Jay Phillip Obernolte (born August 18, 1970) is an American politician and programmer currently serving in the California State Assembly in 2014. He is a Republican representing the 33rd State Assembly district. He was elected to the city council of Big Bear Lake, California in 2010, where he served as mayor. He is the owner, president, and technical director of FarSight Studios, an American video game developer established in 1988.
|Member of the California State Assembly
from the 33rd district
December 1, 2014
|Preceded by||Tim Donnelly|
|Mayor of Big Bear Lake, California|
December 2010 – 2014
|Born||August 18, 1970|
|Residence||Big Bear, California|
|Alma mater||California Institute of Technology
University of California, Los Angeles
Obernolte graduated from Edison/Computech High School in 1988. In 1992, he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and applied science from California Institute of Technology and in 1997, he received his Master of Science in artificial intelligence from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Software development careerEdit
Obernolte launched FarSight Studios, an independent developer and publisher of family video games for the PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Apple iPhone and PCs, in 1990. Notable games FarSight Studios has developed include Game Party, Hotel for Dogs and Pinball Hall of Fame. FarSight Studios claims Sony, Microsoft, Google, and Apple among its clients and employs 25 workers.
Early political careerEdit
In 2010, Obernolte was elected to Big Bear City Council, where he served as Mayor. Obernolte also served on the Big Bear Lake Fire Protection Board, director of the Mojave Desert and Mountain Integrated Waste JPA Board, the Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority Board, and on the League of California Cities Desert-Mountain Division.
California State AssemblyEdit
Obernolte has served as State Assemblyman for California's 33rd State Assembly district, which encompasses a wide expanse of the High Desert from the eastern fringes of Los Angeles metropolitan area to the Nevada and Arizona borders, since 2014.
2014 California State Assembly electionEdit
Obernolte was endorsed by the California Republican Party, San Bernardino County Republican party, the California Republican Assembly, The Press-Enterprise, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), San Bernardino County Safety Employee's Benefit Association (SEBA), the California Conservative Christians, and the Independent Voter Political Action Committee.
In the June 2014 primary, Obernolte finished second with 18.89% of the vote with 7,887 votes and faced Democrat John Coffey in the November 2014 general election, winning with 65.9% of the vote.
|California's 33rd State Assembly district election, 2014|
|Republican||Jerry J. Laws||814||1.9|
|Republican||Robert J. "Bob" Burhle||802||1.9|
2016 California State Assembly electionEdit
In the June 2016 primary, Obernolte finished first with 60.7% of the vote with 43,526 votes and faced Democrat Scott Markovich in the November 2016 general election, winning with 60.6% of the vote.
|California's 33rd State Assembly district election, 2016|
|Republican||Jay Obernolte (incumbent)||43,526||60.7|
|Republican||Jay Obernolte (incumbent)||84,000||60.60|
Caucuses and committeesEdit
In January 2016, Obernolte was elected to served on the California Legislative Technology and Innovation Caucus, which is co-chaired by Assemblymembers Ian Calderon and Evan Low. Obernolte also sits on the following committees: Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media as Vice Chair; Budget as Vice Chair; Appropriations; Budget Subcommittee 6 on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation; Budget Subcommittee 6 on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation; Utilities and Commerce; Joint Committee on Arts; and Joint Legislative Budget.
Fire tax and fire insuranceEdit
Obernolte authored Assembly Bill 1642, which would extend the deadlines to either pay the fire tax or file a petition for redetermination from 30 days to 60 days. In July 2017, the fire fee was suspended as part of Assembly Bill 398.
In an April 2016 op-ed published in the San Bernardino Sun, Obernolte wrote on the effects of increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour. He wrote that "income inequality is the defining challenge of our generation" and the recent push to increase the minimum wage "is an effort to address the very real problem that wages are less than we feel they should be. However, we need to remember that income inequality is the result of a multitude of factors — among them, globalization, technological change, the efficient employment of capital and changing institutions. In other words, low wages are a symptom of the problem of income inequality, not the root cause of income inequality."
In April 2016, Frontier Communications took over Verizon's voice, video, data, and FiOS network. In May 2016, Obernolte voiced his concern over Frontier Communications' acquisition of Verizon services noting that it has "negatively affected my constituents... It is particularly disturbing to me that the public safety of our residents has been threatened by the faulty landline telephone service they have experienced since the (acquisition)."
