Releases & Statements

Speaker John A. Pérez, Mayor Ed Lee and Assemblymember Phil Ting Back Bill to Increase Medical Interpreters so Health Care Doesn’t Get Lost in Translation

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(Sacramento) – Appearing at Northeast Medical Services in Chinatown, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) today called for enactment of the Speaker’s legislation, AB 2325, which would increase the number of medical interpreters to help ensure Californians with limited English receive the right medical treatment.

“In a state as large and diverse as California, we need to ensure that people who are seeking medical attention are able to effectively communicate their symptoms, so that doctors can correctly identify the illness or injury and take the appropriate steps to treat it,” Speaker Pérez said. “This legislation is a smart investment in health care for Californians, because the vast majority of the funds available come from the federal government, so we can improve health care outcomes and generate economic activity without significantly impacting California’s budget.”

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Speaker John A. Pérez Statement on Failure to Qualify Referendum to Repeal Transgender Student Protections

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SACRAMENTO— Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement regarding conservative groups failing to obtain the necessary signatures to qualify a referendum on the 2014 ballot regarding Assembly Bill 1266, which allows transgender students in public schools to have access to sports teams and school facilities such as restrooms with respect to their gender identity:

“The failure to gain enough signatures for a referendum on AB 1266 shows Californians are committed to defending the rights of everyone in our state to ensure that no one is left without a voice.  AB 1266 is about making sure there is a safe place for transgender students to fully participate in their schools. For too long, transgender members of our society have suffered through the indignity of exclusion, and this bill rights those wrongs by giving protections that would keep transgender students safe and give them recognition for who they truly are.”

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Speaker Pérez, Assemblymember Bonta Announce Assembly Hearings on CalSTRS Funding

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SACRAMENTO – Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Chair of the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee, on Wednesday announced they would push to implement a long-term solution to the funding shortfall in the California State Teachers’ Retirement System this year.

“The Assembly will pursue a solution to the STRS shortfall this legislative session,” said Speaker Pérez. “Further delay only means further cost and further exposure for the state’s general fund. We believe there must be shared responsibility for a funding solution between school districts, the state and teachers. Our end goal is a State Teachers Retirement system that is 100% fully funded.”

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Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez Statement on Assembly Democrats Vote to Name Majority Leader Atkins Next Speaker

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SACRAMENTO – Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement on the Assembly Democratic Caucus’s vote to elect Assemblymember Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) as the next Speaker of the Assembly:

“I am delighted that Assembly Democrats have united behind Majority Leader Toni Atkins to become the next Speaker of the Assembly.  I supported Ms. Atkins for Speaker because she is a strong leader on vital issues like increasing Californians’ access to health care, creating jobs and strengthening our state’s economy, and ensuring we honor the state’s debt to our veterans. I have also seen, perhaps better than anyone, how hard she works to keep the Assembly on track to take care of the people’s business. We will schedule a vote of the full Assembly early in the spring, and announce a transition date. I will do everything I can to ensure a seamless transition and I know Ms. Atkins will make an excellent Speaker.”

Speaker John A. Pérez Response to Governor Brown's State of the State

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(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) spoke with the media shortly after Governor Brown delivered his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the California State Legislature.

"The Governor gave a very clear discussion about where we are as a state, the amazing transformation that's happened over the last few years, moving from a place of fiscal instability and $60-billion structural debt to a place where we actually have a multi-billion dollar reserve. But the Governor reinforced the importance for thoughtful movement forward. The need for us to pay down long term debt and the need for us to build a sustainable rainy day fund that we'd put before the voter. I'm very happy to hear this…this notion that my colleagues and I in the Assembly offered up last year. The Governor's embraced it and included it in his budget proposal, included it in his discussions today and I think that argues well for the future of the state where we can move from the boom and bust to ongoing stability."

CONTACT: John Vigna (916) 319-2408

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

Speaker Pérez Likes Governor on Rainy Day Fund

(Sacramento) – Following the 2014 State of the State address from Governor Brown, Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) said he's pleased the Governor is focused on keeping the state's economy strong and fully funding a rainy day fund. "The Governor gave a very clear discussion about where we are as a state, the amazing transformation that's happened over the last few years, moving from a place of fiscal instability and $60-billion structural debt to a place where we actually have a multi-billion dollar reserve," the Speaker said. "But the Governor reinforced the importance for thoughtful movement forward. The need for us to pay down long term debt and the need for us to build a sustainable rainy day fund that we'd put before the voters"

Below are links to audio of Speaker Pérez.

