Releases & Statements

Speaker John A. Pérez: State, Private Lenders Would Help Refinance Student Loans Under AB 2377

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SACRAMENTO—Some California college graduates could get help refinancing their student loan debt under a bill by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez that also would permit the state to provide limited debt restructuring, consolidation and interest rate buy-downs.

Today the Assembly Higher Education Committee has passed Assembly Bill 2377.

“In the past ten years, the price of attending California’s universities has more than doubled,” said Speaker Pérez (D-Los Angeles). “We created the Middle Class Scholarship to reduce costs for current and future students and now we need to help those who have already incurred student loan debt. The California Student Loan Refinancing program will assist California graduates in easing their student loan debt, paving the way for them to reinvest in the state’s economy.”

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Speaker Pérez Presents Rainy Day Fund Proposal

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SACRAMENTO—Speaker John A. Pérez and Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. on Monday laid out for the Assembly Budget Committee a proposed constitutional amendment for a Rainy Day Fund designed to protect California’s budget from future downturns.

“By putting forward this rainy day fund for consideration by the voters, we can take advantage of this unique opportunity and ensure that our hard-won fiscal stability continues,” said Speaker Pérez (D-Los Angeles) during his testimony. “We cannot afford to fall back into the bad habits of the past where we commit to ongoing spending and tax cuts in good years, and then are forced to pass major cuts and tax increases on the middle class in bad years.”

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Speaker John A. Pérez Welcomes Call for Special Session

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SACRAMENTO—Welcoming the governor’s call for a special session today, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez said it was an important step toward ending California’s budgetary rollercoaster ride, and issued the following statement:

“This is a welcome and helpful development,” said Speaker Pérez (D-Los Angeles). “Assembly Democrats first proposed a permanent rainy day fund last May, and we look forward to working with our Republican and Senate colleagues to build a reliable system that handles short-term revenue spikes differently than ongoing, stable revenue streams. We need to establish a solid system for saving money in good years, so that we can better weather the bad years. We need a mechanism that not only strengthens our constitutional reserve, but also gets us off the rollercoaster ride of revenue spikes and dips that has caused so much trouble in recent years.”

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Speaker John A. Pérez Creates Select Committee on Women in the Workplace, Names Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez as Chair

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SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez today announced the creation of the Assembly Select Committee on Women in the Workplace and named Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez as its chair.

“I have formed the Select Committee on Women in the Workplace with the expectation that it will address the whole range of issues from wages to working conditions and everything in between,” said Speaker Pérez (D-Los Angeles). “I have asked Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez to lead this important effort. She is a talented and thoughtful advocate for California’s women, and I am confident she will put forward innovative and insightful suggestions on ways we can close the gap and ensure every woman in California earns a fair wage for the work she does.”

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Lowenthal Bill to Allow Marriages at City Hall Advances

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AB 1525 would allow city clerks to perform marriage ceremonies.

SACRAMENTO – Today, the Assembly Judiciary Committee passed AB 1525 by Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, with a unanimous vote.  Sponsored by the City of Long Beach, the measure adds city clerks to the list of officials allowed to solemnize marriage ceremonies that already includes county clerks, judges, justices, mayors, county supervisors, legislators, and members of Congress.  Long Beach City Clerk, Larry Herrera, testified in support of the bill.

“We’re one step closer to giving couples another option for their marriage ceremony,” said Lowenthal.  “I’m thrilled with the bipartisan support for the bill, and proud that Long Beach is once again leading the way for communities across the state.”

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Speaker John A. Pérez Announces Committee Changes

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SACRAMENTO—Today Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) announced the following changes to committee membership for the 2013-2014 Regular Session:

Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials

Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) will replace Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Santa Cruz) on the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee.

Labor and Employment

Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) will replace Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez on the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee.

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San Diego Assemblymember Toni Atkins Elected Speaker of the California Assembly

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(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) has been elected by her colleagues in the California State Assembly to become the 69th Speaker later this Spring, succeeding current Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles).

“I am grateful to my Assembly colleagues for selecting me for this honor and responsibility,” says Atkins.  “After several years of deficits and financial challenges created by the Great Recession, California has finally begun down a path of stabilization and growing prosperity.  I look forward to working with Assemblymembers on both sides of the aisle and the Governor as we take advantage of this opportunity to continue laying a sound financial foundation for our state.”

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Speaker Talks Drought with Central Valley Leaders

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FRESNO - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez met with Central Valley leaders Friday to discuss immediate drought-relief measures as well as the need for a comprehensive solution to California’s complex water needs.

"California’s water crisis is among the worst in over century, and no place in our state is feeling the effects of the drought as severely as the Central Valley,” said Speaker Pérez (D-Los Angeles).

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Speaker John A. Pérez Targets Cybersecurity

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SACRAMENTO—Amid a growing realization that California’s electronic infrastructure is vulnerable to cyberattacks, legislation by Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) would establish the California Cybersecurity Commission, a panel of appointed experts that would coordinate government and private sector efforts to protect critical infrastructure.

“Our ever growing dependence on technology has created a demand for increased cybersecurity” said Speaker Pérez. “Until now, we have seen only a fragmented approach to this issue that has left our system vulnerable to both foreign and domestic cybersecurity attacks. We need stronger statewide cybersecurity assessment and response capabilities to address this continuous threat. That is why it is imperative that we form a state-led commission that allows California to take a leading role on cybersecurity issues, and to take a critical step in helping ensure public safety on this front.”

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Assemblymember Rendon Announces Amendments to Expand Water Storage

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Increased Funding Will Create Jobs and Protect State from Future Droughts

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), Chair of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, announced today that he is proposing amendments to Assembly Bill (AB) 1331the Clean and Safe Drinking Water Act of 2014—to increase funding for above and below ground water storage from $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion. The Assemblymember was joined by Central California lawmakers and industry trade groups who support the proposal.

“After holding hearings across the state, it’s clear that Californians want more storage in order to meet the growing water needs of our state,” said Assemblymember Rendon.  “This increase in water storage funding will help protect California from future droughts and provide tens of thousands of new jobs at the same time.”

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