(Sacramento) – Legislators held a State Capitol News Conference today to announce the introduction of a package of bills to close “fat cat” tax loopholes and corporate giveaways.
Assemblymembers Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara), Tom Ammiano (San Francisco), and Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles), were joined by educators, healthcare providers, nurses, and California’s Workers.
Assemblymember Nava tossed Governor Schwarzenegger’s budget into a recycling bin to represent the dismay of Californians over his proposed budget that will cost upward of 300,000 California jobs.
“We have introduced modest, common sense bills that will help ensure that California’s hard working families are not getting ripped off by corporate tax loopholes,“ said Nava. “At a time when classrooms are getting more crowded, when more and more people are losing their health insurance due to unemployment, and numerous programs affecting seniors, and the disabled are facing more cuts, we cannot afford these giveaways to big business and lose more than 300,000 California jobs.”
While average Californians pay their taxes, corporations are avoiding paying more than a billion dollars each year. As a result, California’s classrooms are more crowded, police and fire services are being reduced, care for the disabled and elderly is being eliminated, children will be left without health insurance, community clinics and state parks will be closed and college tuition could go up.
“For over thirty years, California has allowed corporate landowners to benefit from tax loopholes while shifting the real tax burden to individual homeowners and reducing California’s tax base,” said Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D, San Francisco) “We cannot continue to cut funding from our schools, our parks and our vital human services without addressing the need for new revenue and an equitable tax system.”
“Seniors have borne the brunt of these draconian budget cuts; we have seen a reduction in adult day health care programs that allow seniors to stay in their homes, the elimination of Alzheimer’s research, and aid to low income seniors has been slashed,” said Gary Passmore of the Congress of California Seniors. “The Fair Share Act will bring much needed revenues to support these essential programs.”
“With $18 billion in cuts to education, this could be an important source of revenue to save important services for our students,” said Jai Sookprasert the tax policy analyst for the California School Employees Association.
“Recent budget cuts are harming nurses’ ability to provide for the critical health needs of people in our state,” said Elizabeth Pataki, RN of the California Nurses Association. “An oil severance tax could provide much needed revenue to help pay for Californians’ healthcare needs.”
“The last round of budget cuts has affected every Californian,” said Willie Pelote of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. “We are dismantling programs and need to ensure that sufficient revenue is available to mitigate the State’s fiscal crisis.”
Governor Schwarzenegger is scheduled to release his revised state budget on May 14th.
Information and Resources on Specific Revenue Bills:
2010 REVENUE LEGISLATION
WHAT IT MEANS
AB 1604 (Nava) & (Salas)
Would impose a 10% oil severance tax that would be deposited all into the General Fund. Generate $1.5 Billion Annually
AB 1935 (de León)
Would save the state over $600 million annually through repeal of the special option for corporations to choose the formula each year by which they are taxed.
Generate $135 million in ‘10-‘11, $450 million in ‘11-‘12, $600 million in ‘12-‘13
AB 1936 (de León)
Would repeal loss carry-back, which allow corporations to get refunds for taxes they paid two years earlier if they take losses, thereby making it impossible to count on revenue even when taxes are paid. $25 million in ’10-’11, $450 million in ’11-’12, $145 million in ’12-‘13
AB 2492 (Ammiano)
Would make sure that corporations and commercial properties are reassessed when changes of ownership occur, ending the use of complex transactions to avoid reassessment.
Unknown - up to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Total Revenues Generated will be more than $2.5 - $2.9 billion Dollars
(Sacramento) - The Assembly has approved the Teen Alcohol Safety Act of 2010, a measure authored by Assemblymember Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) designed to save young lives by strengthening the consequences faced by adults who knowingly provide alcohol to underage teens in the home. AB 2486 passed on a bipartisan vote of 73 to 0. “Common sense alone should prevent adults from giving alcohol to teenagers,” Feuer said. “But recent tragedies graphically illustrate that California needs to do more to deter adults from providing minors with alcohol. This bill promotes responsible behavior and will keep kids safer.” Here’s more in this Assembly Web Report. For more information visit Assemblymember Feuer's website.
