Desc - Speaker Toni G. Atkins, joined by California Treasurer John Chiang, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Assemblymembers Ed Chau, Jimmy Gomez, and David Chiu, and other business and local leaders, today announced the Assembly Democrats proposal to create more affordable housing in California. Read More
California State Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and the Assembly Democrats have come up with a timely and reasonable plan to fix the Golden State’s freeways, bridges and other transportation infrastructure. Read More
Mullin's 1st Bill is a Continuation of His Father's Efforts to Expand Voting Access
SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Kevin Mullin has introduced ACA 7, a California Constitutional amendment to allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries if they will be 18 by the next general election. The bill is identical to legislation introduced by his father, Assemblymember Gene Mullin, that wasn't able to meet the 2/3rds voting requirement on the floor of the Assembly.
"The goal of this legislation is to increase voter participation," Said Assemblymember Kevin Mullin. "Most young people's first contact with politics is in their mandatory high school civics class; this is the perfect time to get them engaged and give them some ownership in the process by getting them to vote in primaries."
This amendment would bring California up to date with 20 other states that already allow 17-year-olds to either vote in their respective caucuses or primaries. This practice resulted in a higher voter turnout among the 18-24 year-olds demographic in those states.
"This policy will increase youth engagement in the political process by creating an ethos of participation from a younger age," said Rob Richie, Executive Director of FairVote. "Once a person votes, that person is likely to vote again."
Here are the links to audio from Assemblymember Mullin:
Assemblymember Mullin introduced legislation, ACA7, that would allow 17 years old to register to vote. (2:07) mp3
Assemblymember Mullin said that, regardless of political persuasion, members of both parties would like to see young people engage in the electoral process. (:58) mp3
Assemblymember Mullin said that one of the things his father did as a teacher was take students out of the classroom and attend city council meetings so they can learn and get involved in the process. (1:30) mp3
Assemblymember Mullin said that this legislation will give these young voters a say in who these candidates will be in the general election (:24) mp3
SACRAMENTO –The California State Assembly today approved AJR 8 by Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), urging Congress to pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. The VAWR gives necessary financial resources to programs designed to protect women and families from domestic violence.
Below is the transcript of remarks given by Speaker John A. Pérez on the Floor of the California State Assembly today:
“Members, I rise in support of AJR 8 and I would like to thank Assemblymember Lowenthal for her leadership as Chair of the Women’s Caucus on the very important issue of combatting domestic violence.
AJR 8 urges Congress to renew the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was first passed in 1994 and championed by then-Senator Joe Biden.
VAWA has been reauthorized twice since then in 2000 and 2005 with strong bipartisan support.
This measure speaks to our understanding of justice. One of our most important constitutional principles is that every person in our country must be protected fully and equally under the law.
And for nearly two decades, the Violence Against Women Act has ensured that law enforcement has the tools to prevent abuse against women and bring abusers to justice.
The law also ensures that women who are in abusive environments have the resources and programs they need to escape the cycle of abuse and rebuild their lives in safety and security.
Millions of women, families, and children throughout our country have been helped by this law.
Lives have been saved, families have been strengthened, and children have been protected because this law speaks to our understanding that with the right tools and support, individuals who have been victims of abuse can restore their lives, their health, and their families.
This is a law that is firmly rooted in our sense of justice. It is a law that reminds us of our duty to pass just laws for all the people, no matter your race, sexual orientation, or citizenship status, words we see emblazoned above us in this very chamber.
With so many reminders in the United States and around the world that, even today, so many women are victims of abuse and violence, reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act is a crucial statement of justice and AJR 8 strongly encourages Congress to act to reauthorize this very important piece of legislation.”
Speaker Pérez, Bipartisan Group of Legislators Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform
(Sacramento) – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas), as well as other distinguished guests, held a media availability today (Thursday) to support comprehensive immigration reform efforts at the federal level. Assemblymember Alejo highlighted his Assembly Joint Resolution 3 (AJR 3), introduced on December 3, 2012, urging the President of the United States and members of Congress to take a comprehensive and workable approach to improving the nation's immigration system using a specified set of principles.
Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) delivered the following remarks supporting AJR3 in the press conference about immigration reform:
"Good morning. I'm pleased to join my colleagues for today's event to discuss the crucial need for comprehensive immigration reform.
I would like to thank Mr. Alejo for bringing forward AJR 3, which urges Congress to address one of the most important issues facing the state of California.
