This month, I was excited to join 200 caring people from around the state to advocate for native wildlife at the Capitol for the Humane Society’s annual lobby day. At the news conference in front of the Capitol, I spoke about my bill, Assembly Bill 1031 that creates a voluntary donation “check off” on state tax returns to support Native California Wildlife rehabilitation groups like Project Wildlife in San Diego County and about 70 other groups that rescue and provide care for injured, sick or orphaned wildlife statewide.
California law currently allows taxpayers to donate to a number of charitable funds when filing their tax returns. My bill adds the Native California Wildlife Rehabilitation Fund to the list of causes eligible for taxpayer donations. These funds will be distributed by the Franchise Tax Board via annual grant programs to eligible entities working to protect native wildlife.
In the mid-1980s I volunteered with Project Wildlife and was trained as a native songbird rehabilitator. Since then, I have cared for and raised many baby birds from house finches, starlings, swallows, mockingbirds, doves and many more. Each bird had unique medical problems, and most were released back into the wild. Dedicated volunteers transport and rehabilitate injured or orphaned wildlife, including opossums, owls, hawks, raccoons, etc., all over our county. It costs money for food, the central office and medical supplies. AB 1031 will help these efforts all across the state.
The bill is progressing in the Senate, and I am hoping for final approval later this summer to help God’s special creatures that make California such an awesome place to live.
Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.