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(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Ranging in topic from supporting urban agricultural efforts to helping fixed-income seniors afford their property taxes, Assemblyman Rich Gordon (Menlo Park) had six of his bills heard in policy committee this week. All six will continue through the legislative process, bringing them one step closer to becoming law.
Beginning with Monday, AB 1678 passed through the Utilities and Commerce Committee to provide equitable economic growth opportunities to certified LGBT business owners. Currently, public utilities (which includes: electrical, gas, water, wireless telecommunications service providers, and telephone corporations) with annual revenues exceeding $25 million are required to implement a program that encourages procurement contracting with business enterprises of minority, women, or disabled veteran affiliation. AB 1678 extends these supports to LGBT-owned enterprises.
SACRAMENTO – Seniors and disabled individuals in California may soon be eligible for property tax relief under legislation that would reestablish the Senior Citizens and Disabled Citizens Property-Tax Postponement (PTP) Program. Assembly Bill 2231, co-authored by Assemblymembers Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park), Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), and Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) was approved with bipartisan support in the Assembly Local Government Committee Wednesday.
AB 2231 would reinstate the PTP program, which over its 32 years in operation, helped almost 6,000 California seniors and disabled citizens. The program was eliminated in 2009 as part of budget reductions to the state’s General Fund programs.
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Private landowners and non-profit land managers who wish to restore their land and the waterways may soon encounter a more streamlined process to implement environmental restoration projects. AB 2193, authored by Assemblyman Rich Gordon, will simplify the permitting process to implement small-scale and voluntary ecosystem restoration projects. The bill passed through the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee today with bipartisan support.
Over 350 fish and wildlife species are considered threatened or endangered in California, while many others face declining populations. However, many private landowners, non-profit land managers, local governments, and businesses wanting to restore the land and waterways are unable to easily gain proper state approval to implement habitat improvement and clean-water restoration projects. Despite the urgent need for these restoration projects, many landowners and manager forego opportunities to restore the natural habitat due to the difficulties they face in the obtaining permits.
SACRAMENTO -- The Assembly gave final legislative approval Monday to a bill that aims to crack down on anonymous campaign money by giving California's ethics and tax agencies more authority to conduct investigations.
The measure allows the Fair Political Practices Commission and the Franchise Tax Board to initiate audits of campaigns suspected of illegal activities before an election occurs, even if campaign statements or finance reports have not yet been filed.
(SACRAMENTO) – A bill that would provide the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) important tools to enforce the Political Reform Act (PRA) passed the Assembly today and now heads to Governor Brown. Authored by Assemblyman Rich Gordon (Menlo Park), AB 800 clarifies the FPPC’s role in enforcing the PRA to ensure the public trust in the election process.
During the 2012 November election, $11 million was secretly funneled from unidentified out-of-state non-profits to influence California voters on pending ballot measures - including the Governor’s tax initiative, Proposition 30. Days before the election, the FPPC was able to levy $1 million fines on the organizations for violating California disclosure laws. However, the process called into question the FPPC’s authority to enforce the PRA over these non-profit entities and the commission’s ability to deliver this information to the public in a timely manner.
(SACRAMENTO, CALIF.) – Assemblyman Rich Gordon (Menlo Park) selected retiring Abilities United Executive Director Lynda Steele as the 2014 Woman of the Year for the 24th Assembly District. On Monday, March 10th, Steele will be acknowledged in the Assembly Chambers in Sacramento for her tireless service and advocacy for the disabled community.
“For over 20 years Lynda has committed herself to bettering our community by ensuring those with disabilities play a more prevalent and inclusive role in society,” said Assemblyman Gordon. “In doing so, Lynda has transformed our understanding of disabilities, allowing us to recognize individuals for their intrinsic value and not by their limitations. As she retires from Abilities United in July, Lynda leaves behind a community that is more compassionate and understanding because of her service.”
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – As a result of Chairing the Select Committee on Sea Level Rise & the California Economy for the past year and holding hearings in Half Moon Bay, Long Beach, and Sacramento, Assemblyman Rich Gordon (Menlo Park) introduced legislation that will bolster local and state efforts to combat rising seas. AB 2516 will establish the Planning for Sea Level Rise Database to be a centrally located source of information on how California is preparing for, and adapting to, sea level rise.
Over the past year, Assemblyman Gordon chaired four select committee hearings that focused on the impact of sea level rise on coastal agriculture, the fishing industry, tourism, ports, and infrastructure, as well as examined the existing authority granted to state agencies. Additionally, Assemblyman Gordon co-hosted a conference with Congresswoman Jackie Speier and San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine on the issue in December.
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Local and regional governments that wish to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions may soon have the funding available to do so under the Community Investment and Innovation Program. Assemblyman Rich Gordon (Menlo Park) introduced legislation, AB 1970, to create this new program that will provide financial support to local governments for projects that aim to reduce their local carbon footprints and spur innovation.
“Local governments have the ability to carry out innovative carbon reduction programs that will play an instrumental role in meeting our commendable AB 32 goals,” said Assemblyman Gordon, a former 13-year County Supervisor in San Mateo County.
With transgender rights increasingly at the forefront of legislative efforts by California LGBT groups, increasing lawmakers' knowledge about issues impacting transgender residents is becoming a key piece of lobbying efforts.
Transgender leaders last week held what they called a "Transgender 101" workshop for lawmakers and their staff members in Sacramento to educate them about the transgender community and its concerns. Topics covered in the nearly two-hour session included "how to be an ally" and "ways to be more welcoming and inclusive of transgender people."
A pair of bills requiring greater transparency from electioneering nonprofits are one step away from Gov. Jerry Brown.
Lawmakers have sought to fortify campaign spending rules since out-of-state nonprofit groups poured $11 million into the 2012 election cycle, a flexing of financial muscle that eventually earned the entities a $1 million California Fair Political Practices Commission fine. Both the Senate and the Assembly on Thursday approved bills that would implement new rules in time for this year's election.