Joshua Ford, 18, has spent a good deal of his life homeless, moving from shelters to friends’ homes, then back to shelters. He said he has attended about 30 schools, primarily in Santa Barbara County. Despite his home situation, he was a top-performing student until 9th grade.
“I missed important tests,” Ford said of his first year in high school. “I wasn’t there at the end of the year. I got all F’s. I was really discouraged. Those grades weren’t a reflection of me.”
A new law that will take effect in January is aimed at helping homeless students like Ford by allowing them to get partial credit for school work they have done. Assembly Bill 1806 – authored by Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in September – also allows homeless students who enter a new high school in their junior year or later to graduate if they complete state graduation requirements. State requirements of 130 credits are typically much lower than school district requirements, which can be almost twice as much.
October 2, 2014 -- Paparazzi and others who stalk people for business or pleasure will have a harder time doing what they like to do after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a pair of bills on Tuesday introduced by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom.
AB 1356 expands the definition of stalking to include placing a person “under surveillance,” which is done through somebody standing outside another person’s home, school or workplace for what is determined to be no legitimate purpose.
SACRAMENTO, CA— Today, Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) announced that Governor Jerry Brown has signed his bill, AB 1535, to greatly expand access to the opiate overdose reversal medicine naloxone at pharmacies throughout the state.
“This is a major victory in our efforts to combat the rising rate of overdose fatalities not only in California, but across the country,” said Bloom. “The overdose crisis is one of the country’s most serious health problems and this new law will give us another tool to help combat this epidemic.”
Fatal drug overdoses have become an epidemic in the United States, killing 38,329 Americans in 2010.
A bill approved by the California Legislature aims to reduce the problem.
August 27, 2014 -- For more than 30 years, men who have had sex with men have been banned from donating blood due to a fear of HIV and AIDS infection. Democrat Richard Bloom, Santa Monica’s former mayor and current representative in the State Assembly, wants to eliminate that restriction.
The Assembly late last week approved a resolution introduced by Bloom that calls for the federal government to “repeal the current donor suitability policies … and instead direct the [Food and Drug Administration] to develop science-based policies.”
SACRAMENTO – Yesterday, legislation authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) to phase-out the use of micro-plastic beads in personal care products was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, AB 1699, will prohibit the use of environmentally hazardous microbeads in personal care products starting in 2019. Last week, the bill passed out of Senate Environmental Quality Committee on a 5-2 vote last week. It was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 5-2 vote.
“Microbeads are a significant part of the debris accumulating in the Pacific Ocean and are also found at alarming levels in our local waterways,” said Bloom. “We have no choice but to eliminate this pollution at the source. Waiting will only compound the problem and the price of cleaning up.”
(Sacramento) – Since World War II, it is estimated that over 100,000 homosexual veterans were dishonorably discharged from the United States military based on their sexual orientation. This discharge status prevents men and women who have served our country from obtaining veterans benefits they have earned and many times allows discrimination against them in the private sector as well. California State Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) authored Assembly Joint Resolution 44, which urges the Department of Defense, Congress and the President to create an efficient process by which veterans forced out of the military, because of sexual orientation, can change their discharge status. AJR 44 was overwhelming passed by the California Assembly. Watch this Assembly Access Video to view Assemblymember Bloom’s presentation of AJR 44 on the Floor of the Assembly.
SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 44 urging the federal government to create a more efficient process for upgrading the statuses of those who have been “dishonorably” or “other than honorably” discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States on the basis of their sexual orientation. The resolution calls upon the Department of Defense, the President and Congress to insure that benefits, including applicable spousal benefits, are distributed to those veterans discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
“These veterans, having endured discrimination and expulsion due to their sexual orientation, have waited too long for their benefits,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “Now is the time to recognize and honor their contributions to the safety and protection of our country.”
SACRAMENTO –Yesterday, Assemblymember Richard Bloom honored brothers Berhanu and Getahun Asfaw, two local small business owners in the City of Los Angeles, at California Small Business Day 2014. Each year, the state Legislature and small business organizations host this event to celebrate the contributions that small businesses make to California’s economy. This year’s honorees, Berhanu and Getahun Asfaw, are the proud owners of Messob, an Ethiopian restaurant in Assemblymember Bloom’s district.
“I am honored to recognize Berhanu and Getahun Asfaw for their success as small business leaders,” Assemblymember Bloom stated, “Small businesses are the heart of our communities. The Asfaw brothers exemplify this, building a strong business that reflects their love for their culture and for their neighborhood.”
SACRAMENTO – After six months of deliberations which included nearly 100 committee hearings, the state Legislature finally passed the 2014-15 State Budget late Sunday evening. The $108 billion spending plan, which passed the Legislature balanced and on-time for the third consecutive year, passed the Assembly and Senate on a nearly partisan vote of 55-24 and 25-11, respectively.
“This budget builds upon the positive gains from last year by placing a high priority on eliminating debt created over the last decade, making significant investment in K-12 education, and beginning to restore the services that protect our most vulnerable populations. We have the tools in place to provide budget stability for many years to come so in that regards, we are definitely a step closer to where we need to be,” said Assemblymember Bloom, who served not only on the Assembly Budget Committee but was a special appointee by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) to serve on the Budget Conference Committee, a bi-cameral committee that negotiated with the Governor on many elements of the proposal.