We have seen much movement on this issue this week, beginning with a thoughtful and bipartisan plan put forward by members of the United States Senate, as well as the President's powerful remarks two days ago on the issue of immigration.
This is certainly a complicated issue, touching as it does on policy areas ranging from public health and public safety, to broader questions about what it means to be an American.
We know that our system is broken. Across the world, there are folks waiting in line to come to America who will bring vital skills to our workforce and economy—but who will also bring their hopes for a better future for themselves and their families.
Those dreams are shared by millions of undocumented immigrants already living in the United States, and performing work that is vital to our economy. Yet they must live their lives under the constant threat of deportation.
We strongly urge Congress to act and pass immigration reform that reforms the visa system, keeps families intact, cracks down on the worst violators of immigration and labor laws, and respects our traditions and values as a society.
This is one of the most important public policy challenges of our times, and we must act this year.
And I am confident that with the President's leadership, we can pass thoughtful and comprehensive immigration reform."
SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) announced legislation to build on California’s progress in implementing the Affordable Care Act by expanding Medi-Cal eligibility for Californians. The measure, which will be introduced in the Special Session on Healthcare announced by Governor Brown in his State of the State address, will further cement California as the national leader in healthcare reform.
“California is the national leader on implementing Healthcare Reform, and I am pleased to be authoring this critical measure which will ensure more Californians have access to quality, affordable healthcare,” said Speaker Pérez. “By expanding Medi-Cal eligibility, we will ensure more than one million low-income Californians have quality healthcare, which will make significant federal funds available to California to help strengthen our overall economic recovery.”
In addition to expanding eligibility, AB1X1 will also streamline the eligibility and enrollment rules for Medi-Cal, creating new efficiencies and speeding the time by which applicants can receive coverage. In addition to AB1X1, Speaker Pérez authored legislation creating California’s first-in-the-nation Health Benefits Exchange, another key provision of the Affordable Care Act.
“Ensuring access to quality and affordable care is a critical priority for Californians, and I am proud of California’s national leadership in implementing these groundbreaking measures,” added the Speaker.
SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement on the announcement that Mark Yudof, President of the University of California, will be stepping down in August. Speaker Pérez has worked with Mr. Yudof in his capacity as an ex officio regent of the University of California:
“Throughout his service as President of the University of California, Mr. Yudof has been an exceptional leader, particularly during a difficult period in the history of the UC. I have always been appreciative of the thoughtful and engaging way he has worked with students, staff, the Legislature and the Regents of the University to ensure that the UC remains the premier system of higher education in the world, even despite historic budget challenges. He has been a leader of conviction and vision, and I am very grateful for his service to the UC and the people of California, and I look forward to continue working with him in his future endeavors.”
SACRAMENTO – Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and the California State Assembly today honored the anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who is commemorated with a national holiday on Monday for his lifelong fight for equality and Civil Rights in America.
“He was fighting for justice for every American--justice in the political arena, in the economic arena certainly, and certainly justice that flows from the Constitution, justice that is the birthright of every American,” said Speaker Pérez. “His final days were spent marching with striking sanitation workers in Memphis. His last efforts were devoted to ensuring that those workers receive fair pay for their labors, and equal treatment in their workplace. That is a profound issue of justice…that every person, regardless of their background, should have the same opportunity to succeed in life.”
Below is the transcript of remarks given by Speaker John A. Pérez on the Floor of the California State Assembly today:
“Members, I, too, rise in support of this resolution, and I want to thank the author for bringing it forward.
And I want to thank the membership—those who spoke and those who didn’t—for engaging in this important discussion.
Each year, as we commemorate the anniversary of Dr. King’s birth, we reflect on his life and legacy.
Of the hopeful nature of the movement he gave voice and inspiration to…of the faith of so many millions of Americans of every background, and from all walks of life, that our country can continue to make progress and live up to that first charge of our Constitution to build a more perfect union.
Today’s ceremony offers us a chance to reflect, not only on the life of Dr. King, but the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 60s.
That hope is more powerful than fear. That peace is more powerful than anger. That the noble ideals enshrined in the Constitution are given life and expression by our actions.
It was the hopeful and peaceful nature of the Civil Rights Movement that brought together the critical mass of Americans who insisted on change. In Dr. King’s words, he recognized that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, bound together in a single garment of destiny.’
And it was that spirit, that philosophy, that made the Civil Rights Movement such a powerful and effective movement that rekindled in millions of Americans the sense of justice and equality that flows through our Constitution.
