SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today announced that four bills he has authored to protect public safety, health and the environment have cleared the State Senate and are now on their way back to the Assembly for a largely procedural vote of concurrence before being sent to the governor’s desk.
Assembly Bill 2324 – Improves Safety for Public Transit
“In light of the attempted terrorist attack in New York City, and other terrorist attacks on public transit systems around the world, it is imperative that California’s law enforcement authorities have every tool they need to protect our transit systems,” Pérez said. “AB 2324 will be another valuable tool that law enforcement professionals can use to help the rest of us go about our daily routines safely and securely.”
AB 2324, which is in response to security concerns raised by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, 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.
Assembly Bill 2503 – Establishes Rigs-to-Reefs Program
“The rigs-to-reef program will boost marine life and helps us bring in the funds we need to protect and enhance our valuable coastal and ocean resources,” Pérez said. “The protection we provide California’s coast and our ocean will be part of the legacy we leave for generations to come.”
AB 2503 would allow the underwater portion of decommissioned oil rigs to remain in place to continue serving as valuable fish habitat. The bill would continue the removal of oil platforms from the seascape and protect ocean biodiversity, including threatened rock fish populations and millions of other sea creatures that live on these reefs. The bill would allow a rig to be converted to a reef only if the Ocean Protection Council finds that the conversion will result in a net environmental benefit.
The bill would also create the California Endowment for Marine Preservation, which would receive up to 80 percent of the cost savings from rig conversion instead of complete removal. These funds, which could amount to up to one billion dollars, could be spent by the Endowment only for ocean and marine protection projects and activities.
Air and water pollution threats associated with the full removal of these rigs, some in waters as deep as 1,200 feet, would be addressed by reducing the need for the involvement of significant industrial removal equipment that must travel from around the world.
Assembly Bill 2352 – Provides Organ Transplant Patients with Anti-Rejection Medication
“Most transplant patients require more than a year to fully recover their strength and go back to work, yet under current law, anti-rejection meds are only covered for one year,” Pérez said. “There is absolutely nothing that makes less sense than giving someone a new chance at life, then setting them up for failure by ensuring the organ is rejected.”
AB 2352 provides that Medi-Cal beneficiaries shall remain eligible to receive Medi-Cal coverage for anti-rejection medication for up to two years following an organ transplant, unless during that period the beneficiary becomes eligible for Medicare or private health insurance that would cover the medication.
Assembly Bill 2720 – Promotes Healthy Food Access
“The lack of access to healthy food is a serious health injustice that cuts across societal and geographic lines,” said Pérez. “This bill addresses this issue by proactively seeking opportunities to increase the number of grocery stores, urban and rural farm stands and farmers’ markets in communities that have no or distant access to affordable, quality and nutritious foods – communities known as food deserts.”
AB 2720, which establishes the California Healthy Food Financing Initiative, positions California to receive federal dollars under the President’s 2010 Healthy Food Financing Initiative – which was included in his 2011 budget proposal. The President’s proposal would provide up to $340 million nationwide in incentives, grants and loans to eliminate food deserts by 2017.
AB 2720 also requires the California Department of Food and Agriculture to provide recommendations to the Legislature regarding possible actions to promote access to healthy food in these underserved areas by July 1, 2011.
SACRAMENTO – AB 1602 by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), which establishes the California Health Benefits Exchange where individuals and small businesses will be able to claim the federal tax credits provided under federal health reforms, was approved today by the California State Senate. The bill is expected to pass a concurrence vote in the Assembly and be sent to the Governor this week.
“In addition to a reformed individual market where no one can be denied coverage, the health reforms enacted by the President and Congress provide significant premium subsidies and tax credits to help Californians buy quality, affordable health coverage. I wrote AB 1602 to make sure California are able to benefit from this federal funding as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Pérez said. “As we have been on so many issues, I am proud California will be one of the nation’s leaders in implementing health care reform.”
Federal health reform tasks the states with establishing new, organized marketplaces where individuals and small businesses can more readily identify and compare coverage choices, purchase value-based coverage, and access premium credits and cost sharing subsidies. AB 1602 enacts these key changes, and sets in motion the necessary duties of the California Health Benefits Exchange to ensure California can quickly use the federal planning dollars and commence operations by January 1, 2014.