WASHINGTON D.C. – Today Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) issued the following statement regarding Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s withdrawal of support for the Tranquillion Ridge project:
“Governor Schwarzenegger made the right decision for California today by finally withdrawing his support for the Tranquillon Ridge project. As he stated, the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico right now clearly and dramatically underscores the danger of off-shore drilling. This was exactly why the Assembly rejected this project when it came before us last year as a part of the Budget Package—and it’s exactly why the business as usual practice of ramming through major policy changes that have nothing to do with the budget in exchange for a few votes from the minority party is the wrong way for California to approve a budget package.” Website of Speaker John A. Pérez:www.asmdc.org/speaker
Low Participation of State’s Hard-to-Count Residents Threaten Federal Funding, Congressional Representation
LOS ANGELES – As Census workers begin knocking on doors in the effort to count the nation’s population, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) spoke today at a Congressional hearing on ways to increase the census participation of California’s large hard-to-count populations, which is critical in addressing the current undercount threatening California’s federal funding and Congressional representation.
“As we focus on jobs the budget and reform we want to make sure California gets all the federal funding to which we are entitled,” Pérez said. “The undercount from the 2000 Census has cost California $1.2 billion annually—money that could have alleviated at least some of the budget shortfalls we have faced over the past several years.”
In his testimony, Pérez suggested several ways the U.S. Census Bureau could increase census participation by hard-to-reach communities, many of which are based among California diverse immigrant populations. He called for:
Expanded use of trusted, local messengers with outreach tailored to their communities
Closer work between the Census Bureau and community-based organizations
Better census worker awareness of unique challenges posed by each community
Better understanding of community subsections that have consistently low participation rates
The 2010 national response rate is unchanged from 2000 at 72%. However, California’s response rate is down from 73% in 2000 to 71% in 2010.
In addition to determining the amount of federal funding California receives over the next decade, Census data determines where it will be distributed within the state, informing decisions on where to build roads, hospitals, schools, workforce training centers, and other projects. 2010 Regional response rates by county vary from 22% to 76% based on information collected so far, possibly leading to discrepancies in the distribution of federal funds.
SACRAMENTO - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) today announced they will meet Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, White House officials and Congressional leaders in a series of meetings in Washington D.C. next week to continue their work at increasing federal funding for California.
“California, like the rest of the country, continues to suffer the devastating consequences of the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression,” Steinberg said. “After slashing more than $30 billion from our state budget, we must look to avoid draconian cuts this year if we expect to expedite California’s economic recovery or create more jobs for Californians. It is absolutely vital that our federal partners do everything possible to help our state and our people weather this recession.”
“The purpose of this trip is to work with our partners in the California Congressional delegation and the Obama Administration to identify areas where we can jointly alleviate some of the external pressures on our budget situation,” said Pérez. “We will also be meeting with officials and the delegation to discuss the implementation of federal health insurance reform to ensure Californians can begin to take advantage of the coverage expansions and patient protections.”
As California seeks to close a $20 billion budget shortfall, Steinberg and Pérez will emphasize to California’s Congressional delegation how federal funding for state investments is critical to helping close the budget gap, mitigating further erosion in key programs and infrastructure, and assisting California to economic recovery. Among the key items they will lobby for is an extension of the enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for the state’s Medi-Cal and child welfare programs.
Following a trip in January with the Governor and legislative leaders, California received $675 million in financial relief by enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) reimbursement rates for Medicare Part D clawback payments.
Speaker Pérez Working to Expand Federal Support for California
(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) have announced they will meet Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, White House officials and Congressional leaders in a series of meetings in Washington D.C. to continue their work at increasing federal funding for California. “The purpose of this trip is to work with our partners in the California Congressional delegation and the Obama Administration to identify areas where we can jointly alleviate some of the external pressures on our budget situation,” said Pérez. “We will also be meeting with officials and the delegation to discuss the implementation of federal health insurance reform to ensure Californians can begin to take advantage of the coverage expansions and patient protections.” Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.
Below are links to the audio files:
Assembly Speaker Pérez describes the legislation in his opening remarks at today’s news conference. (1:48) mp3
Speaker Pérez says this trip to DC is a follow up to previous meetings between legislative leaders and federal officials. (:25) mp3
Speaker Pérez says the DC trip will be focused on two areas – making sure California receives its fair share of federal funding and figuring out how best to expedite the implementation of federal health care reforms. (:46) mp3
Speaker Pérez says the Arizona immigration law is a bad idea, regardless of its popularity (according to polls in Arizona). (:27) mp3
Speaker Pérez says the Arizona immigration law is unconscionable and likely unconstitutional. (:32) mp3
Speaker Pérez says the Governor's decision to move the election days to replace former Senator Maldonado and cost the state millions is irresponsible. (1:01) mp3
SACRAMENTO - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement regarding his vote in favor of confirming Senator Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria) as Lieutenant Governor:
“Two months ago, when this Chamber considered the same nomination, I voted against it because I believe our focus should be on job creation and reform, and did not believe that we should reward a backroom deal by the Governor.
