I want to take this opportunity to update you on recent events and a couple important dates this week.
It’s National Park Week:
This week is National Park Week, which means free admission into all national parks this weekend on April 22nd and 23rd. Our parks are a natural treasure that we all collectively share, and it is critical that we recognize their importance and the need to preserve them for future generations. Additionally, this Saturday also marks Earth Day. What better way to celebrate than by visiting one a national park and enjoying the amazing natural beauty our country has to offer. The National Park Service has made it simple to find a park near you by visiting their website.
Today is Tax Day:
Each year 150 million Americans file federal income tax returns, and, while April 15th traditionally marks tax day, this year we were given a few extra days to get our taxes done because the 15thfalls on a weekend in 2017. I hope everyone has used these few extra days wisely to put the finishing touches on any last minute filings. If you are unsure of the status of your taxes or you filed early and want to find out if you will receive a refund, the IRS has an easy resource that will allow you to check your filing status and find out your exact refund amount.
Last week, it was announced that for the first time in a decade, Valley farmers have received their full water allocation in the federal service area. The announcement was long overdue, but it was very welcome news for farmers, farm workers, and communities in the San Joaquin Valley. Agriculture is the backbone of our Valley’s economy, and this much needed water will allow farmers to plant the healthy and nutritious crops that feed our nation and world.
While I applaud the announcement, there is no denying that California’s water system is broken, and further action must be taken to move California’s water system into the 21st century. Investments need to be made to build water storage and fix broken water infrastructure, so that more water can be captured during years with above average rain and snowfall. Additionally, the current policies that operate California’s water system are flawed and must be modified. Water that could be stored or used to recharge groundwater aquifers that have been depleted because of the drought is flowing out to the ocean. The status quo not only defies logic but is simply not sustainable.
School Based Health Center Groundbreaking Ceremony in Madera:
This month, I joined the Madera community to celebrate the groundbreaking of Madera’s first School Based Health Center. I commend Camarena Health and Madera Unified School District for their partnership and strong commitment to ensuring that students and their families receive quality health care services. I am a strong advocate for school based community health centers because they provide local residents with accessible and affordable health services.
Rep. Costa attends Madera’s first School Based Health Center Groundbreaking
Member of Congress