SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) was joined by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca at Los Angeles Union Station today to announce the Speaker’s introduction of AB 2324, legislation that will help protect commuters and travelers by making it a crime to bring most weapons aboard public transit vehicles and into vulnerable areas of bus depots and train stations. The bill will also make it a crime to knowingly avoid security screenings and strengthen penalties for repeat offenders engaging in certain dangerous crimes.
“We need to keep weapons out of our mass transit system so that passengers have a safe way to travel and employees have a safe place to work, just as we do at our airports and seaports,” Pérez said. “AB 2324 will be another tool Sheriff Baca and all the other professionals here today can use to help the rest of us go about our daily routines safely and securely.”
“AB 2324 allows law enforcement to employ better methods of maintaining order and security, really giving travelers piece of mind and helping us prevent potential terrorist attacks on our transportation hubs,” Baca said. “Keeping weapons a safe distance away from these vulnerable sites strengthens our front lines and denies opportunities to would-be perpetrators.”
Assembly Bill 2324 prohibits an unauthorized person from knowingly entering a sterile area of a public transit vehicle station if that area has been posted with a notice that access is restricted, and creates a punishment if that person refuses to leave the area after being requested to do so by a peace officer or authorized personnel.
Assembly Bill 2324 also makes it a misdemeanor to willfully tamper with, remove, displace, injure, or destroy any part of any light rail train or bus equipment; and it recasts the provisions related to disturbing the peace on a public transit vehicle.
The bill also prohibits a person from intentionally bypassing security checkpoints at a public transit vehicle station and creates a punishment if a violation of this prohibition is responsible for the evacuation of public transit vehicle station.
Finally, the bill recasts provisions related to fare evasion and increases the penalty for repeat offenders.
(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), joined by Assemblymembers Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) and Marty Block (D-San Diego), met today with the family of Chelsea King at the State Capitol. Following the meeting, Pérez announced he is directing the Assembly to provide up to $250,000 from its budget savings to the Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) for training parole and probation officers in investigation techniques that the SOMB has concluded can help protect communities from potential repeat offenders. Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), joined by Assemblymembers Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) and Marty Block (D-San Diego), met today with the family of Chelsea King at the State Capitol. Following the meeting, Pérez announced he is directing the Assembly to provide up to $250,000 from its budget savings to the Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) for training parole and probation officers in investigation techniques that the SOMB has concluded can help protect communities from potential repeat offenders.
“The safety of our public must always be the highest priority for any government, and clearly California needs to look at ways to increase supervision of parolees to prevent anyone else from being victimized—and to ensure that the punishment for those offenses is appropriate to protect communities, and especially children, from dangerous offenders,” Pérez said.
“I’m pleased to work with the Speaker to support our front-line officers with this funding,” Fletcher said. “Our laws and the enforcement of our laws must be strengthened if we’re going to keep our children safe in their communities.”
In the current fiscal year, the Assembly has already redirected $18 million from its budget savings to provide Californians with services from Cal-Fire, the Employment Development Department and the California Department of Parks and Recreation
Speaker Calls on U.S. Senate to Pass President’s HOMESTAR Program
SACRAMENTO – California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) lauded today’s Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee approval of AB 2614, legislation he authored to facilitate the job-creating federal HOMESTAR energy efficiency rebate program now being considered in the U.S. Senate. Additionally, Pérez urged swift approval of the HOMESTAR program in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
“In his State of the Union address the President outlined how HOMESTAR would revitalize the construction industry, help small businesses, and support manufacturing – all of which have tremendous job creating potential,” Pérez said in the letter. “We are also moving forward to ensure our state is properly positioned to implement the HOMESTAR program as soon as it becomes law. In fact, I am pleased to share with you that my Assembly Bill 2614 is moving through the legislative process with strong bipartisan support.”
AB 2614 would direct the California Energy Commission (CEC) to work with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a program involving numerous stakeholders to provide accountability and ensure that the projected energy savings are realized.
