SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 107, a measure to address the remaining redevelopment agency bond proceeds that have sat idle since the 2011 dissolution of redevelopment. This legislation represents a compromise between the California Legislature and the Department of Finance. The agreement will resolve ongoing issues with the definitions of redevelopment loans and the interest rates that apply them. Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) has authored multiple pieces of legislation to address the fallout from redevelopment’s dissolution and actively participated in the negotiations that led to the successful passage of SB 107. Assemblymember Bloom made the following statement on this historic agreement:
“I applaud Governor Brown for signing this important legislation. I was serving as an elected city official when redevelopment was dissolved and many cities were left with unresolved issues. In some cases, these issues resulted in an inability to break ground on important projects or, worse, litigation. Since being elected to the Legislature in 2012, I have worked diligently with cities and stakeholders throughout the state to resolve these remaining issues,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “The compromise signed by the Governor today will have many positive impacts across the state. Releasing a substantial portion of the redevelopment bond proceeds for their intended projects, including funding for affordable housing and parks, will generate thousands of jobs and create hundreds of millions of dollars in statewide economic activity, as well as millions of dollars in state and local tax revenues."
SACRAMENTO – Today, the California Legislature and the Department of Finance reached an agreement on the remaining redevelopment agency bond proceeds that have sat idle since the dissolution of redevelopment. Furthermore, the agreement will resolve ongoing issues with the definitions of redevelopment loans and the interest rates that apply them. In 2011, facing a severe budget shortfall, the Governor and Legislature dissolved redevelopment agencies and redirected an annual amount of $1.7 billion away from various community development and affordable housing projects. Unfortunately, many redevelopment agencies had already legally issued bonds for local projects and were forced to make debt payments even though they cannot reap the economic benefits of projects stalled by the dissolution. Statewide, approximately $715 million in 2011 redevelopment bond proceeds have sat untouched. Prior to today’s compromise, cities were expected to make debt payments for a decade, costing them nearly $1 billion while not completing a single redevelopment project with these bond proceeds.
Legislation would give California the strongest protections in the country
SACRAMENTO – Legislation to ban micro-plastic particle abrasives, commonly referred to as “microbeads,” from being used in products such as facial scrubs, soaps, and toothpaste was approved by the state Assembly and is now on its way to the Governor’s desk. The legislation, AB 888, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), would set up the strongest protections in the country against the use of these unnecessary and toxic micro-plastic beads.
SACRAMENTO –Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) has announced that Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins has reappointed him to the Budget Conference Committee. This will be Assemblymember Bloom’s second year serving on the committee. He will be joined by Assemblymembers Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) and Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore).
“Providing a balanced and responsible Budget is one of the most important functions of the Legislature,” stated Assemblymember Bloom. “In recent years, the Legislature has worked diligently with the Governor to produce budgets that reduced debt and encouraged responsible spending. I look forward to working with my Assembly and Senate colleagues to craft a budget that will promote economic stability and plan for a sustainable future for California.”
SACRAMENTO – Legislation that would impose a fee on distributors of sugary drinks and create a dedicated revenue source to address the alarming health impacts of childhood obesity, diabetes and heart disease failed the Assembly Health Committee today by four votes. The Legislation, AB 1357, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) and jointly sponsored by the American Heart Association, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, and California Dental Association and supported by numerous health advocates around the state, would generate an estimated $3 billion a year to prevent and treat obesity, diabetes, heart and dental disease. Currently, California does not allocate any state funds towards the prevention and treatment of diabetes.
“I am disappointed that the committee failed to act today on one of the biggest health crises facing our nation,” said Bloom. “Diabetes is now the seventh largest cause of death in the nation. If current trends aren’t reversed, one-in-three children born after 2000—and specifically one-in-two African-American or Hispanic children—are expected to develop type 2 diabetes. The overwhelming view of health experts is that the single most significant cause of obesity and diabetes is overconsumption of sugar.”
SACRAMENTO – Legislation by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) that seeks to clarify existing law and eliminate a falsely perceived barrier to allowing the recycling of biosynthetic motor oils, a biodegradable and nontoxic alternative to traditional motor oil passed its first legislative hurdle yesterday evening. The bill, AB 628, passed the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee on a 6-1 vote.
“The market for recycled biosynthetic oil, a much cleaner alternative to tradition motor oil, has been severely restricted by a misinterpretation of the law,” said Bloom. “By making this seemingly simple clarification to existing law, we will take a major step in reducing our reliance on foreign oil and accelerating our transition away from dirtier fossil fuels.”
California will attempt to have strongest protections in the country
SACRAMENTO – A proposed ban of mirco-plastic particle abrasives, commonly referred to as “microbeads,” from being used in products such as facial scrubs, soaps, and toothpaste passed the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee late yesterday on a 6-0 vote. The legislation, AB 888, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), would set up the strongest protections in the country against the use of these unnecessary and toxic additives.
“Toxic microbeads are accumulating in our rivers, lakes and oceans at alarmingly high levels. We can and must act now,” said Bloom. “Continuing to use these harmful and unnecessary plastics when natural alternatives are widely available is simply irresponsible and will only result in significant cleanups costs to taxpayers who will have to foot the bill to restore our already limited water resources and ocean health.”
SACRAMENTO – Late yesterday, the Assembly Transportation Committee passed AB 1222, by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) that would close a loophole in existing law and prevent unsolicited tow truck operators from towing disabled vehicles away from accident scenes and holding them hostage until the owner pays an exorbitant release fee that can often reach thousands of dollars.
“Unscrupulous tow scams are on the rise and plaguing consumers all around the state but the problem is particularly acute in Los Angeles County where approximately forty-two percent of the incidents occur,” said Bloom. “This bill will protect both consumers and legitimate tow truck drivers by prohibiting these bandit operators from preying on accident victims and poaching the work from our honest local towing businesses.”
SACRAMENTO - Yesterday, the Legislature passed Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 32, by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) which officially recognized the month of April as California Craft Beverage Month. The special recognition acknowledges the important economic and job creation role that the approximately 1,000 small businesses have in local economies around the state.
“Family-owned wineries, craft breweries and distilleries are tremendous, locally and organically created assets that significantly increase local tourism and greatly assist in local economic development and job creation,” said Bloom. “The craft beverage industry is also leader in in the business community in the stewardship of natural resources and the environment. The industry uniformly has made a major commitment at implementing sustainable practices such as utilizing some of the largest solar arrays in the private sector and the use of fuel cells and other innovative conservation techniques and processes.”
SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Richard Bloom honored Beverly Hills resident and Holocaust survivor, Ernie Weiss, at the State Capitol as part of the California State Assembly’s 12th Annual Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony.
“Part of today’s ceremony was about remembering the dark days of the Holocaust and the depravity and evil of that time. But remembering the darkness of that time is not the only reason we are here,” said Bloom. “Survivors went on with their lives, raised families, started businesses, and created a state for the Jewish people. So while we remember the tragedy, we are also reminded of the resilience, the triumph, and the human spirit.”