Promises Made - Promises Kept

About Cathleen

Cathleen Galgiani was elected to represent the 5th Senate District in November, 2012.


The 5th Senate District, includes San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties, and a portion of Sacramento County, and is home to some of the richest agricultural land in the world.  Senate District 5 comprises more than 20% of California’s total wine grape production – more than Napa and Sonoma Counties combined. Prior to her election to the State Senate, Senator Galgiani served in the State Assembly for 6 years representing Merced, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus Counties.  Senator Galgiani was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve as a member of the Delta Protection Commission, whose mission is to protect and restore the overall environment, and wildlife habitat of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta.  As Chair of the Agriculture Committee, in both the Senate and Assembly, she has sought to promote and grow California’s $44.7 billion dollar agriculture economy, and to protect water rights for farmers in the San Joaquin Valley.  Senator Galgiani is a member of the Senate committees for Banking and Financial Institutions, Business, Professions and Economic Development, Governmental Organization, Transportation and Housing, and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.  In the Assembly, she also served on the Committee on Higher Education, and the Select Committee on Biotech.

With the drought now entering its 5th year, the State is facing unprecedented challenges.  Senator Galgiani authored a measure to build new water storage facilities, and helped enact Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014.  Senator Galgiani’s 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 development of local storage projects.  Since her election to the Legislature in 2006, Senator Galgiani has worked to facilitate the nation’s first High-Speed Rail project which will create 600,000 new jobs, and put California’s economy on a fast-track to recovery.  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. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, Senator Galgiani served as the consultant to the Legislative Committee on the Development of UC Merced to help secure funding and support for the establishment of California’s 10th University of California Campus, UC Merced.  UC Merced is now home to more than 5,000 students, providing opportunities for the highest number of students from low-income families, and the highest number of students who are the first in their family to attend a UC campus.

Upon her election, she began working to persuade UC officials to start the planning stages for creating a “School of Medicine” at UC Merced.  In the Fall of 2011, the first class of six medical students entered the “UC Merced San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (PRIME)”  – a collaboration to train the next generation of San Joaquin Valley physicians.  Students begin their medical education at UC Davis, and work in clinical rotations in the Central Valley at partner institutions.

As a member of the Legislature, Senator Galgiani has also focused her attention on:


  • Funding frontline law enforcement:  Senator Cathleen Galgiani led the effort to keep $20 million dollars in the 2015-2016 budget to help pay for officer training, community oriented policing, and collaboration between mental health professionals and law enforcement.
  • Protecting kids from online predators:  Senator Galgiani authored AB 755 (2011) to establish California’s Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (E-STOP).  AB 755 was folded into Proposition 35, which passed overwhelmingly by the voters in 2012.  However, E-Stop provisions have been held up in the courts.
  • Securing $4 million dollars in state funding to remove tens of thousands of tons of water hyacinth plants from the San Joaquin Delta, that restrict commercial shipping, and trap recreational boats.
  • Establishing 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. 
  • Providing mental health care services for California’s youth, including our youth in the LGBT community:  Galgiani authored AB 1780 (2008) to develop the administrative structure for the operations and fiscal management of the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program, which provides mental health services for our children & youth.
  • Developing the “Court Appointed Special Advocates of Merced County” (CASA), whose goal is to provide a safe haven for all foster care children of Merced County:  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:  Opportunities to benefit from revolutions in new technology should be shared with California’s small business enterprises during the engineering, design, and construction phases of the project.


Senator Galgiani previously worked for former First Lady Sharon Davis, Congressmember John Garamendi during his tenure as Insurance Commissioner, former State Senator Patrick Johnston, and former Assembly member Barbara Matthews

Prior to working in the Legislature, she spent eight years as a physical therapy aide at San Joaquin General Hospital and Dameron Hospital in San Joaquin County where she worked with patients recovering from strokes, and other debilitating injuries and diseases.​