It’s a credit to his life that we look back on the Civil Rights Movement as an inevitable reaction to the conditions facing black Americans, not just in the south, but across this country.
And yet, when Dr. King rose on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to speak to the dream we share for our country, he knew full well that success was not assured. That there were Bull Connors all over the country were still willing, and even eager, to unleash the police dogs and the fire hoses on peaceful protestors.
But throughout the persecution of Civil Rights Activists, the bombings of churches, Governors standing in schoolhouse doors and White Citizens Councils sanctioning violence, Dr. King never lost sight of the fact that he was part of a movement rooted in justice.
And that is why his message is still so resonant today. He wasn’t just fighting for political rights or property rights.
He was fighting for justice for every American--justice in the political arena, in the economic arena certainly, and certainly justice that flows from the Constitution, justice that is the birthright of every American.
His final days were spent marching with striking sanitation workers in Memphis. His last efforts were devoted to ensuring that those workers receive fair pay for their labors, and equal treatment in their workplace.
That is a profound issue of justice…that every person, regardless of their background, should have the same opportunity to succeed in life.
And that is work that must continue to this day. Dr. King himself recognized that the work of his life would continue well after his life ended… and that, in his words, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
And as we commemorate his life and legacy, we must remember that the bullet that ended his life did not silence his voice, but rather it imparted in each of us an obligation to not only remember his legacy and what he fought for, but to actively take up the charge ourselves.
Inevitably, when we talk about Dr. King, we not only speak to his words, but of his faith; and the role that his faith and religion took in the expression of all of his actions. In many parts of our Christian communities, we talk about being moved by the Holy Spirit. In the Jewish tradition, there is this notion of Kavanah. That you cannot just recite the words, but rather that it must imbue your actions. That is the lesson for each of us.
That every American must fight for justice. That forming a more perfect union is incumbent upon each of us. And that is legacy that we must keep alive.”
SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) praised federal rules to protect homeowners announced this week by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
“California has been a leader in assisting homeowners facing foreclosure and in reining in abusive practices following the collapse of the housing market, so I’m pleased to see the CFPB take these important steps,” Pérez said. “We know that the economic recovery of many states, including California, has a lot riding on stable housing markets and these new rules move us closer to that goal.”
According to the CFPB the new rules announced today include:
Restricted Dual-Tracking: Under the CFPB’s new rules, dual-tracking – when the servicer moves forward with foreclosure while simultaneously working with the borrower to avoid foreclosure – is restricted. Servicers cannot start a foreclosure proceeding if a borrower has already submitted a complete application for a loan modification or other alternative to foreclosure, and that application is still pending review. To give borrowers reasonable time to submit such applications, servicers cannot make the first notice or filing required for the foreclosure process until a mortgage loan account is more than 120 days delinquent.
Notification of Foreclosure Alternatives: Servicers must let borrowers know about their “loss mitigation options” to retain their home after borrowers have missed two consecutive payments. They must provide them a written notice that includes examples of options that might be available to them as alternatives to foreclosure and instructions for how to obtain more information.
Direct and Ongoing Access to Servicing Personnel: Servicers must have policies and procedures in place to provide delinquent borrowers with direct, easy, ongoing access to employees responsible for helping them. These personnel are responsible for alerting borrowers to any missing information on their applications, telling borrowers about the status of any loss mitigation application, and making sure documents get to the right servicing personnel for processing.
Fair Review Process: The servicer must consider all foreclosure alternatives available from the mortgage owners or investors – those with decision-making power over the loan – to help the borrower retain the home. These options can range from deferment of payments to loan modifications. And servicers can no longer steer borrowers to those options that are most financially favorable for the servicer.
No Foreclosure Sale Until All Other Alternatives Considered: Servicers must consider and respond to a borrower’s application for a loan modification if it arrives at least 37 days before a scheduled foreclosure sale. If the servicer offers an alternative to foreclosure, they must give the borrower time to accept the offer before moving for foreclosure judgment or conducting a foreclosure sale. Servicers cannot foreclose on a property if the borrower and servicer have come to a loss mitigation agreement, unless the borrower fails to perform under that agreement.
Clear Monthly Mortgage Statements: Servicers must provide regular statements which include: the amount and due date of the next payment; a breakdown of payments by principal, interest, fees, and escrow; and recent transaction activity.
