Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez serves as the Assistant Majority Floor Leader of the California State Assembly. First elected in 2008 and now in his third and final term, Assemblymember Pérez represents the 56th Assembly District, which comprises eastern Riverside and Imperial counties.
During his first two terms in office, Manuel served as chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy and much of his policy work has focused on economic recovery. He firmly believes in local economic development, supporting small business, and protecting local government. He has strongly advocated for continued investments in education, while ensuring a safety net for our most vulnerable communities. He has worked diligently to focus statewide attention on many local issues facing the desert areas he represents.
Included among Manuel's many legislative accomplishments are:
- developing a governance model for Salton Sea restoration that ensures the participation of local stakeholders and securing $2 million in the state budget for a funding feasibility study;
- maintaining small business access to capital through the reinstatement of a loan guarantee program and other measures to ensure loans and technical assistance reach the small business community;
- facilitating renewable energy development in the desert region through streamlined permitting and local planning grants;
- securing $2.3 billion in clean tech economic recovery bonds to help local governments attract business and create jobs;
- focusing state level attention on the heavily polluted New River and securing funds to draw down nearly $4 million in federal grants to begin its clean up;
- helping to keep students in school by giving administrators narrow discretion to consider alternatives to suspension and expulsion for certain student offenses;
- ensuring cultural and linguistic competency in California's regional center system of developmental disability services so that service delivery is meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse consumer population;
- promoting greater access to the state's Safe Routes to School program for more walkable and pedestrian friendly communities;
- helping veterans stay in their homes by authorizing the Cal Vet home loan program to develop refinancing services;
- addressing the arsenic contamination of local wells in the Eastern Coachella Valley and ensuring low-income residents have the same consumer protections as other water customers;
- helping to build the ranks of physicians where they are most needed by creating a priority review process for applicants that will serve medically underserved areas or populations; and
- creating a state agency pilot program to combat illegal tax evasion in the underground economy, with the goal of recovering tax dollars that fund critical state services.
Click here for summaries of Manuel's legislation.
Manuel is a member of the following Assembly Committees: Government Organization; Insurance; Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy; and Revenue & Taxation. In prior legislative sessions, he has served on Accountability and Administrative Review; Aging and Long-term Care; Health; Veterans Affairs; and Rules committees. Click here to learn more about Manuel's committee assignments.
Manuel is a member of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, and during the 2013 legislative session he served as its Vice Chair. He currently chairs the Latino Caucus' Task Force on Immigration Reform.
Manuel lives in Coachella and is a lifelong resident of the 56th Assembly District. Born in Indio and raised in Coachella, he grew up in a close-knit family that taught him the value of hard work, determination, respect, and service to others. He attended public schools, graduated from U.C. Riverside, and earned a Master's degree in Education from Harvard University. Manuel has served as a school teacher, a youth advocate, and a community healthcare director. Before being elected to the Assembly, he served on the board of the Coachella Valley Unified School District.