In May 2016, Obernolte introduced Assembly Bill 2341, which would provide San Bernardino and other rural counties with additional judges to resolve backlogged court systems. "San Bernardino County currently faces an unacceptable shortage of judicial officers. My hope is that this bill will provide the necessary judicial resources to alleviate this critical problem" Obernolte said. The bill would have shifted seats from Santa Clara and Alameda counties to the counties in San Bernardino but it died in the Senate Appropriations Committee without a hearing.
In January 2017, Obernolte released a statement on his opposition to Xavier Becerra's nomination as California's Attorney General stating, "While Congressman Becerra possesses many of the qualifications necessary in an Attorney General, many of his positions on constitutional issues deeply concern me. His stances on both the First and Second Amendments clearly don't align with my values or those of my constituents. California's Attorney General should be committed to protecting these Constitutional rights."
Every year, California State Assemblymembers select a veteran in their district to be recognized as the Veteran of the Year and honored in Sacramento with a ceremony and luncheon. In 2015, Obernolte awarded Hesperia Chamber of Commerce President Brad Letner. In 2017, Anthony "Tony" Cooker was recognized as the 2017 Veteran of the Year for the 33rd Assembly District.
Violence Against Public Safety Officers Deterrence ActEdit
In January 2017, Obernolte wrote an op-ed, published in the San Bernardino Sun, covering Assembly Bill 2, which he introduced in early 2017. Obernolte wrote that the government has a responsibility and obligation to protect law enforcement, as a result of the spike in attacks targeting officers throughout the United States. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the first half of 2016 saw a 78 percent increase in firearm-related police officer deaths compared to the first half of 2015 and that ambush-style killing of law enforcement was 300 percent higher in 2016 than it was in 2015. Assembly Bill 2, the Violence Against Public Safety Officers Deterrence Act, will classify acts of violence that intentionally target peace officers as hate crimes, which will enhance penalties and extend prison sentences. Obernolte also writes, that a "'hate crime' label is appropriate for these ambush-style attacks on law enforcement officers... Our law enforcement officers work tirelessly to perform the difficult yet very necessary job of defending our public safety. It is time for California to take a stand and support those who so willingly risk their lives to protect us."
In response to Governor Jerry Brown's $179.45 billion spending plan "urging long-term fiscal responsibility", Obernolte applauded the budget proposal for being "responsible", mirroring the total spending in the current approved budget, but asked that it focus on repairing existing state programs before setting aside money for new ones. Obernolte also stated, "We need to help Californians learn job skills for the 21st century, fix the state's failing Denti-Cal program, invest in repairs to California's crumbling infrastructure, and solve the housing crisis that is causing California's poverty rate to be the highest in the nation". Obernolte pushed for lawmakers to limit long-term funding commitments and also noted that the budget proposal does nothing to address the "state's out-of-control pension debts and retiree health care liabilities."
California Roll – AB 1103Edit
Obernolte co-authored Assembly Bill 1103, which would allow California bicyclists to roll through stop signs, if it was safe to do so. The bill is based on a law adopted by Idaho in 1982 and will be voted on in 2018. Under the proposed legislation, cyclists would be authorized to "[approach] a stop sign, after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way, to cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping, unless safety considerations require otherwise."
Obernolte holds an airline transport pilot's license. He is also a certified flight instructor and has flown light aircraft since 2005. He worked with Embraer as a member on its Pilot Advisory Board during the development of the Phenom 300. Obernolte is a member of the Young Eagles program.
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- "Obernolte Announces Candidacy". Big Bear Grizzly. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
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- Johnson, Shea (July 26, 2017). "Obernolte lauds fire fee suspension, but not deal that made it happen". VV Daily Press. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
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- Obernolte, Jay (April 4, 2016). "Minimum wage hike treats symptom, makes problem worse: Jay Obernolte". SB Sun. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
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- "Obernolte bill addresses judge shortage". Lucerne Valley Leader. May 31, 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- Macduff, Cassie (August 12, 2016). "Cassie MacDuff: Another attempt to address Inland judge shortage goes down in flames". Press Enterprise. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "EDITORIAL: I.E. needs more judges". Press Enterprise. August 17, 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Obernolte opposes Becerra as AG". Daily Press. January 13, 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- Cassling, Steve (May 11, 2016). "Assemblymember Obernolte Seeks Nominations for Veteran of the Year". KBHR933. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- Gambone, L.J. (June 23, 2016). "Letner "Veteran of the Year"". Daily Press. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- "World War II vet from Victorville honored as 2017 Veteran of the Year for 33rd Assembly District". VV Daily Press. June 22, 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
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