California has six out of 10 cities with the worst roads in the nation. It is further estimated that 58% of state roads need rehabilitation or pavement maintenance, and nearly 70% of California’s roads are congested. Read More
SACRAMENTO – Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today honored artist, author, and holocaust survivor Erica Leon of Boyle Heights during the Assembly’s recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“I am grateful and humbled to honor Erica Leon today as a part of the Holocaust Remembrance Day,” said Speaker Pérez. “Erica has lived through great fear and evil, but she has shown us through her remarkable story and her numerous pieces of art that the human spirit triumphs over adversity. She is a treasure in my community, and her paintings, sketches and writings are a gift for generations to come.”
Leon, who spent most of the war hiding in Nazi-occupied Hungary, immigrated to Los Angeles in 1991, when she reconnected with her long-lost fiancé, Bob, whom she was originally engaged to when she was 17 years old. The couple married when she was 70.
Over the past 20 years, Leon has made hundreds of paintings and sketches of Hungary during her visits to her home country. Her memoir, Her Story in History, which is archived at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, was inspired by her desire to share her life lessons and experiences with her family.
“I wrote my memories for my grandchildren, Eve and Akos,” Leon wrote. “I want them to remember that there is hope always in life. There is music and nature - in these you will never be disappointed. Life is full of wonderful things along with the tragic ones.”
Leon has had three exhibits devoted to her artwork, two at Hollenbeck Palms and one at the California State University Applied Gerontology Institute.
For the past nine years, the California State Assembly has honored survivors of the Holocaust during the California Holocaust Remembrance Week. This year, the United States Holocaust Memorial Council has designated April 8, 2013 as Yom Hashoah—the International Day of Remembrance—and the week of April 7 through April 14, 2013, as the Holocaust Remembrance Week.
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today called on the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to take immediate action regarding the threats to public health from the Exide plant in Los Angeles.
In a letter to DTSC Director Debbie Raphael, Speaker Pérez, who represents residents jeopardized by emissions from the plant, called for an immediate investigation into potential violations at the plant and for a rapid response to on any findings from that investigation.
Speaker Pérez also called on the DTSC to take immediate action to ensure the following: site characterization and remediation of all past and present contaminations; financial assurances, such as an account from Exide, in place for clean-up so that taxpayers are not left with the bill; a finalized permit for the facility so that the company and the community can start anew with the most rigorous standards and protections for neighborhoods and workers in place.
“The latest revelations about extensive arsenic releases and the threat to public health across the City of Los Angeles are just one more chapter in this terrible story of ongoing pollution and malfeasance,” Pérez said. “I applaud the Los Angeles City Council for their efforts to get to the bottom of this and the South Coast AQMD for their efforts to force the company to clean up its act. However, more must be done to protect residents who live in the impact area of this out-of-compliance plant and the workers who work within it.”
SACRAMENTO – AB 1263, authored by Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), passed the Assembly Committee on Health today, 13-5. The legislation proposes to give additional funding to the Medi-Cal program to provide interpreter services to patients whose English is limited.
“er helft azay vi-ah toyt en bankus. Patient safety should not get lost in translation,” said Speaker Pérez. “Having more trained and professional interpreters will save lives and reduce health care costs by reducing misdiagnoses and giving health professionals the correct information they need to make accurate assessments of patient health.”
More than 40 percent of Californians speak a language other than English at home, and almost 7 million Californians have a limited English proficiency. Studies have found that language barriers contribute to inadequate evaluations and diagnoses and it results in lacking appropriate treatment and other medical errors, which could lead to unnecessary procedures, tests and costs.
Language assistance in medical settings is sometimes provided by trained or untrained staff or, more frequently, in an informal manner by family members or friends. AB 1263 will ensure that California has an opportunity to develop a more comprehensive language assistance program by seeking additional federal funding for medical interpreter services through the Medi-Cal program.
The next step for AB 1263 is the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee.
Urges applicants to work together to bring FAA designation to California
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), Chair of the Select Committee on Aerospace, convened a hearing on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) recent call for applications to establish six sites within the United States for the testing and development of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also known as drones.
“Simply put, unmanned aircraft systems are the next big thing in the aerospace industry,” said Muratsuchi. “The global UAS market has been valued at more than $94 billion over the next ten years. Potential civilian applications of UAS are numerous; including firefighting and disaster relief, search and rescue and other law enforcement uses, providing a vital tool for agriculture, as well as scientific research.”
SACRAMENTO – Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement regarding the United States Supreme Court hearing oral arguments today on Proposition 8, which will determine whether same-sex couples are legally allowed to marry under the Constitution:
“Today’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court over the constitutionality of Proposition 8 once again made a powerful case for marriage equality. I am confident the Supreme Court will make a ruling based on justice and strike down Proposition 8—and DOMA as well.