Sets out the responsibilities of the Exchange, both for the individual market and the small group market, and the ground rules for participating in it, including the ability of the Exchange to selectively contract with plans to get the best combination of choice, quality, value, and customer service.
Establishes several of the requirements for the Exchange that are provided for in the federal law, including an Internet based website for presenting health plan options in a standardized, easy to understand format where an individual’s cost sharing, including premiums and any co-pays or deductibles are available, as well as an online calculator to determine federal tax credits, subsidies and the actual cost of coverage.
Sets out the responsibility to administer exemptions to the individual mandate, and creates the Small Business Health Options Program where small businesses can claim their federal tax credits.
Makes implementation of the bill contingent upon the board of the Exchange making a detailed finding that it must share with the Department of Finance and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee that sufficient resources exist or will exist to operate the Exchange.
Establishes the California Health Trust Fund, which will consist of the federal start-up grants that commence next month and plan assessments beginning in 2014. There is no General Fund funding. The Exchange can only have one year’s operating expense in its reserve, similar to the regulatory boards under the Dept. of Consumer Affairs or must reduce the level of the assessment it charges.
Requires the Exchange to annually report to the Legislature on its activities, expenses; is subject to an annual audit; must post its budget and the salaries of its executive staff on the Exchange website.
Click here to view the attached fact sheet for more information.
SACRAMENTO – Joined by members of the Assembly and Senate today, Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) unveiled a package of bipartisan legislative reforms to create greater transparency and accountability in response to the financial scandals in the City of Bell.
“The outrageous salaries paid to Bell city officials, including the city manager and city council members is insulting to the hardworking people of Bell, and all Californians,” Pérez said. “The reform package we are advancing today will prevent future Bells, and help ensure the tax dollars paid by the people of California are spent properly.”
Joining Pérez and Steinberg were Assemblymembers Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate), Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), Alyson Huber (D-El Dorado Hills), Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita) and Alberto Torrico (D-Fremont).
“Transparency and accountability are important principles at all levels of government, not just here at the state level,” Smyth said. “The situation in Bell illustrates the need for legislative action to eliminate opportunities for fraud, conflicts of interest, and other potential wrongdoing. I appreciate my colleagues moving quickly to address this significant issue, and I look forward to continuing to work with them in my capacity as Chair of the Assembly Local Government Committee.”
Authoring the bills in the package are Assemblymember De La Torre, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review, Assemblymember Huber, Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, Assemblymember Mike Gatto, Assemblymember Alberto Torrico as well as Senator Lou Correa, Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Employees and Retirement
“The City of Bell has brought to light the problem of local governments adopting salary and compensation agreements without adequate public disclosure,” De La Torre said. “Regardless of where people live, our local cities have a responsibility to be transparent about their contracts and expenditures. Local taxpayers have a right to know about it before they are forced to pay for it.”
“Government shouldn’t be done in the dark, plain and simple,” Huber said. “We have the ability to make more information available online than ever before yet our current system serves insiders more than it does every day Californians. AB 2064 requires all levels of government to make the salaries of elected and appointed officials publicly available on their websites.”
“We have all seen the escalating costs of public pensions put increased pressure on the budgets and well-being of state and local government,” said Torrico. “The malfeasance and abuse uncovered in the City of Bell only serves to further highlight the potential abuse of public pensions. The time to act is now. This is real and meaningful reform, which will have bi-partisan support and we hope will be signed by the Governor.”
“I was livid when I learned that the taxpayers of the City of Glendale would be on the hook for the irresponsible decisions made by the Bell City Council,” Gatto said. “This legislation would prevent that from occurring.”
“This measure provides a “one stop shopping” for the public and the press to know first hand what the compensation and employer costs are for those in the public trust, and those entrusted with the finances of their governmental agency,” State Senator Lou Correa said.
“The transparency and accountability in this package is something every Californian can get behind,” Lowenthal said. “I'm proud to join my bipartisan colleagues in advancing these critical reforms.”
Highlights of the reform package include:
AB 1955 (De La Torre) Requires the Attorney General to determine whether a charter city is an excess compensation city (any one over the existing law compensation levels for general law cities). If after a hearing the AG determines that the city is an excess compensation city then the city would be prohibited from amending an old or approving a new redevelopment plan or issuing any new debt until the issue is resolved. The bill also requires that a city council person pay 50% personal income tax on any compensation received in excess of the existing law thresholds for general law city, if the charter city is found to be an excess compensation city. These provisions only apply to charter cities and exclude any full-time city council or independently elected mayor position. The bill also amends the Brown Act to require all contracts of employees who report directly to the legislative body to be approved in open session and requires that the contents of the compensation contract be posted on the local agency’s website 7 days prior to it being ratified in an open session.
