Press Releases

To view press releases from other years, please click on one of the following years:

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May 19, 2016

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) is pleased to announce that he secured $21.5 million for an emergency services center at Fort Hunter Liggett to ensure first responders have the resources they need to fulfill their critical mission and negotiated a change in federal rules to improve access to licensed marriage and family therapists for veterans. 
“Ensuring our veterans have the care they’ve earned and improving public health and safety have long been priorities of mine,” said Rep. Farr. “We all know the sacrifice veterans make and we deeply appreciate the service our military’s first responders make, and as I close out my career in Congress, I’m very pleased to deliver this funding and take another step toward providing those who have served with better care.” 
Specifically, the emergency services center will consolidate base police, fire, crash rescue and EMT into a single, modern facility to improve response times and coordination. Currently, these departments are not centrally located, with the fire station having been built in 1915 and the police station only a temporary structure still in use nearly 20 years later. Fort Hunter Liggett is the Army Reserve’s largest training base with capability to conduct large-scale, year-round, exercises for all branches of the US military, allied nations and interagency training. 
Despite many veterans suffering from PTSD, TBI and other mental health issues, antiquated rules exclude about 95% of accredited marriage and family therapists in California, 90% in New York and 50% in Florida from employment by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). Language inserted into the bill by Rep. Farr directs the VA to implement a new qualification process allowing for a wider range of qualified marriage and family therapists. There are 1.9 million, or 10% of the country’s, veterans living in California, many of which may benefit from the change in law. 
The funding and policy change are included in the Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2017, which cleared the House of Representatives today. 

May 17, 2016

WASHINGTON – During today’s consideration of the Fiscal Year 2017 Department of Defense funding bill, Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) secured a $6.5 million increase for the Defense Language Institute (DLI) to ensure DLI will be “fully resourced” with the critical role of providing foreign language training and interpretation for the military and intelligence communities.  
The spending bill, which now heads to the House floor for further consideration, also fully funds the Naval Postgraduate School to match the President’s budget request. 
“The Central Coast has a proud tradition of supporting the best military education facilities in the country and these funding levels are an indication of just how important these installations are for our national defense,” said Rep. Farr. “These funds will ensure that our local military personnel continue to have the resources they need to train and carry out their vital missions.”

April 19, 2016

WASHINGTON – The House Appropriations Committee accepted an amendment authored by Reps. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) to prevent horse slaughter in the United States. The bipartisan amendment to the 2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill prevents the Department of Agriculture from using any funds to inspect horse slaughter facilities. Without inspections, these facilities cannot operate in the United States, effectively continuing the ban of horse slaughter. 
“Horse slaughter cannot be done in a safe or humane way,” said Rep. Farr, the top Democrat on the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. “This amendment prevents the cruel treatment of horses while protecting all consumers from unsafe meat. Horses are routinely treated with drugs not approved for use in animals raised for meat. Continuing the ban prevents those chemicals from entering our food supply.”
Horses have a heightened flight-or-fight response, making them more skittish than other domesticated animals. Due to that nature, the methods used in horse slaughter are often more painful and traumatic for the horse. 
Horse meat is also considered unsafe for human consumption. Since most horses are kept as companion animals instead of food-producing animals, there is no system in place to track their diet, medication and veterinarian treatments. In addition to the direct affect, toxins and chemicals often found in horse meat could potentially contaminate the rest of the food supply, placing all consumers at risk.
Over 80% of American voters are against horse slaughter.  The current ban is set to expire in September but the Farr-Dent Amendment would continue it through the end of FY 2017. The entire Agriculture Appropriations bill, including the horse slaughter amendment, now heads to the House floor.

May 12, 2016


WASHINGTON – Reps. Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Sam Farr (CA-20), and Jackie Speier (CA-14) released the Federal Aviation Agency’s (FAA) Initiative feasibility study to address the problem of increased airplane noise in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties.

The FAA Initiative to Address Noise Concerns of Santa Cruz/Santa Clara/San Mateo/San Francisco Counties Feasibility Study can be viewed here, along with the appendices and executive summary.



April 7, 2016
SALINAS, Calif. – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, announced that Makayla Magdaleno, a sophomore at San Benito High School, is the winner of the 2016 Congressional Art Competition:  An Artistic Discovery. Her winning piece, “Red Sova”, will be displayed in the halls of the Capitol along with other students’ works from across the country.  
“This was my last year hosting the Congressional Art Competition and I continue to be amazed by the works by our local students,” said Rep. Sam Farr. “The arts are an important part of the Central Coast’s identity and it is great to see so many young artists add their passion and talent to that rich tradition.”
Magdaleno will travel to Washington, D.C., courtesy of Southwest Airlines, to be honored at a Congressional reception in June. She also received a $3,000 renewable scholarship from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Julia Ramos, a senior at Aptos High School, was named the 2nd place winner with her piece “Seeds.” Her artwork will be prominently displayed in the congressman’s Washington office. Alvarez High School senior Jesus Gil was named the third place winner, with “Blue”. His piece will be displayed in the congressman’s Salinas office.
Maya Yokoyama, Aptos High School; Oscar Gonzalez, North Salinas High School; Isabella Arreola, San Benito High School; Meghan Brandt, Georgiana Bruce Kirby and Trinity Esola, Georgiana Bruce Kirby were all selected as Honorable Mentions.
The annual Congressional Art Competition is open to all local high school students in the 20th congressional district. A total of 21 entries were submitted from seven different Central Coast high schools. The entries were judged by Melissa Pickford, Director of the Monterey Peninsula College Art Gallery.
The Artistic Discovery competition encourages and recognizes the rich artistic talents of young Americans. Students are allowed to submit various styles and types of art, ranging from paintings and drawings to photography and mixed media pieces. The winners are determined using criteria based on originality, skill of execution, excellence in use of materials and conceptual strength of the project.
The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nation-wide competition.
Last year, Josh Agbayani from Aptos High School, was awarded first place for his entry “Drowning in Beds Unmade.”  
The 2016 Congressional Art Competition winners are:
(Click on the pictures for a high resolution version)

1st Place
Makayla Magdaleno
San Benito High School 
“Red Sova”
2nd Place
Julia Ramos
Aptos High 
3rd Place
Jesus Gil
Everett Alvarez High School