HOMESTAR is expected to provide for 50% rebates of up to $1500 for simple energy efficiency upgrades and 50% rebates of up to $3000 for more comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits. Additionally, HOMESTAR is expected to:
Save participating homeowners an average of between $200 - $500 per year in energy costs
Create 168,000 jobs in skilled construction and manufacturing, two of the hardest hit sectors during the U.S. economic downturn Invest $6 billion in the form of consumer rebates to be matched by private investment
Help over three million American families to retrofit their houses to increase energy efficiency and save them as much as $9.5 billion in energy costs over 10 years
Remove the equivalent of 165,000 cars from the road or four 300 megawatt power plants form operation
Dedicate $200 million to provide access to low interest financing
Use a majority of manufactured goods made in the U.S., averaging well over 90 percent domestic production
The HOMESTAR effort comes on top of recent passage of state legislation to help California become more energy efficient. AB 758 (Skinner) requires the CEC to develop and implement a comprehensive program to achieve greater energy savings in existing residential and commercial buildings by using energy audits, energy efficiency improvements, financing options, and green workforce training. SB 77 (Pavley) requires the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority to establish a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Reserve program to assist local jurisdictions in financing the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy or water efficiency improvements meeting specified requirements that are permanently affixed on real property through the use of a voluntary contractual assessment.
SACRAMENTO – In this Democratic weekly address, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar) discuss the Assembly’s efforts to help California homeowners. They note that in addition to passing legislation to help Californians purchase a home, avoid foreclosure or avoid unexpected tax debt after a short sale, the Assembly is reaching out in a statewide effort to quickly and effectively use $700 million in federal foreclosure prevention funds expected for California in May.
English language MP3 file. The running time is 2:08. mp3
Spanish language MP3 file. The running time is 2:48. mp3
Recent upswings in national jobs numbers and the stock market are promising signs for our economy.
But California is still recovering far too slowly.
Our struggling housing market is, of course, a major part of what’s slowing us down.
Recognizing this, the Assembly is working to help homeowners stay in their homes and to help homebuyers get into the housing market.
We’ve also passed a bill this week that helps tens of thousands of California taxpayers who had to utilize short sales and other tools because of the recession and foreclosure crisis.
It prevents these taxpayers from being swamped by unexpected tax debt just when their heads are coming up above water.
With the Obama Administration making additional resources available, there are even more things that we can do to help.
The Hardest Hit Housing Market program will provide California with up to $700 million in federal foreclosure prevention funds beginning as early as May.
We must utilize these funds quickly and effectively.
The Assembly has reached out to the hard hit Central Valley, the Inland Empire, San Diego and other areas struggling for ideas.
Now, in working with the California Housing Finance Agency on ways to implement the funds, we’re relaying the message that we’ve heard time and again from neighborhood to neighborhood.
Everyone must be involved, from those who know what it’s like to go through the foreclosure crisis to those with the resources to protect against it.
We have to leverage the new funds, bringing in banks and private sector investment to maximize available dollars.
Homeowners must be provided a variety of information and the tools they need to avoid foreclosure.
We can also do more to help with counseling and mediation services to find alternatives to foreclosure.
CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408
Asambleísta Fuentes: Ayuda a los Dueños de Casa de California es Esencial para la Recuperación Económica
SACRAMENTO – En el mensaje demócrata semanal, el asambleísta Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar), comenta sobre los esfuerzos que lleva adelante la Asamblea para ayudar a los dueños de casa en California. Fuentes indica que además de aprobar una legislación que ayude a los californianos a comprar una vivienda, y evitar los embargos como también la deuda tributaria debido a una venta de tiempo corto, la Asamblea se ha dado la tarea a nivel estatal de conocer las realidades para usar rápida y efectivamente los 700 millones de dólares en fondos federales para evitar los embargos que comenzarán a llegar a California el mes de mayo.
