Biography

Senator Cathleen Galgiani
Senator Cathleen Galgiani has served the people of California for over 12 years in elective office.  Currently in her second term in the State Senate, she is one of only nine elected female Senators in the state.  Elected to the California State Senate in 2012 and re-elected in 2016, she has also served in the State Assembly for 6 years.
 
Senator Galgiani currently chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee.   She has been recognized as a leader in growing California’s world-renown agricultural economy.  Other committees she is a member of include the Senate committees on: Education; Insurance, Banking and Financial Institutions; Business, Professions and Economic Development; and, Governmental Organization.  In the Assembly, she also chaired the Agriculture Committee and served on the Committee on Higher Education, and the Select Committee on Biotech.
 
A member of the Delta Protection Commission appointed by Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Galgiani has worked to protect and restore the overall environment and wildlife habitat of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta.
 
Prior to holding elective office, Senator Galgiani was a member of former First Lady Sharon Davis’s staff, and she served on the staffs of Congressmember John Garamendi during his tenure as Insurance Commissioner, former State Senator Patrick Johnston, and former Assemblymember Barbara Matthews. Senator Galgiani is a trained physical therapy aide.  Prior to her work in state government, she worked for eight years at San Joaquin General Hospital and Dameron Hospital in San Joaquin County helping patients recover from strokes, and other debilitating injuries and diseases. 
 
Major Accomplishments
 
Senator Galgiani has been a proven leader on some of California’s most critical infrastructure projects.   She played a key development role in securing funding for the establishment of the 10th University of California campus.   UC Merced, now home to more than 5,000 students, has the highest number of students who come from low-income families, among all UC campuses. And, the campus has the highest number of students who are the first in their family to attend college. 
 
Following her election to the Legislature in 2006, Senator Galgiani was able to persuade UC officials to begin the long planning process to develop a “School of Medicine” at UC Merced.  In the fall of 2011, the first class of medical students entered into a partnership with underserved hospitals through the “UC Merced San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (PRIME)program.   Under the program, students begin their medical education at UC Davis, and work in clinical rotations in area partnering hospitals.
 
Senator Galgiani has also worked to facilitate the nation’s first High-Speed Rail project. She authored AB 3034 which placed Proposition 1A, the California High-Speed Train Bond Act, on the ballot, and she led the statewide, collaborative effort to secure more than $3 billion dollars in federal stimulus funding for High-Speed Rail.  The project has become an important job creator, responsible for an estimated 600,000 new jobs in addition to 20,000 permanent jobs.   As part of the building process, Senator Galgiani was instrumental in creating one of largest Project Labor Agreements (PLA) in the history of the country.  This means that thousands of working families will see the benefit of higher wages, health care coverage, retirement benefits and fair treatment.
 
During California’s historic drought, Senator Galgiani helped enact Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014.  Her legislation, SB 1120, was signed into law, establishing a statewide inventory of local and regional water supply projects in need of funding in order to fast-track the building of local and regional water projects. 

As a member of the Legislature, Senator Galgiani has also focused her attention on:
  • Working with family advocates to establish a “Family Justice Center” to bring a team of professionals together under one roof to provide multiple services for victims of domestic violence and their children.  In 2010, she authored AB 1770 to allow Stanislaus County to establish a Family Justice Center, similar to the model that has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice. 
  • Improving public safety by leading the effort to secure $20 million dollars in the state budget to help pay for police officer training, community oriented policing, and collaboration between mental health professionals and law enforcement.
  • Protecting kids from online predators by authoring AB 755 (2011) to establish California’s Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (E-STOP).  The enhanced on-line disclosure policy she advocated for was incorporated into Proposition 35, which voters passed overwhelmingly in 2012. 
  • Providing mental health care services for California’s youth, including our youth in the LGBTQ community.  Through AB 1780 (2008), the administrative structure for the operations and fiscal management of the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program was established, improving  mental health services for our children and youth.
  • Developing the “Court Appointed Special Advocates of Merced County” (CASA) program whose goal is to provide foster Care children with a safe haven.  CASA provides highly trained advocates to assist foster children by uniting the court system with agencies serving children in need of protection from further abuse and neglect.
  • Creating the Small Business Enterprise program for California’s High Speed Rail Project as a way to help small businesses share in the revolution of new technology developed or discovered during the engineering, design, and construction phases of the project.
Throughout her tenure in the Legislature, Senator Galgiani has been recognized by various labor, children and education advocacy groups.  She plans to continue working on universal health care, fair treatment of all immigrants, transgender rights, sentencing reform and equal pay for equal work as she completes her final Senate term ending in 2020.