governor visits the Central Valley to sign emergency drinking water and wildfire legislation, Assemblymember Gray introduced a package of water reform bills designed to rein in unaccountable bureaucracy, increase legislative oversight, and prepare California for the impacts of climate change on water infrastructure.


“Governor Newsom is reconstructing relationships between the state and water users which fell apart under the prior administration,” said Gray. “We need to reform the system that let us get so far off track. For the last decade, the state has been allowed to ignore the priorities of farmers, disadvantaged communities, and rural parts of California. There has been a disconnect between the needs of the people and the actions of the state which came about because bureaucrats were not held accountable. This package of reforms brings the public back into the decision-making process by imposing accountability, prioritizing the needs of the state’s most vulnerable populations, and requiring California to make real improvements to our aging water infrastructure.”


AB 636 requires the Legislature to hold a hearing to review proposals of the State Water Board which result in significant environmental harm before those proposals can go into effect. The update to the Bay-Delta Plan will decimate multiple groundwater basins, fallow thousands of acres of productive farmland, and jeopardize the drinking water supplies of over a million people. Under current law, the State Legislature has no formal role in approving or denying this devastating proposal.


AB 637 prohibits the State Water Board from approving the sacrifice of drinking water supplies in disadvantaged communities. Under the Bay-Delta Plan, the State Water Board currently balances the adverse impacts their plan will have on the quality of drinking water in communities like Dos Palos, Planada, and Santa Nella against the benefits of increased flow in the Delta. Such a scheme would be prohibited under this bill.


AB 638 requires the state to take into account the impacts climate change will have on water reliability, including accounting for the projected shrinkage of the Sierra Nevada snowpack which acts as California’s largest natural reservoir. The state would be required to identify projects and strategies to mitigate adverse impacts losses and incorporate those strategies into planning efforts going forward.


“We have a new Governor who is demonstrating a commitment to move the water wars forward in a productive way,” continued Gray. “This package of reforms will serve as a powerful backstop. The state has been all too ready to make sacrifices in rural California for the benefit of the coast. This puts us back on level footing and gives everyone a seat at the table.”

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

For Immediate Release: February 12, 2019
Contact: Adam Capper
Phone: (916) 319-2021


Newsom Continues Building Trust by Making Valley Priorities His Own


(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) applauded Governor Newsom’s first State of the State address today as the Governor detailed plans to boost the economy and quality of life in the San Joaquin Valley.

“The Valley has a justified history of distrust towards the state’s priorities,” said Gray. “As the former mayor of San Francisco, it is easy to pigeonhole the new Governor as another big city politician out of touch with the unique issues of rural and inland California. After today I think a lot of folks are rethinking their skepticism. We don’t need to agree on the solution to every problem, but it is refreshing that Governor Newsom’s vision for the state actually includes the San Joaquin Valley.”

In his first address to a Joint Convention of the California State Legislature, Governor Newsom detailed his plans to create a more affordable housing market, improve the health and welfare of underserved communities, and make significant investments in the most impoverished areas of the state. The Governor also highlighted numerous ongoing fights over water and announced he would not reappoint Felicia Marcus to the State Water Resources Control Board.

“If there was one message Governor Newsom heard loud and clear during his frequent visits to the San Joaquin Valley it was that Felicia Marcus had to go,” continued Gray. “As a former NRDC employee, there are many who believe she never stopped working for the interest group. Her reputation and inability to build trust were the most significant barriers to making progress on voluntary Bay-Delta Plan settlements, the Delta tunnels, and addressing the critical issue of providing clean, safe, and affordable drinking water in every community in California. I sincerely thank Governor Newsom for his bold leadership on water, and I look forward to the start of fresh conversations with the new chair of the State Water Board.”

Governor Newsom gave detail on his plans to fix the numerous construction delays which have plagued High-Speed Rail by creating more financial transparency, appointing a new Chair of the High-Speed Rail Commission, and getting a Merced to Bakersfield line up and running.

“Sacramento has failed to recognize the contributions of the San Joaquin Valley for years,” said Gray. “It was not that long ago that the former leader of the State Senate questioned the value of investing billions of dollars out in the ‘tumbleweeds’. Governor Newsom clearly sees how vital an opportunity High-Speed Rail is for the Valley and has recommitted that the Merced rail line will be included up front and not pushed off to later phases.”

The Governor spoke extensively about the need to address homelessness and affordable housing issues including reforming CEQA.

“California is an incredibly expensive state for construction, and the jungle of red tape known as CEQA is our primary cost driver,” said Gray. “I am encouraged by the Governor’s desire to finally cut through the bureaucracy and litigation that stops the construction of housing projects, homeless shelters, and other critically needed housing infrastructure.”

The Governor also identified his budget goal to boost reimbursement rates for patients who receive health insurance through Medi-Cal.

“Medi-Cal is no longer just a safety net program,” said Gray. “It is the primary form of health insurance for a third of our state’s population and approximately 50% of people in Merced and Stanislaus counties. Higher Medi-Cal rates have been a longstanding priority of mine, and I applaud the Governor for confronting this issue head-on.”

The Governor finished his address by highlighting the need to find the right balance of pursuing California’s ambitious climate change goals without the costs falling disproportionately on the poor.

“Clean air, clean water, and climate change are critical issues to California’s future,” said Gray. “But to this point, our policies have ignored the impact on blue-collar communities which are the first to lose jobs and the last to receive the benefits. If we cannot get this right, no one else will follow California’s example. Finding the right balance for those least able to afford the costs of climate change should have been our first priority a long time ago.”

Friday, December 14, 2018

For Immediate Release: December 13, 2018
Contact: Adam Capper
Phone: (916) 319-2021

Gray Calls for Lawsuit to Halt Implementation of State Water Grab

(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) released the following statement after the State Water Resources Control Board voted to adopt proposed amendments to the Bay-Delta Plan:

“This plan is dangerous. It fails to protect people, it fails to protect the environment, and it fails to justify destroying thousands of jobs in one of the highest unemployment areas of the state. Despite the legitimate and comprehensive alternatives put forward by our local irrigation districts, the Water Board shoved their fingers in their ears and adopted their plan as is.

Board Member D’Adamo did a yeoman’s job breaking down the issue and offered up real solutions. But her efforts were in vain.

The Water Board had a clear choice to make tonight. They could have embraced settlement agreements and secured real tangible improvements for fish and habitat within less than a year. Instead they chose to adopt their disastrous plan and guaranteed a decade’s worth of litigation.

We will see you in court.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Asm. Adam Gray, right, receiving FBA award from legislative advocate Dennis Albiani at FBA’s Annual Meeting of Members

The Family Business Association of California, the only organization advocating exclusively for California’s thousands of family businesses, has awarded its first Outstanding Legislator Award to Assembly Member Adam C. Gray, D-Merced, for his record on legislation crucial to family businesses during the recently concluded session.

The award was presented at FBA’s Annual Meeting of Members this month in Sacramento.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


For Immediate Release: September 27, 2018
Contact: Adam Capper
Phone: (916) 319-2021

San Joaquin Valley Medical School Fund Becomes Law