Senator Tom Berryhill is a fourth-generation California farmer who has been active in many community groups, business organizations and efforts to improve the quality of life in the Central Valley. Senator Berryhill, a strong supporter of California’s public schools and universities, attended California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.
Tom, who started his first term in the Legislature in December 2006, served on the Assembly Utilities and Commerce and Water, Parks and Wildlife committees, and as Vice Chair of the Assembly Agriculture and Human Services committees. He currently serves on the Senate Agriculture, Energy, Utilities and Communications, Governmental Organization, Human Services and Veterans Affairs committees.
Having served as Vice Chair of the Rural Caucus, Tom has made protecting the Central Valley a priority. As an Assemblyman, Tom was a member of the water bond working group which continues to work towards solving the water issues facing California. He has fought to protect the Williamson Act from budget cuts as well as rural county public safety funding.
Some of Tom’s legislative highlights include:
AB 844 (2007) - to confront the issue of metal theft by requiring payment by check with a three day hold in order to eliminate the quick cash fix which motivates the drug users committing this crime.
AB 1559 (2007) - to address the critical nursing shortage by ensuring that those admitted to nursing school are adequately prepared to complete the programs. This will increase the graduation rate and result in more nurses for California.
AB 1254 (2009) - Seeks to expand hunting opportunities on private and public lands, and does so in a way to prove clarity and induce greater habitat restoration
SB 361 (2011) - Permits the Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART), operated jointly by Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) and Clovis Unified School District (CUSD), to carry on its innovative educational program.
SB 752 (2011) – to allow hunters purchasing a hunting license, stamp or tag, to voluntarily release their contact information to the game conservation or hunting-related organization of their choice.
Tom has received the American Nurses Association/California Legislator of the Year for 2008, Friends of California Community Colleges Award for 2008 from California Community Colleges, 2010 Certificate of Recognition from the California Association of County Veteran Service Officers, 2008 Certificate of Excellence from the California Federation of Dog Clubs, 2007, 2008, and 2009 Outstanding Legislator of the Year from the California Sheriffs’ Association, and 2010 Outstanding Legislator from the California Rifle and Pistol Association.
The Berryhill family has a long history in the Central Valley. Public service, like farming, is a family calling. Senator Berryhill’s father, the late Clare Berryhill, was elected to both houses of the California Legislature, and also served the state as director of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Senator Berryhill lives in Modesto with his wife and has two daughters.
The 14th Senate District is a large district that includes agricultural areas that feed the nation and contribute billions to the state’s economy, as well as scenic locations that are a vital part of California history. The district contains Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne Counties, including the communities of Fresno, Modesto, Riverbank, Lodi, Ripon, Oakdale, Chowchilla, Waterford, Sonora, and Madera.