MENSAJE RADIAL Hola, les habla el asambleísta Felipe Fuentes, presidente del Comité de Apropiaciones de la Asamblea
La reciente mejoría en los números del empleo a nivel nacional y de la bolsa de valores son señales prometedoras para nuestra economía.
Pero California todavía se recupera muy lentamente.
Nuestro agobiante mercado de la vivienda es, de todas maneras, el mayor problema de nuestra lentitud.
Reconociendo esto, la Asamblea trabaja para ayudar a los dueños de casa a no perder sus hogares y crear las condiciones para que más personas tengan acceso al mercado habitacional.
Hemos pasado una propuesta de ley esta semana que ayudará a decenas de miles de contribuyentes Californianos que han tenido que utilizar ventas cortas y otros métodos por causa de esta recesión y la crisis hipotecaria.
La medida evita que la deuda inesperada de impuestos perjudique a los contribuyentes cuando apenas se recuperan económicamente.
Con la administración Obama otorgando recursos adicionales, existe la posibilidad de hacer mucho más de lo que se ha hecho hasta el momento.
El programa “The Hardest Hit Housing Market” otorgará a California casi $700 millones de dólares en fondos federales para prevenir más embargos a partir de los primeros días de mayo.
Nosotros debemos usar estos fondos de forma eficaz y rápida.
La Asamblea se ha contactado con las áreas más afectadas del Valle Central, de Inland Empire, San Diego y otras regiones para recaudar ideas.
Ahora, trabajando con la Agencia de Financiamiento de la Vivienda de California en formas para usar estos fondos, nosotros transmitimos el mensaje que hemos escuchado una y otra vez de vecindario en vecindario.
Todos debemos estar envueltos, desde aquellos que saben lo qué es ser embargado hasta aquellos que cuentan con los recursos para protegerse de ellos.
Nosotros debemos potenciar los nuevos fondos, invitando a los bancos y al sector privado a maximizar los dólares disponibles.
A los dueños de casa se les debe proporcionar una variedad de información y herramientas necesarias para evitar los embargos.
También creo que podemos hacer más con los servicios de asesorías y mediación para entregar alternativas a los embargos.
Y eso incluye la posibilidad de aumentar la posibilidad de un seguro donde las familias que confrontan la perdida del empleo puedan permanecer en sus viviendas.
En la Asamblea, el empleo y la recuperación económica son nuestra prioridad número uno. Y menos embargos y un mercado de la vivienda más sano son vitales para ambos.
Les habló Felipe Fuentes, presidente del Comité de Apropiaciones de la Asamblea. Gracias por su atención.
Keep California Moving – Fix the Roads Roundtable (Fresno)
Speaker Atkins Joins Business, Labor and Local Leaders to Keep California Moving
Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins discussing California’s transportation issues at Fresno press conference.
FRESNO—Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins and a large coalition of local government officials, business leaders and transportation advocates today provided an update on the Legislature’s special session on transportation infrastructure. They emphasized the reasons why new infrastructure funding is vital to keep California moving.
“The Central Valley is vital to California’s economy, and fixing our infrastructure is vital to the Central Valley,” said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). “Many Valley communities and businesses are dependent on the lifelines provided by Highway 99 and Highway 5. They need to be kept in good shape. That’s why we are working closely with the state’s local elected officials and business community to ensure we can enact real solutions to the state’s transportation problems in this special session of the Legislature.”
“It’s fundamental that California be able to move goods and people in a modern, efficient way,” said Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., who called for a special session on transportation funding in June. “The problem is clear and we’re going to find the right path forward. The potholes don’t wait, the congestion doesn’t wait.”
A study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that peak-commute drivers in Fresno waste 23 hours a year sitting in traffic, resulting in an estimated cost of $495 per driver. More than 75% of motorists in Fresno County drive their own cars instead of taking public transportation, and that takes a heavy toll on the roads.
