Releases & Statements

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SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) held her final news availability with reporters today and reflected on accomplishments of the Assembly made during her time as the first African American woman to serve as California’s Assembly Speaker.

“I served as Speaker in the state’s worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression, and in spite of that, we were able to get some things done that I’m very proud of,” Bass said. “If we think about a year ago, California felt like we were on a truck going down a cliff and we didn’t know when—and if—we were going to hit the bottom. It was definitely the two most difficult years that I’ve ever experienced politically— certainly not personally but politically— but I was glad that I was there and I have no regrets. I’ve always looked at service as a calling, and I am proud to have serve when called.”

Issues Speaker Bass noted she was pleased she and her colleagues addressed included:

  • AB 1422, a bill Bass wrote to bring stakeholders funding together to ensure 700,000 children didn’t lose coverage under the state’s Healthy Families program
  • AB 23 to make sure Californians laid off by small businesses fully benefit from federally subsidized COBRA health coverage
  • The University of California’s participation in the reopening of Martin Luther King Hospital for medically underserved South Los Angeles communities
  • Saving California’s safety net from being eliminated by budget cuts
  • Responsible legislation to help California students benefit from reform and federal funding under President Obama’s Race to the Top education initiative
  • The historic water agreement to increase water supply reliability and quality while improving the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the source of drinking water for two-thirds of the state
  • Supporting California’s infrastructure and construction workers with AB 3X 20, a bill Bass authored to help ensure all California local governments in California meet federal deadlines so the state doesn’t lose $2.6 billion in federal road and highway stimulus funding
  • Making the state eligible for up to $3 billion in federal unemployment insurance funds and increasing federal relief for more than 469,000 unemployed Californians by extending unemployment benefits
  • Passing AB 262, a bill Bass co-authored to ensure that $113 million in federal economic stimulus energy funding can help build California green industries as quickly as possible
  • Passing several pieces of legislation to help foster youth, including AB 12, jointly authored by Bass, which extends the state’s support for foster youth to 21 and which recently passed the Assembly on a bipartisan 72-0 vote
  • Curtailing the potentially harmful situations created by out of control paparazzi with AB 524, a bill Bass authored that extends invasion of privacy laws to persons that purchase, publish, and print images or recordings of individuals, if they knew that the images or recordings were obtained illegally
  • Working with the Legislative Black Caucus to commission the State of Black America Report, which provides qualitative and quantitative data collection measuring the status of the state’s black population relative to whites and other ethnic and racial groups, and has provided impetus for several bills focusing on closing gaps in employment, education and other areas
  • Bass also pledged to continue finalizing and enacting reform efforts both in her remaining time as Speaker and as Speaker-emeritus.

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408