AB 827 (De La Torre) Would prevent “evergreening” clauses (no automatic renewal) in the contracts of unrepresented individuals who report directly to a legislative body of a local agency, prohibit automatic salary increases in these contracts, unless it is a cost-of-living adjustment, without the vote of a legislative body, and prohibit severance payments of greater than 12 months' salary for these non-represented employees. The measure would also require a performance review to occur prior to increasing the salary, beyond a COLA, of an unrepresented individual who reports directly to the legislative body of a local agency.
AB 2064 (Huber) Requires each house of the Legislature to annually post on its official Internet Web site the annual salary for all Legislators and all Legislative employees. Requires all constitutional officers to annually post on their official Internet Web site the annual salary for the constitutional officer, any appointed or exempt deputies, and any appointed or exempt employees. Requires each general law or charter city, county, city and county, special district, school district, and JPA to annually post on its official Internet Web site the annual salary received from the local governmental entity by each elected or appointed official, and designated employees.
AB 192 (Gatto) Would require a city, which seeks to lure a municipal employee from another city by offering an exorbitant raise, to pay for the higher pension payments that come with the raise. Under current law, the city where that employee worked for the majority of his or her career has to pay the pension at the level set by whatever city hires the employee. AB 192 would require that any city offering an employee greater than a 15% raise to pay for the associated difference in pension benefits.
SB 501 (Correa) Requires each officer or designated employee of a county, city, city and county, school district, special district, or joint powers agency (JPA), to annually file a compensation disclosure form that provides compensation information for the proceeding year. Defines "designated employee" and "officer" as a designated employee or an elected or appointed officer of a county, city, city and county, school district, special district, or JPA who is required to file a statement of economic interest pursuant to existing law.
AB 194 (Torrico) Not withstanding any other law, for the purposes of determining a retirement benefit paid to a person who first becomes a member of a public retirement system on or after January 1, 2011, the maximum salary or payrate upon which retirement benefits shall be based shall not exceed 125 percent of the salary recommended to by paid to the Governor of the State of California by the California Citizens Compensation Commission effective December 7, 2009. This amount shall be adjusted annually based on changes in the All Urban California Consumer Price Index.
LOS ANGELES - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today met with diverse business groups in Los Angeles, including the Black Business Association, the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce, the Latino Business Chamber of Greater Los Angeles, the Korean American Chamber of Commerce, and the Korean American Federation to highlight how the Assembly and Senate’s California Jobs Budget proposal boosts California businesses by preventing massive layoffs and targeting $300 million to spur private sector job growth.
"Small businesses are important job creators in California -- 95% of California's businesses are small businesses," Pérez said. "We have made supporting these economic engines a major priority through our budget efforts, and we are working to produce a responsible plan that represents the core values of Californians.
"Small businesses throughout the state have been hit hard by the recession," "Skip" Cooper, President of the Black Business Association said. "We're ready to lead the state into economic recovery, but we need help. The targeted funding for private sector jobs in the California Jobs Budget and the Assembly's commitment to enact legislation this month to boost small business both provide exactly the kind of help we need."
"Ask a small business owner and you'll most likely hear their main concern is the need for increased access to capital," Chang Lee, Chairman of the Korean American Federation said. "The funds included in the California Jobs Budget to help small businesses succeed – and most importantly hire – couldn't come at a better time."
The California Jobs Budget prevents the layoffs of 430,000 Californians, including 50,000 child care providers working in small businesses, while restoring cuts to education proposed by the governor.
Included in the $300 million the proposal provides for private sector job growth are initiatives to help small businesses leverage hundreds of millions of dollars more for California's small businesses through the following programs:
Small Business Loan Guarantee Program
California Capital Access Program
Federal Small Business Administration's Microlending Program
Small Business Development Center Program
Procurement Technical Assistance Technology Program
Earlier this week Assembly Democrats also announced a legislative push to aid small businesses, which will advance in August under the leadership of the Assembly Jobs and Economic Recovery Task Force established by Speaker Pérez. Those proposals focus on increasing access to capital, expanding technical assistance, and helping small businesses avoid unnecessary red tape.