“Some of the roads in Stanislaus County are literally crumbling under my tires, and the Seventh Street Bridge in Modesto needs basic maintenance so badly it is no longer safe for heavy trucks and busses,” said Vito Chiesa, president of the California State Association of Counties and a Stanislaus County supervisor. “Reforms and accountability measures are needed to ensure taxpayer dollars are going toward transportation, but it is an indisputable fact that we need new revenues to address the severe maintenance backlog of our local streets and roads. I urge lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in Sacramento to find a workable solution. The longer we wait, the more it’s going to cost when we do finally fix our roads.”
Fixing all our roads now would cost more than $100 billion, but waiting 10 years would push the cost to nearly $300 billion. Every dollar invested in transportation infrastructure produces $5.20 in economic benefit, and every $1 billion that gets spent on transportation infrastructure leads to roughly 18,000 jobs.
Darius Assemi, Granville Homes President and CEO and California Transportation Commission Commissioner, added, “We need more revenue along with reforms to ensure Californians’ tax dollars are spent wisely, and solely used for transportation purposes to fix our deteriorating roads.”
Transportation funding has not kept pace with the state’s aging infrastructure. Most of the funding comes from gasoline excise taxes, which have not kept up with inflation. California collects 30 cents per gallon, a value that hasn’t increased in 25 years and, in fact, decreased by 6 cents in July. This means that the purchasing power of today’s excise tax is at an all-time low. Increased fuel-efficiency standards allow cars to travel more miles with less gas, also generating fewer gas-tax dollars to fix the roads.
According to multiple studies in recent years, California faces numerous transportation problems:
California has the second-highest share of roads in “poor condition” in the nation. More than half of our state roads need rehabilitation or pavement maintenance.
Our state has six of the 10 cities with the worst road conditions in the nation.
Nearly 1/3 of our bridges and overpasses show signs of deterioration, or do not meet design standards.
Nearly 70% of California’s urban roads and highways are congested.
Statement from Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego)
“The Governor’s signature is the next step for a prudent and progressive budget that will make California a better place to live, work and play. We are sending more money to schools, helping working families by expanding child care and preschool and establishing a state Earned Income Tax Credit, and we improve higher education funding and financial aid. The budget the Governor signed today makes important investments and pays down debt while adding to state reserves. It is not only a reflection of our state’s economic health, but a plan that will continue to help build California’s fiscal fitness.
“While the budget signed today is clearly the best one we’ve had in years, there is more work to do on Medi-Cal, DDS and infrastructure. Today, I will be appointing the members of the Assembly committees for the special sessions that have been called on health care and infrastructure. Those committees will take the lead in resolving the important issues still before us.”
“It appears the University of California is moving in the right direction to enroll more California students—and that’s great news. When the Assembly conducted our in-depth review of the University of California this year, it was clear that the university can and should do a better job fulfilling its mission to educate California students. That’s why we included an additional $25 million for UC if it enrolls 5,000 more Californians.”
“By expanding public restroom accommodations, people with physical disabilities and their families and friends are given the dignity and comfort to go about their daily lives. These rudimentary human necessities are imperative for the health and well-being of our disabled community.”
“This bill brings California’s election recount process into the 21st century. Elections are a fundamental democratic principle and we must make every effort to ensure their integrity. I believe AB 44, will do just that.”
“I remember the challenges that I had when I was a new mother myself. As a mother I could not imagine what life would be like to not have the opportunity to care and nurture for my own child. It is only right that we give foster youth who are parents the ability to care for their child while maintaining the principals of keeping families together.”
As Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, I know the importance of college affordability and safety. We must ensure students are provided with safe learning environments. In addition, students need transparency in higher education costs in order to make informed financial decisions for college."
"We know that students in foster care are more likely to achieve their full potential when they are provided services designed to meet their particular needs. It's imperative that foster youth get the support and resources they need to succeed academically."