This is an issue that speaks to our understanding of justice. Proposition 8 was a clear violation of the values of equality in the eyes of the law that emanates from the Constitution, and moreover, goes further in subverting the ability of the people’s elected representatives to pass laws reflecting the public’s strong—and growing—support for marriage equality. That is why I am confident the court will act in the spirit of decisions like Brown v. Board of Education, Reitman v. Mulkey and Loving v. Virginia and strike a powerful blow for justice.”
SACRAMENTO - Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) announced a new Assistant Majority Floor Leader and a new Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee Chair, replacing former Assemblymember Ben Hueso, who was sworn into the Senate today. These appointments are effective immediately.
Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella) will take over the position of Assistant Majority Floor Leader, replacing Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Lynwood).
Assemblymember Rendon is the new Chair of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.
SACRAMENTO – Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and 12 business leaders from across the state praised today’s 71-1 vote by the California Assembly to pass AB 113, legislation which will give an additional $2 million in funding to the Secretary of State as a critical first step in expediting the state’s processing of business filings to no more than five business days by November 2013. The rapid action by the Assembly aims to reduce the backlog, which had been as high as 85 days.
“Every day that a business owner must wait on paperwork to be processed is a day that they are not selling to customers, hiring workers, or contributing to our recovery,” said Speaker Pérez. “No longer will new businesses need to wait weeks or even months for the simple paperwork to be processed in order to begin to hire employees, sign contracts, and open for business.”
In the past, the Secretary of State’s Office took 20 days to process business filings, which establishes the legal identity of businesses in California. Last year, at the direction of Speaker Pérez, the Assembly transferred $1.2 million from savings in its operating budget to dramatically reduce a backlog that had reached over 80 days. Unfortunately, that backlog has returned. This could mean a two month delay before businesses could open to the public and hire employees.
California has 122,000 backlogged business filings waiting to be processed. Other states in the US are substantially faster than California at processing filings. New York takes seven days, while the turnaround time in Texas is less than five.
“At this critical time for our economy, California businesses can ill afford to face needless delays in filing documents with the Secretary of State,” said Robert Lapsley, President of the California Business Roundtable. “It is extremely important that the Legislature and the Administration send the signal to the business community and job creators that we are open for business and eager to grow our economy.”
“California should be a cutting-edge leader in making government work for small businesses and our communities,” said John Kabateck, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, California. “AB 113 fixes our broken bureaucracy-helping entrepreneurs to achieve their every dream, grow the economy and create jobs.”
AB 113 will also increase the Secretary of State’s budget to ensure the new five day business filing standard is met.
The business leaders and Assemblymembers who met in Sacramento today include:
Joel Ayala, California Small Business Development Centers
Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley)
Tom Daly (D-Anaheim)
Bill Dombrowski, California Retailers Association
Lucy Dunn, Orange County Business Council
Rex Frazier, Personal Insurance Federation
Carl Guardino, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Rob Lapsley, The Business Roundtable
John Kabateck, National Federation of Independent Business
Tim Martinez the Central Region Chair for the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce
Katherine Reedy, Orange County Business Council
Jack Stewart, California Manufacturers & Technology Association
Speaker Pérez, Business Leaders Praise Economic Growth Legislation
(Sacramento) -- Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and 10 business leaders from across the state praised the 71-1 vote by the California Assembly to pass AB 113, legislation which will give an additional $2 million in funding to the Secretary of State as a critical first step in expediting the state's processing of business filings to no more than five business days by November 2013. The rapid action by the Assembly aims to reduce the backlog, which had been as high as 85 days. "Every day that a business owner must wait on paperwork to be processed is a day that they are not selling to customers, hiring workers, or contributing to our recovery," said Speaker Pérez. "No longer will new businesses need to wait weeks or even months for the simple paperwork to be processed in order to begin to hire employees, sign contracts, and open for business."
SACRAMENTO - AB 1X-1, authored by Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), passed the Assembly today, 54-22. This legislation is expected to expand Medi-Cal eligibility to over 1 million low-income and uninsured Californians and is a crucial step toward the state implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
"This bill takes an important step in ensuring that California remains a leader in the nation in implementing federal health care reform, and that Californians have access to affordable, quality health care," Speaker Pérez said. "AB1X-1 allows California to fully participate in the federal partnership to expand health coverage to our lowest-income Californians."
In addition to expanding eligibility, AB 1X-1 also streamlines the eligibility and enrollment rules for Medi-Cal, creating new efficiencies and speeding the time by which applicants can receive coverage. The federal government will fund the health coverage expansion provided in the bill for the first three years and will continue to cover eventually 90 percent of the cost through President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
In 2010, Speaker Pérez authored legislation creating California's first-in-the-nation Health Benefits Exchange, another key provision of the Affordable Care Act.
