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LOS ANGELES – At his community inaugural ceremony today, Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) described the continued economic challenges facing California and announced that as part of the shared sacrifice required to get the state past the recession, he is cutting the Assembly’s budget 15%.

“We have been forced to ask fellow Californians to sacrifice much in the past few years, and the Legislature must share in that sacrifice,” Pérez said. “I believe we must continue to embrace that spirit of shared sacrifice, and to that end, I am directing the Assembly operating budget be cut by 15%. Every dollar we save is a dollar we can use to mitigate further cuts to the state budget. Unfortunately, savings and efficiencies alone will not close this deficit—it is simply too large, and the situation demands a thoughtful, balanced solution.”

Speaker Pérez said his top priority is to get Californians working again and that he would implement innovative ideas around job creation and strategies that promote high-paying, high-skilled jobs that restore the essential middle class.

He also pointed to the importance of bipartisan cooperation to solve the state’s problems and added that he hoped that same kind of cooperation can help pass the sweeping bipartisan reform package just introduced in the Legislature. The reform package will stabilize state finances, increase accountability, enhance public oversight of government operations and make government more effective for the people of California.

Pérez, who was officially sworn-in as Speaker of the Assembly in the State Capitol on March 1, noted that since that time several California communities are pursuing the same type of ban he placed preventing special-interests texting Assemblymembers during votes and committee hearings. “Whether it’s a vote for the budget or any other issue when we cast a vote on the floor or in committee, the people of California will have the last word because of the prohibition I have ordered on text messages from lobbyists while we conduct the people’s business,” Pérez said. “It’s a simple common sense step and it’s already being emulated in communities across the state.”

Participating in the ceremony at the Japanese American Museum were Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, Mayor Ana Rosa Rizo of Maywood, Assemblymember Isadore Hall III (D-Compton), Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo, Little Tokyo Center Director Bill Watanabe and Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair Eric C. Bauman. The oath of office was administered by the Honorable M.L. Villar, judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Other special guests attending included Congresswoman Judy Chu, Speaker-Emeritus Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and former Governor Gray Davis. Performances by Los Angeles High School #9 for the Visual and Performing Arts Women’s Chorus and The Franklin High School Marching Band rounded out the program.

Website of Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez: www.asmdc.org/speaker

CONTACT: Speaker's Press Office (916) 319-2408