U.S. Congressman Paul Cook | In The News
District Update | May 23, 2017
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U.S. Congressman Paul Cook
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Congressman Cook Votes To Increase Penalties for those who Murder First Responders
Congressman Paul Cook voted for HR 115, the Thin Blue Line Act. The bill passed the House overwhelmingly with bipartisan support. 

This legislation adds the murder of a state or local police officer, a firefighter, or first responder as an aggravating factor for a jury to consider in deciding whether to impose the death penalty in federal capital cases. The murder of a federal law enforcement officer is already an aggravating factor under current law. The legislation sends a simple message that the stalking and killing of law enforcement officers must not and will not be tolerated.

Congressman Cook said, “It’s appropriate that this vital bill was passed during National Police Week when we recognize the sacrifices and heroism of our law enforcement officials that keep us safe. Every day, our first responders are risking their lives to protect our communities and when someone takes the life of a law enforcement officer or firefighter, they need to be appropriately punished. This bill will ensure justice is served.”

National Police Week began in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week in which that date falls as National Police Week. It is an opportunity for all Americans to express their appreciation for our law enforcement and honor those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Congressman Cook Votes for Enhancing Background Checks to Protect Children from Predators

Congressman Paul Cook voted for HR 695, the Child Protection Improvements Act of 2017. The bill passed the House unanimously.

The bill directs the Department of Justice to allow organizations that provide services to youth, the elderly, and the disabled to obtain information from criminal background checks in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint database. Specifically, the legislation ensures these organizations have access to the FBI’s fingerprint searches in a timely and effective manner and protects privacy rights by ensuring that specific information of a criminal record is not disclosed without the explicit consent of the volunteer or employee.

Under current law, organizations in certain states that provide services to youth, the elderly, and the disabled have limited access to information from national criminal background checks. Currently, many organizations only have access to request state-level background check systems.

This legislation builds on the success of the PROTECT Act’s Child Safety Pilot which ran from 2003 until 2011. The pilot provided access to FBI fingerprint background checks for a variety of child serving non-profits. The pilot conducted over 105,000 background checks and 6.2% of potential volunteers were found to have criminal records of concern – over 6,500 individuals. In addition, over 40% of individuals with criminal records of concern had crimes in states other than where they were applying to volunteer – meaning that only a nationwide check would have flagged these individuals’ criminal records. The criminal offenses among some of these applicants included convictions for criminal sexual conduct with a child, child endangerment, and manslaughter

Congressman Cook said, “Congress has an obligation to help protect our most vulnerable from potential criminals. This bill ensures that those who are working with children go through a thorough background check. We need to do all we can to weed out those who have a criminal record and make sure they aren’t in positions where they could endanger children.”


Yucca Loma Bridge Opening
The Yucca Loma Bridge, which is the longest bridge in the High Desert, is now open to the public. Travelers are able to drive from Apple Valley Road, across the Mojave River, past Mojave Narrows Regional Park along Yates Road to connect with Ridgecrest Road.  This bridge will relieve traffic on Apple Valley Road and its intersections at Bear Valley and Highway 18. Congratulations to the Town of Apple Valley and all the hardworking staff members who made this plan a reality.
San Bernardino County Fair
The 69th annual San Bernardino County Fair is the destination in the High Desert for Family Fun. The county fair hosts concerts, carnival rides, food, games, animals, exhibits, and more! The Fair is open now until Monday May 29th.

For more information, Click Here
Health and Safety Resource Fair
Community Health Action Network and their sponsors are having a Health and Safety Resource Fair Saturday, June 3, 2017 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Child Care Resource Center in Victorville (15456 W. Sage St., Victorville, CA 92392)  

For more information please contact Cornelius Page Jr. at shwtm1org@aol.com or 760-241-9900.

My office is here to help you. If you or someone you know needs help with the Veterans' Administration please call my Apple Valley District Office at (760) 247-1815.

Supervisor Lovingood Hosts 4th Annual Veterans Resource Fair

Former members of the U.S. Military are invited to the Fourth Annual High Desert Veterans Resource Fair on Thursday, June 1 to highlight information on veterans’ benefits, job openings and personalized claims assistance.

Hosted by San Bernardino County First District Supervisor and Board Chair Robert Lovingood, this event will allow the opportunity for veterans to meet with VA representatives who will be available to answer questions and provide one-on-one consultations. Lovingood said his staff will also be on hand to answer any questions and help troubleshoot problems.

The offices of Congressman Paul Cook, State Sen. Scott Wilk, Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, and County Assessor/Recorder Bob Dutton plan to join the event as well.

VA Representatives will be available to assist with vocational rehabilitation, pension & compensation, education and other veteran benefits and services. Additional resources include assistance from the Loma Linda Women Veterans Healthcare programs and applications for veterans’ license plate designation. Veterans who require assistance with claims should bring a copy of their DD-214 and an ID card. The County Veterans Affairs Department will issue Veteran ID cards to veterans who bring a copy of their DD-214.

During the resource fair, veterans may enroll in the MyHealthEVet program. This program allows veterans to track medical appointments, prescriptions, and email their doctors. Veterans may also enroll in the E-Benefits program to monitor the status of a claim, view and print benefit letters, and explore benefit eligibility.

Supervisor Lovingood’s Veterans Resource Fair will run from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 1 at the Apple Valley Conference Center, 14975 Dale Evans Road in Apple Valley. For more information, call Supervisor Lovingood’s Victorville office at (760) 995-8100 or email Dillon.lesovsky@bos.sbcounty.gov.

9th Annual Operation Recognition: Veteran Diploma Project
The San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, in partnership with the County of San Bernardino Department of Veterans Affairs, is announcing their Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project. The Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project provides veterans and internees, who were unable to complete high school due to military service or internment, the opportunity to receive a high school diploma.

The deadline to submit an application to be eligible for the Veteran Diploma Project is August 25.

For more information, Click Here

Veterans Express Transit System (V.E.T.S.) in Victorville to Loma Linda VA

V.E.T.S. is  a  free  transportation service starting January 9, 2017, provided by VA Loma  Linda Health Care System,  to assist Veterans with round-trip  transportation to the VA Loma Linda for medical appointments.

The V.E.T.S. program has collaborated with local community  partners,   including the Victorville Valley Transit Authority (VVTA) to coordinate the pick-up point at the Victorville Transfer Point (VTP) in Victorville on Lorene Drive between Valley Center Drive and 7th Street. It is situated adjacent to Interstate 15 behind Costco.

Reservations Must be made 24 hours in advance. Please call V.E.T.S Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at (800) 741-8387 or (909) 825-7084, ext. 6475. 

Sent from the Office of U.S. Representative Paul Cook
14955 Dale Evans Parkway
Apple Valley Town Hall
Apple Valley, CA 92307
Phone: 760.247.1815
Hours: 9:00am - 5:00pm
34282 Yucaipa Boulevard
Yucaipa, CA 92399
Phone: 909.797.4900
Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm
1222 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202.225.5861
Hours: 9:00am - 6:00pm