“In the intervening period, this body has come together to approve a down-payment of job creation legislation to the people of California. We have approved legislation to waive the sales tax on equipment used to manufacture green products, creating an enormous incentive for job growth in one of THE growth industries of the 21st century, and we have approved a homebuyers tax credit that will help put the construction industry back to work by spurring new construction and the reduction of existing stocks.
“These were productive steps forward that Democratic and Republican Assemblymembers took together. Now we have taken another step forward by approving this nomination. I have met with Senator Maldonado over the past several weeks and have given him some frank advice, which is private. To the extent he has taken that advice, I believe he helped his case with me and other members.
“One thing that is certain is that Senator Maldonado and Governor Schwarzenegger now understand that this Assembly takes its responsibility seriously, and the Senator has demonstrated a willingness to work with us on job creation, the budget and reform. I now believe he has demonstrated respect for the role this Assembly plays when we execute the solemn and enormous honor of standing in for the voters when a vacancy precludes them from exercising their will, and have voted in favor of his nomination accordingly.”
SACRAMENTO – With Californians celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day this week, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) is quickly moving innovative bills through the Legislature to create jobs by spurring green building upgrades. The Speaker is also authoring legislation to allow companies to preserve marine life-supporting artificial reefs resting on the underwater portion of decommissioned oil rigs and to grow the state’s carpet recycling industry by keeping waste carpet out of landfills.
“Californians know moving toward a green economy can be a win-win when done right, and I’m proud to be carrying bills that are examples of such solutions,” Pérez said. “We’re moving to leverage federal HOMESTAR resources so skilled workers can find good jobs upgrading energy efficiencies so homeowners save money, we’re making sure the State Capitol does our share to protect the environment and cut energy costs through the Capitol Sustainability Task Force, and we’re advancing the rigs-to-reef program that helps spur marine life and generate desperately needed funds to protect and enhance our valuable coastal and ocean resources. And in my own district, carpet recycling has created hundreds of good-paying green jobs. But we can create even more of these green jobs if we boost our efforts to recycle and reuse waste carpets. As we focus on our key priorities of creating jobs, fixing the budget and reforming a broken system, being able to boost our environment at the same time is definitely a win-win.”
AB 2614 would direct the California Energy Commission (CEC) to work with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a program to facilitate the federal HOMESTAR program currently being considered in the U.S. Senate. The state program would involve 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:
Create 168,000 jobs in skilled construction and manufacturing, two of the hardest hit sectors during the U.S. economic downturn
Save participating homeowners an average of between $200 - $500 per year in energy costs
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
AB 2670 would create the State Capitol Sustainability Task Force, whose duties would include:
Joining the California Climate Action Registry to determine, track, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Benchmarking and monitoring building operations, such as energy and water use
Improving waste diversion practices, such as material and electronic waste recycling, composting, and reusing materials
Investing in energy efficiency and water conservation technologies
Promoting environmentally preferable purchasing, such as green and recycled content products
Incorporating renewable energy, such as photovoltaic technology into our energy supply
Integrating sustainable practices such as double-sided copying, the use of low volatile organic compound paints, integrated pest management, and electronic distribution of certain documents
Partnering with utility companies, water districts, labor organizations, environmental groups, federal and local government, and private industry to develop green demonstration projects
Seeking a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or ENERGY STAR rating
Developing public education materials on sustainability for student groups and other visitors to the State Capitol
Finalizing the Capitol Park Master Plan
AB 2503 would establish the Rigs-to-Reefs program, allowing the underwater portion of decommissioned oil rigs to remain in place to continue serving as valuable fish habitat. AB 2503 would:
Continue the removal of oil platforms from the seascape
Protect ocean biodiversity, including threatened rock fish populations and millions of other sea creatures that live on these reefs
Allow a rig to be converted to a reef only if the Department of Fish and Game finds that the conversion will result in a net environmental benefit
Create the California Endowment for Marine Preservation, which would receive 45 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
Reduces air and water pollution threats associated with the full removal of these rigs – some in waters as deep as 1,200 feet – which involves significant industrial equipment from around the world
AB 2398 would create incentives for carpet manufacturers to implement a carpet product stewardship program to increase the recycling and reuse of waster carpets. AB 2398 would:
Require carpet manufacturers to prepare a carpet stewardship plan to show how they will take responsibility for collecting waste carpet instead of sending it to landfills
Set targets of 50% collection by 2014 and 70% by 2017
Prohibit manufacturers from selling carpet in California after 2012 unless they have prepared a plan to meet the targets
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
“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."