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Sacramento – The state Senate today approved two bills by Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), one that would improve the certification process for higher education institutions seeking to participate in the Cal Grant program and another to make it easier for the public to search through information on private arbitration company cases. Both bills now head back to the Assembly for final approval.
“AB 1590 is cleanup legislation that follows the accountability measures the Legislature approved in the 2011 and 2012 budget acts to make sure Cal Grant money is being invested in colleges and universities that meet our standards,” Wieckowski said. “The state should not reward failing academic institutions that are adding to our student debt crisis without delivering a solid education to our students.”
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The $7.5 billion water package brokered by Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders signals a rare bipartisan agreement on a thorny, politically divisive issue that has bedeviled California governors and lawmakers for decades.
To get sign-off from the dizzying array of interests, Brown hunkered down with lawmakers from both parties behind closed doors for the past few weeks, finally giving Republicans more of the funding for reservoirs and water storage they have long sought.
Los Angeles – Members of three California State Assembly Committees held an informational hearing today to examine the legal and policy implications of expanded drone use in California. The hearing was titled, “Drones in our Future: Opportunity and Privacy Considerations,” and was held at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) faculty center.
Presiding over the hearing was Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Privacy, Assemblymember Ian C. Calderon (D-Whittier), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media, and Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Judiciary.
Milpitas – Milpitas student volunteers who have dedicated hours of their summer to tutor fellow students as part of the MATHeasy program were honored Friday afternoon with certificates from Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont). The MATHeasy event to recognize the volunteers’ efforts was held in the Milpitas Library. Wieckowski aide Andrae Macapinlac represented the Assemblymember at the event. Wieckowski was unable to attend because he was participating at a legislative hearing on drones at UCLA.
“Under the leadership of Ivy Pham, these students have done a tremendous job of volunteering their time to tutor students at local schools and libraries,” Wieckowski said. “Their dedication and commitment to this program and their fellow students is truly admirable. Ivy has done a wonderful job of creating this program and nurturing it during her time at Milpitas High.”
Sacramento – The California State Assembly today approved a resolution authored by Assembly member Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) opposing the United States Supreme Court’s elimination of the overall limit a person can contribute to federal candidates, parties and political action committees. The court’s April ruling in the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission case has been roundly criticized as weakening campaign finance law to allow wealthy donors to give more money to candidates supporting their special interests. The state Assembly passed House Resolution 37 on a 54 to 22 vote.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has taken a sledge hammer to our campaign finance laws, allowing more money from the wealthiest Americans to come flowing into campaigns,” Wieckowski said. “The court has consistently ignored its own precedent in campaign finance cases and McCutcheon is another example of the Supreme Court ruling in a way that benefits only the wealthy few and harms the public good. This resolution denounces that decision. By speaking out and raising awareness of these harmful rulings, we can put pressure on Congress to act and restore public confidence in our electoral system.”
AB 1668 authorizes state Educational Facilities Authority to offer better financing for campus construction projects
Sacramento – Governor Brown signed a bill today authored by Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) to authorize the California Educational Facilities Authority (CEFA) to offer direct or private placement loans to private, non-profit colleges and universities in California for campus expansion and construction projects. The bill, AB 1668, will enable the higher education institutions to get better financing to meet their growth and modernization needs. It contains an urgency clause and takes effect immediately.
“Rather than turning away non-profit colleges and universities because it didn’t have the authority to provide these loans, CEFA can now work with them and maintain long-time relationships that have been built over years,” Wieckowski said. “This allows CEFA to adapt to market changes. It also will help lower costs, generate construction jobs and result in new or improved facilities for students at the institutions that prefer to go through CEFA for this financing.”
Sacramento – Fremont resident Wayne Springsteen was selected by Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) as the Veteran of the Year in the 25th Assembly District and honored during festivities at the state Capitol and Sacramento Convention Center yesterday.
“It’s a privilege to recognize Mr. Springsteen for his service to our country during World War II,” Wieckowski said. “The commitment and sacrifice made by Wayne and others of the Greatest Generation helped preserve and protect the freedom that we all enjoy today. Their service in our country’s time of need is something we must never forget. We owe all of these veterans our gratitude.”
Wieckowski, Dickinson legislation aims to expand notification to consumers
Sacramento – Responding to the need to strengthen consumer protection and notification after a number of major data breaches at retail stores, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill jointly co-authored by Assemblymembers Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento) last night that would improve the state’s data breach laws. AB 1710 passed 5-2 and now heads to the Senate floor.
“This is an important, reasonable bill that updates our laws to enhance notification requirements to consumers after large breaches so they are notified and not just the banks or debit and credit card issuers,” Wieckowski said. Under existing law, only the party that owns or licenses the personal data is required to notify consumers if their unencrypted information is breached. Those who maintain personal information are not required. That means that consumers receive a letter from a financial institution regarding a breach of personal information, but may not be aware of where the breach occurred or believe it might have occurred at the financial institution.
AB 2171 seeks to improve protection of seniors living in residential care facilities for the elderly
Sacramento – In the wake of several incidents of mistreatment at residential care facilities for the elderly, the California Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill late last night by Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) to establish a Senior Residents Bill of Rights. The bill passed 5 to 2 and now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“Our seniors deserve the right to live their remaining years with dignity, safety and respect,” Wieckowski said. “This bill will help fight abuse and mistreatment and give residents the ability to take action to enforce their rights and stop violations.”
Effort to create a standardized method to calculate level of care and increase transparency moves forward
Sacramento - California taxpayers would be able to get a more accurate measurement of the amount of community benefits provided by tax-exempt private, non-profit hospitals under a bill jointly authored by Assemblymembers Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and Rob Bonta (D-Alameda). The bill, AB 503, passed the Senate Health Committee today 6-2 and now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“These hospitals receive favorable tax treatment and the public expects them to deliver community benefits, including charity care,” Wieckowski said. “However, as several reports by the California State Auditor, the Greenlining Institute and others have noted, there is no standard methodology in place to calculate the amount of benefits provided. If the state wants to increase accountability by establishing a standard methodology, the state auditor recommended that the Legislature define the method or direct the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to develop the regulations. AB 503 does exactly that.”