Releases & Statements

Speaker Pérez Says Higher Minimum Wage Makes Financial Sense for California

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(Sacramento) – California is seeing a promising economic recovery during the last two years. However, some Californians who have jobs cannot support their families because they only earn minimum wage, which is currently $8.00 an hour. California State Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) knows that a higher minimum wage will stimulate California’s growing economy and help struggling families. That’s why Speaker Pérez is in full support of Assembly Bill 10, authored by Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas). AB 10 would raise California’s minimum wage to $9.00 an hour in July 2014, then to $10.00 an hour in January 2016. Speaker Pérez says now is the perfect time to raise our state’s minimum wage so more California families can reap the benefits of our state’s economic recovery.

“In the last year California has grown approximately one million jobs,” Speaker Pérez stated in a speech just prior to a successful Assembly Floor vote on AB 10. He continued, “Our revenue is coming in faster than all but one other state. We are growing jobs faster than any other state. And our recovery is happening faster than 44 other states.”

Speaker Pérez also noted that the other states that are currently doing better than California, have higher minimum wages. After successfully passing in both the Assembly and the Senate, AB 10 now heads to Governor Jerry Brown, who has stated his support for the bill. Learn more about AB 10 in this Assembly Access Video.  http://www.asmdc.org/speaker

Legislature Passes Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act by Speaker Pérez, Sends Bill to Governor Brown

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SACRAMENTO – To ensure California veterans have access to the housing they need, the California Assembly today unanimously passed the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014 by Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), sending the bill to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. for his signature. Assembly Bill 639 will put California at the forefront of our nation’s efforts to end veteran homelessness by 2015 by expanding housing options for veterans, cost-effectively leveraging public dollars and reducing the number of homeless veterans.

"As citizens of this state and country, it is our basic obligation to stand up for the men and women who have devoted their lives to protecting our nation," Speaker Pérez said. "This legislation gives Californians the chance to make sure that the people who have served in our military—who have sacrificed for their country—will not have to worry about where they and their families will sleep. I am eager to see California give our veterans the support they are entitled to."

The Act provides California’s voters with the opportunity to repurpose $600 million in existing veterans’ bond funds to respond more effectively to the housing needs of today’s veteran population and their families. More than $1 billion of voter-approved funds has been put aside for single family homes and farms, while the need for multifamily, transitional and supportive housing has greatly increased. AB 639 expands on proven and cost-effective supportive housing and service models that will reduce veterans’ homelessness, leverage public and private dollars, and decrease other public costs (e.g. health care and incarceration expenditures).

"The Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act is a smart and compassionate way to help California’s veterans and their families find the housing they need and to help California lead the nation’s efforts to end veterans’ homelessness by 2015," said Stephen Peck, USMC Vietnam veteran and President of USVets, Inc. and the California Association of Veteran Service Agencies.

California has the largest veteran population in the US, with almost two million veterans calling California home—a number which is expected to rise by over 200,000 when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wind down. California also has the most homeless veterans than any other state, with 25 percent of homeless veterans in the nation residing in the state.

CONTACT: John Vigna (916) 319-2408

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Legislature Passes Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act by Speaker Pérez

(Sacramento) - To ensure California veterans have access to the housing they need, the California State Legislature has passed the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014 by Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), sending the bill to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. for his signature. Assembly Bill 639 will put California at the forefront of our nation's efforts to end veteran homelessness by 2015 by expanding housing options for veterans, cost-effectively leveraging public dollars and reducing the number of homeless veterans. "As citizens of this state and country, it is our basic obligation to stand up for the men and women who have devoted their lives to protecting our nation," Speaker Pérez said.

Speaker John A. Pérez: Prison Agreement Will Avoid Early Release of Prisoners

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(Sacramento) – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) made the following comments at a news conference today to announce an agreement between the Governor and the Legislature on prison legislation:

“It’s wonderful we’re all here together on a bicameral and bipartisan basis to move forward with this legislation.