Speaker Pérez says the Governor's State of the State address laid out a solid road map for California's future. (:50) mp3

Speaker Pérez explains the importance of the Governor's drought declaration. (:38) mp3

Speaker Pérez says California has made substantial progress but more needs to be done to keep the state's economy stable. (1:00) mp3

Speaker Pérez says the Assembly Democrats and the Governor have the same priorities. (:08) mp3

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez Statement on Assembly Democrats Vote to Name Majority Leader Atkins Next Speaker

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SACRAMENTO - Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement on the Assembly Democratic Caucus's vote to elect Assemblymember Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) as the next Speaker of the Assembly:

"I am delighted that Assembly Democrats have united behind Majority Leader Toni Atkins to become the next Speaker of the Assembly. I supported Ms. Atkins for Speaker because she is a strong leader on vital issues like increasing Californians' access to health care, creating jobs and strengthening our state's economy, and ensuring we honor the state's debt to our veterans. I have also seen, perhaps better than anyone, how hard she works to keep the Assembly on track to take care of the people's business. We will schedule a vote of the full Assembly early in the spring, and announce a transition date. I will do everything I can to ensure a seamless transition and I know Ms. Atkins will make an excellent Speaker."

CONTACT: John Vigna (916) 319-2408

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

Speaker John A. Pérez Statement on Governor Brown’s Budget Proposal

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SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement on Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s 2014-2015 budget proposal:

“Assembly Democrats want to maintain stability and expand opportunity. There is much in the Governor’s budget proposal that supports those goals. I’m pleased to see so many areas of agreement between the Governor and the Assembly, particularly how strongly he has embraced the rainy day fund that is the cornerstone of the Assembly’s proposal.

With a strong rainy day fund in place we can avoid mistakes of the past and ensure that education and other vital services in California are protected from the volatility of boom and bust cycles.

I am pleased that the Governor proposes to continue paying down the wall of debt. This proposal completely pays off California’s economic recovery bond debt from 2005, and repays our schools six billion dollars in funds that were deferred during the worst years of the Recession.

This proposal makes smart investments in strengthening our economic recovery, especially with respect to our shared commitment to infrastructure.

The Assembly will work with the Governor and the Senate to finalize another on-time balanced budget. Having agreement on such a major component as the rainy day fund makes that job easier.”

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

Below is a link to audio of Speaker Pérez.

Speaker Pérez statement on the Governor’s proposed 2014/15 budget. (1:09)
mp3

CONTACT: John Vigna, (916) 319-2408

Speaker John A. Pérez Announces Select Committee on Campus Climate

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SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today announced the creation of the Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate, which will investigate issues pertaining to student welfare on college campuses. Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego), who worked as a professor and department chair at San Diego State University for 40 years, will Chair the Committee.

“Over these past few years we have seen too many incidents on California college campuses perpetrated by people with malicious intent to harm or demean others,” said Speaker Pérez. “We need to act vigorously to ensure that our campuses are welcoming to all and reflective of the rich diversity of this great state. I have faith that Dr. Weber and the Select Committee on Campus Climate will work hard to examine the environment at California colleges and universities, so that we can learn how to prevent these terrible incidences from occurring again.”

The Select Committee on Campus Climate will evaluate system-wide and campus-wide policies and practices for responding to student harassment and hate crimes and determine what needs to be done to improve campus climate for California students. The date of the first subcommittee meeting is to be announced.

“It’s clear from this particularly disturbing incident – one that harkens back to uglier times in our nation’s history - that we still have a lot of work to do to ensure California’s college campuses are safe and welcoming educational environments for every student,” Dr. Weber said. “My committee colleagues and I will be holding hearings over the next year to explore the current campus climate for students throughout in CSU, UC and Community College systems and consider what policy changes are necessary to improve it.”

The members of the Select Committee on Campus Climate are:

Assemblymember Shirley D. Weber (D-San Diego), Chair
Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco)
Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica)
Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D-Gardena)
Assemblymember Nora Campos (D-San Jose)
Assemblymember Susan Eggman (D-Stockton)
Assemblymember Paul Fong (D-Cupertino)
Assemblymember Isadore Hall (D-Compton)
Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego)
Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto)
Assemblymember Jim Patterson (R-Fresno)
Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton)
Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco)
Assemblymember Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita)
Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara)

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Applauds State Supreme Court Decision to Allow Sergio Garcia to Practice Law

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Court Says Gonzalez's AB 1024 Permits California to License Garcia and Qualified DREAMers to be Attorneys

SAN DIEGO - (Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) applauded the California Supreme Court's decision today to grant Sergio C. Garcia a license to practice law after it was rescinded earlier because of his status as an undocumented immigrant.