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today joined Assemblymember Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella) to announce a comprehensive, targeted jobs creation package to support small businesses throughout California. This announcement comes after Speaker Pérez convened the Assembly Jobs & Recovery Task Force to focus on job creation and retention—a priority also reflected in legislative Democrats’ California Jobs Budget.
“California’s small businesses are important job creators and comprise 95% of our state’s economy,” Pérez said. “We have made supporting these economic engines a major priority through our budget efforts and smart, targeted legislative initiatives like the ones proposed by the Assembly Jobs and Recovery Task Force. We will be moving quickly, and publicly, in the next few weeks to make these valuable proposals a reality for small businesses in California and boost this crucial sector of our economy.”
Speaker Pérez also noted economists are predicting small businesses that contract with states and localities are likely to face severe cutbacks if more state and local jobs are lost, and thanked the leaders of the Assembly Jobs and Economic Recovery Task Force, Assemblymember Mike Feuer, Majority Policy Leader, and Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez, Chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy, for their leadership in finding ways to save and create jobs and help small businesses keep their doors open.
In addition to Feuer and Pérez, members of the Assembly Jobs and Economic Recovery Task Force include Assemblymembers Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar).
“Small and medium sized businesses, as our primary job creators, are poised to lead us out of this recession,” said V.M. Pérez, who chairs of the policy committee responsible for small business issues. “We must focus our efforts on empowering them to grow and prosper. Among the issues we’ve been looking at in hearings and through the work of the Jobs and Recovery Task Force is facilitating access to lines of credit and loans, as well as the accompanying technical assistance.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and need to be the focus of our recovery,” Feuer said. “Over the next few weeks, we must work with great purpose to help facilitate the success of small businesses during these challenging times. Ensuring that small businesses have greater access to capital is a critical component of moving our economy forward and is rightly a priority for us in the weeks ahead.”
The Assembly Jobs and Recovery Task Force has worked to ensure the California Jobs Budget includes $300 million for targeted private sector job creation, including funding for small business to use in leveraging hundreds of millions of dollars in potential new financing through the:
Small Business Loan Guarantee Program
California Capital Access Program
Federal Small Business Administration’s Microlending Program
Small Business Development Center Program
Procurement Technical Assistance Technology Program
The Assembly Jobs and Recovery Task Force has worked to help support small businesses in California by developing legislation to:
Cut Red Tape by Streamlining State Licensing and Permitting
Expand the State's Economic and Workforce Development Programs
Integrate Education and Workforce Training Services
SACRAMENTO – California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), the state's first openly gay legislative leader, issued the following statement regarding today's federal court ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional:
“Judge Walker's thoughtful, eloquent decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger is a powerful validation of our nation's tradition of full equality in the eyes of the law. This is a decision which reaffirms the principles and ideals enshrined in our Constitution, and only serves to underscore the fact that recognition of full equality for LGBT Americans is simply a matter of time.
“I also want to express my congratulations to the legal team of David Boies and Ted Olson, as well as Therese Stewart and Dennis Herrera representing the City and County of San Francisco for their brilliant, inspiring and historic arguments in this case. They have won a major victory on behalf of our Constitution and LGBT Americans everywhere.”
(Los Angeles) – In an appearance on NBC4, California Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) told a live audience how the California Jobs Budget will save or create more than 400,000 jobs in the Golden State. The Speaker says the plan focuses on closing the state's budget deficit while protecting jobs and preventing layoffs. The California Jobs Budget also prevents the complete elimination of services to California’s most vulnerable citizens, without a broad based tax increase. Learn more in this Assembly Assets video.
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) today announced an updated California Jobs Budget proposal to close the state’s budget deficit while protecting jobs and preventing layoffs that would push California’s unemployment above 14 percent. The proposal advanced by Steinberg and Pérez also includes elements to spur the state’s economic recovery and reforms to help prevent future budget problems.
The Democratic Leaders have proposed a budget plan that responsibly reflects the circumstances forced on California by the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The plan closes the deficit, which has been fueled by both the collapse of our economy and by the pre-existing structural deficit which has contributed to California’s budget instability for decades. The Jobs Budget reflects a central commitment to saving and creating jobs while implementing responsible, targeted cuts totaling $8 billion that do not put California’s economic recovery in jeopardy. In contrast, the Republican Plan will unapologetically ruin California’s recovery by eliminating 430,000 jobs and stop five billion federal dollars from flowing into our economy.