The legislation is modeled first and foremost on the governor’s proposal to avoid any release of prisoners and fully comply with the court order. We then modified the legislation to create opportunities for us to address any changes in the court order. 

There are two elements to modification--one could be extension and the other should be a reduction in the number of bodies they are asking us to find solutions for. 

The court has many ways to look at this. In any modification they give, it would free up resources to allow us to focus on recidivism reduction. The notion here is we absolutely are in compliance with the court mandate and will do it as cost effectively as possible.

If they don’t reconsider, we have a plan that we have all agreed, to which immediately moves forward on a housing-only approach that is completely consistent with the court order. So the impetus for the court to act is to see whether or not the housing only approach is their most desirable outcome or whether they are open to looking at other thoughtful approaches.”

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

Below are links to audio of Speaker Pérez at today’s news conference.

Speaker’s opening remarks (1:37)
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Speaker says there are two possible modifications to the court orders. (:29)
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Speaker says the state has already dealt with 80% of the prison overcrowding issue. (:22)
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Speaker says if court does not reconsider its order the state is ready with a housing only option. (:24)
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Entire News conference: (Approximately 13 mins)
mp3

CONTACT: Steve Maviglio, (916) 319-2408

Speaker John A. Pérez Statement on Prison Deal Without Early Release

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SACRAMENTO – Speaker John A. Pérez released the following statement regarding the agreement reached today on state prisons that will not call for the early release of prisoners:

“The agreement contains the Governor’s original plan – which sends a clear message to the courts that there will be no early release, and sets forth a process for the Administration to implement any updated court order that results in lowering immediate capacity spending. Under this agreement, most of the savings would be redirected to a fund for programs to reduce prison population and recidivism.”

Speaker Pérez’s comments on the agreement. mp3

CONTACT: Steven Maviglio (916) 319-2408

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

Speaker John A. Pérez Statement on Senate Democrats Prison Proposal

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SACRAMENTO – Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement in reaction to the prison reform plan proposed by the Senate Democrats:

“The Governor’s plan is the right plan given our circumstances. It keeps inmates behind bars and develops long-term cost-effective solutions that protect public safety. The Governor’s plan achieves what the Senate says they want—without kicking the can down the road to achieve it. Some of the elements of Senator Steinberg’s proposal are already included in our bipartisan plan, but I am deeply skeptical about Senator Steinberg’s approach that gives prisoner plaintiffs who favor mass release of prisoners the power to set our prison population and effectively takes the people’s elected representatives out of the equation. Safe communities shouldn’t be the hope for Californians—they should be the reality, and our bipartisan plan, supported by law enforcement, keeps communities safe.”

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

Speaker Pérez: Continuing the March Towards Freedom and Justice

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(Sacramento) – California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) joined the Governor and others this afternoon on the steps of the State Capitol to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's "I Have a Dream" speech and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Under a bright, hot sun reminiscent of August 28, 1963 in Washington DC, Speaker Pérez said, "This is a wonderful opportunity for each of us to reaffirm our commitment, not to that moment but to that movement."

Related Audio

Remarks from Speaker Pérez at today's March on Washington anniversary event at the State Capitol. (4:20)

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Contact: Steve Maviglio (916) 319-2408

Speaker Pérez: "We are not willing to release an additional single prisoner."

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(Sacramento) – This afternoon California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) joined Governor Jerry Brown, top GOP lawmakers and a host of law enforcement and corrections officials to announce a bipartisan plan to deal with recent court rulings that require the state to reduce its prison population. Speaker Pérez made it clear he disagrees with the court ruling and says the short term plan of finding additional inmate beds inside the state and out of state is the only way to protect the public from a mass release of inmates.

Related Video

California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) joined the Governor, top GOP lawmakers and a host of law enforcement and corrections officials to announce a bipartisan plan to deal with recent court rulings that require the state to reduce its prison population. Speaker Pérez made it clear he disagrees with the court ruling and says the short term plan of finding additional inmate beds inside the state and out of state is the only way to protect the public from a mass release of inmates.