The historic decision comes just one day after legislation, Assembly Bill 1024 authored by Assemblywoman Gonzalez, became effective. AB 1024 empowers members of California's immigrant community who pass the State Bar exam and are otherwise qualified to practice law as attorneys.
"Today's decision is another leap forward for California in honoring our commitment to Sergio and so many others who want to serve our communities by practicing law as an attorney," Gonzalez said. "This ruling gives tangible hope to the many hard-working, young members of our immigrant community, who, under no fault of their own, have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system. I am very proud that I was able to play a role in making this happen."

In issuing the opinion, the Court stated, "in light of the recently enacted state legislation, we conclude that the … motion to admit Garcia to the State Bar should be granted."

Having passed the State Bar examination and fulfilled all other requirements, Mr. Garcia was routinely sworn into the legal profession in 2011. Two weeks later, his license was rescinded by the State Bar on the basis that a 1996 federal law prohibits undocumented immigrants from receiving professional licenses with the use of public funds, unless state law explicitly overrides it.

Directly inspired by Mr. Garcia's case and the oral arguments heard before the Court last September, Assemblywoman Gonzalez authored AB 1024. The bill states that the State of California can grant DREAMers – who have graduated from law school, passed the moral character inspection, and passed the bar exam – a license to practice law. AB 1024 was passed in both houses of the Legislature with broad bipartisan support last September and signed into law by Governor Brown on Oct. 5, 2013.

"Sergio has paved the way for DREAMers and other aspiring attorneys who have worked hard, studied hard, passed the Bar exam and now just want the right to make a living for themselves in a profession they love." Gonzalez said. "I am very grateful that my colleagues in the Legislature, Gov. Brown and the Court have recognized that California can lead the way in improving the lives of immigrants, even when the federal government fails to lead on the issues that impact the families of our communities."

Attachments:

Below are links to audio of Assemblywoman Gonzalez:

Assemblywoman Gonzalez says today is a great day for all DREAMers, not just Sergio Garcia. (:28)

mp3

Assemblywoman Gonzalez says Assembly Bill 1024 was a simple, but important, piece of legislation. (:10)

mp3

Assemblywoman Gonzalez says she’s very proud, professionally and personally, to have had the opportunity to write AB 1024. (:43)

mp3

Assemblywoman Gonzalez says without comprehensive federal immigration reform, it’s up to the states to take action. (:34)

mp3

Contact: Evan McLaughlin, (916) 319-2080 / (619) 850-2790

In Case You Missed It: Los Angeles Times Writes Editorial Supportive of Assembly Democrats' Blueprint for a Responsible Budget

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SACRAMENTO - The Los Angeles Times published an editorial today supportive of the Assembly Democrats' Blueprint for a Responsible Budget, announced by Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Budget Committee Chair Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) on Wednesday.

The editorial, "Don't go wild with the budget surplus, Sacramento," while cautious with projected revenue figures, acknowledges the reserve and paying down debt that is included in the Assembly Democrats' Blueprint:

"Top Assembly Democrats have revealed what they'd like to do with billions of dollars in extra tax revenue that the state is projected to receive, and their top priorities were reassuring: expanding the reserve fund and paying down the debts that Sacramento accumulated over the last decade. Their budget blueprint also calls for a lot of new spending on education and anti-poverty programs, however.

….Released by Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Budget Chairwoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), the blueprint is built on the bullish revenue and spending projections that Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor released last month. Taylor expects the state's slowly improving economy to generate much more in income taxes (particularly capital gains levies) and property taxes over the coming decade than the Brown administration predicted. In fact, Taylor projects that the multibillion-dollar surpluses will continue even after the temporary tax increases that voters approved in 2012 elapse in three to five years.

That's just a prediction, and lawmakers know all too well how quickly the state's finances can shift from boom to bust. The blueprint starts by calling for Sacramento to build up $8 billion in reserves - roughly five times the amount in the most recent budget - within three fiscal years. Some of that money would be used to pay debts state government racked up to make ends meet, and some to address unfunded retiree obligations. The rest would go into an expanded rainy-day fund designed to buffer the state against the gyrations in revenue."

View the full column here: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-budget-blueprint-assembly-20131213,0,6179985.story#axzz2n6kXqA8q

More information on the Blueprint for a Responsible Budget can be found at www.asmdc.org and click on the Blueprint for a Responsible Budget button.

CONTACT: John Vigna (916) 319-2408