After meeting with small business leaders to discuss portions of the plan that benefit small businesses, Steinberg and Pérez met with reporters to lay out how the plan supports long term growth and stability for California.
“This is a plan that every member can and should support,” Pérez said. “It reflects the core values of Californians and makes decisions that will help, rather than hurt our economy. It keeps 430,000 teachers, cops, firefighters and small business owners working, and will help small businesses create more jobs. It restores cuts the Governor’s budget made to education, closes costly loopholes and doesn’t impose broad-based taxes on Californians.”
“This is not a budget to celebrate, it is a budget of necessity,” Steinberg said. “It is a proposal that reflects our difficult economic times, and counts on all Californians to come together in a collective effort to weather this recession and spur our economic recovery. Our proposal makes more than $8 billion in painful cuts, including to public education; but rejects the Governor’s gratuitous cuts that would devastate our economy, our people, and eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs. It will help jumpstart our economy by permanently cutting the state sales tax nearly in half, but raises new revenue to ensure our children receive a quality education and our people have a decent quality of life. This is a responsible, balanced, and fair proposal that should be implemented, and quickly.”
The Jobs Budget focuses on preventing layoffs, spurring the economic recovery and instituting reforms to help prevent future budget problems.
Protecting the jobs of over 35,000 teachers and other school employees, many of whom have already received pink slips
Protects childcare programs that allow working parents to remain in the workforce and keep over 50,000 child care providers in business and their employees earning paychecks
Making repayments to local governments that will help them avoid cutting as many as 20,000 critical public service jobs
Maintains healthcare spending and safety net federal funds that together saves over 300,000 jobs
Maintains some safety net to make sure California isn’t the only state in the nation without a welfare-to-work program
The plan spurs the economic recovery by:
Providing $300 million for targeted programs that will create thousands to high-paying, private sector jobs
Rejecting $3.4 billion in education cuts the governor has proposed, because a well-educated workforce is vital to the recovery
Restoring cuts to the UC and CSU systems to maintain the world class university system at the heart of California’s innovative economy
Providing full funding for Community Colleges and doubling funding for the Economic Development program that trains tens of thousands of unemployed Californians for new opportunities
The plan helps prevent future budget problems by:
Cutting state administration staffing funds and overhead by 5% to save $700 million
Cutting taxes for all California income levels by dramatically reducing the sales tax and while increases taxes that can be federally deducted; these changes provide net tax relief to all income groups
Accelerating repayments to school districts and local governments, allowing them to avoid laying off teachers, cops and firefighters while simultaneously reducing the state’s long-term debt
Providing a real reserve of $550 million
Improving public safety by shifting certain costs to local governments, and providing a dollar for dollar increase to local governments to cover the costs
Bringing in $4.1 billion federal matching funds to California by rejecting Governor’s health care and safety net cuts that leave federal money on the table
Closing the Oil Drilling Loophole, delaying new corporate tax breaks and dedicating new revenues to restructuring proposals and job protection efforts
Minimizing one-time solutions and providing ongoing revenues or future adjustments to protect against any negative impact of one-time solutions
Avoiding cuts that will harm the economy and result in next year’s problem being much worse
Pérez and Steinberg emphasized that the updated Jobs Budget proposal, which includes previously debated provisions of Assembly and Senate budget proposals, will receive a public vetting before being voted on by the legislature.
Speaker Pérez Announces Updated Jobs Budget
(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) have presented an updated California Jobs Budget proposal to close the state’s budget deficit while protecting jobs and preventing layoffs that would push California’s unemployment above 14 percent. The Jobs Budget reflects a central commitment to saving and creating jobs while implementing responsible, targeted cuts totaling $8 billion that do not put California’s economic recovery in jeopardy. In contrast, the Republican Plan will unapologetically ruin California’s recovery by eliminating 430,000 jobs and stop five billion federal dollars from flowing into our economy. Learn more in this Assembly Access video.
Press Conference Photos
Below are links to audio from today's event.