Early Warning Before Interest Rate Adjusts: Servicers must provide a disclosure before the first time the interest rate adjusts for most adjustable-rate mortgages. And they must provide disclosures before interest rate adjustments that result in a different payment amount.
Options for Avoiding Costly “Force-Placed” Insurance: Servicers typically must make sure borrowers maintain property insurance and if the borrower does not, the servicer generally has the right to purchase it. The CFPB’s rules ensure consumers will not be surprised by this insurance, which often can be more expensive than the insurance borrowers buy on their own. The rules say servicers must provide more transparency in this process, including advance notice and pricing information before charging consumers. Servicers must also have a reasonable basis for concluding that a borrower lacks such insurance before purchasing a new policy. If servicers buy the insurance but receive evidence that it was not needed, they must terminate it within fifteen days and refund the premiums.
Payments Promptly Credited: Servicers must credit a consumer’s account the date a payment is received. If the servicer places partial payments in a “suspense account,” once the amount in such an account equals a full payment, the servicer must credit it to the borrower’s account.
Prompt Response to Requests for Payoff Balances: Servicers must generally provide a response to consumer requests for the payoff balances of their mortgage loans within seven business days of receiving a written request.
Errors Corrected and Information Provided Quickly: Servicers must generally acknowledge receipt of written notices from consumers regarding certain errors or requesting information about their mortgage loans. Generally, within 30 days, the servicer must: correct the error and provide the information requested; conduct a reasonable investigation and inform the borrower why the error did not occur; or inform the borrower that the information requested is unavailable.
Maintain Accurate and Accessible Documents and Information: Servicers must store borrower information in a way that allows it to be easily accessible. Servicers must also have policies and procedures in place to ensure that they can provide timely and accurate information to borrowers, investors, and in any foreclosure proceeding, the courts.
Speaker Pérez noted that the new federal rules are expected to complement the 2012 Homeowners Bill of Rights passed by the California Legislature, which has been called the most comprehensive homeowner protection act in the nation.
SACRAMENTO – Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) spoke at the UC Regents Meeting today in San Francisco where he urged the Regents to put a freeze on the student fee increases at the 10 University of California campuses. Speaker Pérez, who has served as a UC Regent since becoming Assembly Speaker in 2010, authored the Middle Class Scholarship Act last year in an attempt to reduce college fees by two-thirds for middle class families in California. The Speaker plans to continue his efforts in passing legislation this year to make public universities more affordable to middle class families in the state.
Below is the audio link:
Speaker’s remarks at today’s UC Regents meeting (9:22) mp3
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) released the following statement today regarding CalPERS and the additional wages made by managers:
“During a time when many Californians are out of work and many state workers have been required to take furloughs, it is disturbing to learn that some CalPERS managers were paid additional wages potentially outside of state personnel policy. While we understand the urgency involving the delivery of CalPERS’ new computer system, we need to look at a better way of handling the extra work. The Assembly Committee on Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security will be looking further into this matter.”
SACRAMENTO – Sacramento—Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) was pleased to welcome members of the public to view the Stanley Cup, which was won by the National Hockey League Champion Los Angeles Kings this year. Several hundred hockey fans lined up in the Capitol to view the Cup, which has been handed down to each successive NHL Champion team for more than a century. The Speaker was joined by Luc Robitaille, President of the Los Angeles Kings and a National Hockey League Hall of Famer, as well as Tim Leiweke, Governor of the Los Angeles Kings, and Mike Bolt of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and the “Keeper of the Cup.”
“I was so pleased to be able to welcome members of the public to view one of the most prestigious awards in professional sports,” said Speaker John A. Pérez. “Generations of kids have grown up imagining winning the Cup as part of a champion hockey team, and it was a genuine pleasure to see the excitement on the faces of kids as they saw the Cup in person.”
The Stanley Cup is one of the most ubiquitous awards in professional sports. For more than one hundred years, this very cup has given players the inspiration to win. Every year, the winning team receives the cup for the duration of their championship, and every player is given the opportunity to take the cup with them to recognize their victory.
The Cup was created by Lord Stanley, who began the tradition of presenting it to each successive championship team. Coincidentally, today’s public viewing fell on the 172nd Anniversary of Lord Stanley’s birth.
“I want to congratulate the Los Angeles Kings on a phenomenal season that was capped with such a prestigious honor,” added the Speaker. “Their win is a victory every Californian should be proud to celebrate.”
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.”