Related Photos

Below are links to audio of Speaker Pérez at today's news conference.

Opening remarks from Speaker Pérez at today's prison news conference with the Governor. (2:20)

Speaker Pérez says the courts left California with only one choice, finding additional space for the inmates. (:35)

Speaker Pérez says there are three aspects to today's announcement of a plan to deal with prison overcrowding. (1:49)

Contact: Steve Maviglio (916) 319-2408

In Case You Missed It: Speaker John A. Pérez Writes About the Need to Inform Californians of the Affordable Care Act, Regardless of Party Affiliation

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SACRAMENTO – In an op-ed appearing in the Redding Record Searchlight on Sunday titled Health Law's Failure Not an Option, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez wrote about the need to educate citizens on the Affordable Care Act, regardless of a Californian’s party affiliation. Speaker Pérez criticizes state Republicans for not making an effort to inform their constituents of the implementation of the ACA and the state’s health benefit exchange, known as Covered California, which will begin enrollment in October:

“Not only are Republican elected officials not reaching out to educate their constituents about new coverage options under the ACA, they are continually throwing tacks in the road to try and lower people's interest in even finding out how they could potentially benefit from the coverage offered by the exchange….

I understand politicians on the right have a beef with the president. But no one should allow their political considerations to get in the way of helping someone you represent sign up for health coverage they need.

Despite their disagreements with President Bush and the complexity and challenges of his Medicare Part D plan, Democrats did the right thing and informed their constituents about what was available to them when it became law of the land. We need that same kind of across-the-board education and outreach with the ACA.

California State Auditor Elaine Howle recently issued a report concluding: ‘The State's success in implementing the Affordable Care Act will largely depend on the effectiveness of the enrollment processes that Covered California puts in place.’ In essence, it's time to get the word out to all Californians about how to participate in Covered California. You can start by visiting - and encouraging others to visit - www.coveredca.com.

Not only will this program insure more Californians, but the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office has concluded that implementation of the ACA will create significant savings for our state in both the short and long term.

At the end of the day, expanding access to health care will save the lives of some of our most vulnerable Californians, and improve the quality of life for millions more who are currently uninsured.”

Speaker Perez wrote legislation establishing the California health benefit exchange, now known as Covered California, which will ensure California’s full participation with the federal government to expand health coverage to every Californian. He also authored Assembly Bill 1X-1, a key element in implementing the ACA and will expand Medi-Cal coverage to over 1 million low-income and uninsured Californians. The Governor signed the bill in June.

View the full column here: http://www.redding.com/news/2013/aug/25/by-john-a-p233rez-health-laws-failure-not-an/

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

After the hard choices that helped put California’s fiscal house in order, it's vital we act prudently going forward

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After several tough years of weathering the Great Recession, California is clearly on the comeback trail. Unemployment is down and our credit rating is up. California has moved up to once again be ranked the eighth largest economy in the world.

Our economy is growing faster than those of 44 other states, and our revenues have rebounded better than those in all but one state. The budget deficit is gone. Surpluses are in sight. And our budgets are being passed on time — three years in a row for the first time in 30 years.

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Speaker John A. Pérez Statement on Governor Brown’s Assessment of California Prisons

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SACRAMENTO – Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement today on Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s latest comment on the federal court’s ruling regarding California prisons and its consequent cost on the state:

“Governor Brown is correct: the judges’ decisions have left us with two very bad options. I doubt the judges would appreciate the release of ten thousand inmates into their neighborhoods, yet their order will force millions of Californians to live with that reality unless we spend hundreds of millions of dollars that still wouldn’t have a measurable impact on the conditions of our prisons. This is a complex issue that should be resolved by thoughtful deliberation between the Governor and Legislature, not by judicial fiat. That said, we will work with the Governor to resolve this issue.”

 

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

CONTACT: John Vigna, (916) 319-2408