Assembly Speaker John Pérez’s opening remarks at today’s news conference. (6:32) mp3
Assembly Speaker Pérez says the California Jobs Budget will produce a net decrease in tax obligations and produce additional revenues for the state. mp3
Assembly Speaker Pérez says the California Jobs Budget focuses on job creation and retention. mp3
Assembly Speaker Pérez says legislative republicans are ignoring the needs of Californians. mp3
Assembly Speaker Pérez says the California Jobs Budget reflects the urgent needs of everyday Californians. mp3
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) met with reporters at the State Capitol today to provide an update on efforts to craft a responsible budget agreement that saves 430,000 jobs for Californians.
“Leadership has been meeting continuously, and while we have not reached a complete resolution, I believe these meetings have been productive in illustrating the $11 billion in solutions that everyone—Democrats, Republicans and the Governor—have already agreed to,” Pérez said. “We are committed to finding a solution that will close our deficit without costing 430,000 Californians their jobs. We know the only long-term solution to our economic or budget problems is through creating quality, high-paying jobs that will put 2.3 million Californians back to work.”
With the Budget Conference Committee and leadership negotiations having produced broadly-supported solutions to close a majority of the deficit, Pérez is hopeful a resolution can be reached on a final budget agreement.
“Given the scope of the problem we are trying to address, we clearly need to be creative in finding budget solutions that close the deficit and protect jobs,” Pérez said. “This is especially true on the revenue side of the equation where we clearly need to bring more revenues into the general fund, but to do so in a way that benefits the economy. I am optimistic that we can find that happy medium, and remain committed to working with the members of the Legislature to find that creative, balanced approach. Discussions are ongoing, and I am hopeful that we can reach a resolution on the remaining $7 billion of the deficit.”
Speaker Pérez: Producing a Responsible Budget That Saves Jobs
(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) met with reporters at the State Capitol to provide an update on efforts to craft a responsible budget agreement that saves 430,000 jobs for Californians. “Leadership has been meeting continuously, and while we have not reached a complete resolution, I believe these meetings have been productive in illustrating the $11 billion in solutions that everyone—Democrats, Republicans and the Governor—have already agreed to,” Pérez said. Here’s the latest from Speaker Pérez in this Assembly Access video.
Legislative Democrats Oppose Governor’s Budget that Kills Jobs, Hurts Communities
LOS ANGELES - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today met with several mayors of Southern California communities to stress how the California Jobs Budget proposed by Legislative Democrats will prevent thousands of harmful layoffs in cities throughout the state. Pérez also highlighted the almost $1 billion in funds the California Jobs Budget will repay to local governments for prior mandates the state left unfunded.
“Cities and counties throughout California are struggling with their own budget deficits stemming from the global recession,” Pérez said. “Democrats in the legislature are backing a state budget that saves and creates 460,000 jobs in local communities and we repay cities almost one billion dollars. This is a creative, balanced budget proposal that reflects California’s values and protects priorities like education and public safety.”
Community leaders meeting with Speaker Perez included: South Gate Mayor Greg Martinez; Carson Mayor Jim Dear; El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero; Maywood Mayor Ana Rizo; Culver City Mayor Christopher Armenta; Manhattan Beach Mayor Mitch Ward; Monterey Park Mayor Anthony Wong; Lawndale Mayor Harold Hoffman; La Puente Mayor David Argudo.
In the meeting Speaker Pérez also noted the budget proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger has been estimated to force the layoffs of 430,000 local cops, firefighters, teachers and other critical workers in communities throughout the state. The Governor’s budget would also increase local government’s expenses for health care, social services and incarceration.
“The Governor’s proposed budget will be a body blow to a fragile economy and would directly threaten the safety of the public,” Pérez said. “Cities all across California are now in the position of having to lay off cops and firefighters to close their budget deficits.”
The California Jobs Budget also provides $1 billion for targeted jobs strategies to develop and strengthen California private sector industries, including green and clean tech industries. These investments stand to generate tens of thousands more private sector jobs and strengthen California's economy for a generation. This provides a potential funding source for numerous Democratic and Republican jobs bills making their way in the Legislature this year.
The California Jobs Budget also supports private sector employment by maintaining basic services California workers rely on such as childcare programs funded through CalWORKS and Proposition 98 that allow 50,000 small business childcare providers to stay in business and let working parents to go to work and earn a paycheck.
Critical employment services that move people from welfare to work and retrain workers at Community Colleges are also maintained. The California Jobs Budget provides $100 million for a 400% increase for the Economic Development Program, which successfully gets unemployed Californians back to work.
Among its $930 million in local government repayments, the California Jobs Budget repays:
“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.”
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."