After passing the Assembly today, AB 1X-1 now goes to the Senate.
SACRAMENTO - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today congratulated the 11 honorees of the inaugural Breaking the Glass Ceiling Awards presented by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus. The honorees were chosen for being pioneers in the sciences, civil rights, the arts, education, our armed forces, our courts and government. The women were honored on the Assembly floor today at noon as a part of the Assembly’s celebration of Women’s History Month.
"Our state is home to so many women who serve as inspirational role models and whose contributions have shaped the world we live in," said Speaker Pérez during the ceremony. "They’ve excelled in fields as diverse as the arts to science, public service, and all other areas so important to our broader society. And they’ve left an example for everyone to follow. I think sometimes we have this conversation--we think that it’s only an example for other women to follow. If you look at our honorees, they’ve left an example for all of us to follow."
The honorees are:
Dr. Frances A. Arnold, co-founder of Gevo, Inc. and the only woman to receive the Draper Prize from the U.S. National Academy of Engineering;
The Honorable Yvonne B. Burke, former Assemblymember and first California African American woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress, and the first African American elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors;
Laphonza Butler, President of SEIU ULTCW, the United Long-Term Care Workers Union, which represents 180,000 in-home caregivers and nursing home workers across California;
Weili Dai, co-founder of the Marvell Technology Group, and only female co-founder of a global semiconductor company;
Marie Zoe Dunning, graduate of the United States Naval Academy, one of the first military members to be prosecuted under "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell";
Mildred Garcia, President of California State University (CSU) Fullerton, and first Latina president in the CSU system;
Sally J. Rogers, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California Davis MIND Institute, and developer of the Early Start Denver Model;
Jennifer Harris Trosper, sent two rovers to Mars as part of the NASA Mars Exploration Rover Mission;
The Honorable Rosalind "Roz" Wyman, former Los Angeles City Councilmember, and champion of the National Endowment for the Arts;
Kathryn Doi Todd, Associate Justice, first Asian American woman judge in the country; and,
Geena Davis, Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, Academy Award winner, and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media.
The Legislative Women’s Caucus, chaired by Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), created the "Breaking the Glass Ceiling Awards" to recognize the success of California women breaking barriers in science, technology, arts and entertainment, law and government and other fields.
SACRAMENTO – In case you missed it, the Los Angeles Times published an editorial today encouraging Governor Jerry Brown to support the legislative efforts of Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) in expanding Medi-Cal as an effective way in bringing quality and cost-effective health coverage to Californians who are previously uninsured:
“The 2010 healthcare reform law has three interlocking goals: to expand insurance coverage, improve the quality of care and slow the rise of healthcare spending. The first goal is the costliest, requiring federal and state governments to extend public and private insurance plans to millions of people who can't afford to pay the full price. Yet bringing them under the insurance umbrella is crucial to improving the quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their care.
The law tries to expand coverage in part by having states sign up more impoverished legal residents for Medicaid, the federal-state healthcare program for the poor. California legislators are now debating competing visions for how to do that in Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program: an expansive approach promoted by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), and a far more cautious one advanced by the Brown administration. The governor has some valid concerns, but the bills by Pérez and Hernandez are less likely to leave vulnerable Californians uninsured.”
The bill authored by Speaker Pérez, AB 1X-1, expands the Medi-Cal program and will cover over 1 million low-income and uninsured Californians. The federal government will fund the health coverage expansion provided in the bill for the first three years and will continue to cover eventually 90 percent of the cost through President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
Speaker Toni Atkins, District 78
“Small businesses are so important to California’s economy that we need to be creative in helping these job-creators start and succeed.”
Assemblymember Rob Bonta, District 18
“California must lead the way in understanding and improving opportunities for boys and young men of color. The success of our state and nation is inextricably tied to the success of this growing population.”
Assemblymember Richard Gordon, District 24
“The Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of health status. However, many patient groups see their medications which treat their specific condition on the highest-cost tier. These discriminatory benefit designs cannot remain.”
Assemblymember Roger Hernández, District 48
“District-based elections benefit voters by ensuring that every community is represented on their city council. This in turn, makes an equitable distribution of resources more likely. Every voter will know which council member they can petition and hold accountable.”
Assemblymember Jose Medina, District 61
“There are stark disparities in the funding at the most diverse UC campuses; with the highest minority enrollment campuses receiving the least amount of funding. UC Riverside is recognized as serving the most minority students, along with UC Merced, UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz. It is important to find a fairer way to distribute funding within the UC system.”
Assemblymember Shirley Weber, District 79
“This abusive practice of last-minute scheduling hobbles workers who are taking the initiative to support themselves, and requires taxpayer subsidy in the form of greater need for public assistance for those who cannot. These workers need scheduling far enough in advance to work those other jobs, to arrange childcare and transportation, and to pursue education and training.”