Releases & Statements

Anthony Rendon Elected State Assembly Speaker

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Rendon to Assume Office on March 7

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) today was elected the 70th Speaker of the California State Assembly.

“I thank my colleagues for the confidence they have placed in me and for this immense privilege to serve,” Rendon said. “We as policymakers have a great deal of work ahead of us to meet the challenges Californians demand we address.”

Rendon will assume the office of Speaker on March 7.

“With the annual budget process underway, my immediate priority is working with my colleagues to negotiate a budget that represents the values of the people of California,” Rendon said. “Moving forward, the Assembly has a tremendous opportunity to address not only short-term goals but also the lingering long-term issues facing our state.”

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Speaker Toni G. Atkins’ Statement on Speakership Election

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SACRAMENTO— Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) released the following statement regarding the election of Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) as the next Speaker of the state Assembly:

“From working together on the water bond and other vital issues, to helping represent California at the recent COP 21 Climate Change conference in Paris, I have seen up close, and time and again, what a thoughtful and effective leader Anthony Rendon is. I’m delighted the Assembly has made the excellent decision today to ratify Assembly Democrats’ choice of Mr. Rendon to serve as the next Speaker. Over the next two months we will continue the smooth transition process that we began last September. I know Speaker Rendon will move assertively right out of the gate, and will lead the Assembly through a successful and meaningful 2016 session.”

Website of Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins:
Website of Assembly Speaker-Elect Anthony Rendon:

Speaker Toni G. Atkins’ Statement on Governor’s Budget Proposal

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SACRAMENTO— Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) released the following statement regarding Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s budget proposal:

“California’s budget today is balanced, and it’s in the best position in decades to withstand a future economic downturn. That’s an important reminder of the phenomenal job legislative Democrats, the Governor, and the voters have done in turning the state’s finances around.

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Speaker Toni G. Atkins’ Statement on Assemblymember Perea’s Resignation Announcement

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SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) released the following statement regarding Assemblymember Henry T. Perea’s (D-Fresno) impending resignation:

“Assemblymember Perea has been a forceful advocate for his district and the people of the Central Valley. While my colleagues and I in the Assembly will miss his intelligence and good humor, we are delighted he is pursuing a role where he can still have a voice in helping shape public policy.”

Website of Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins:


Veteran Driver’s License and Identification Cards to be Made Available for California Military Service Members

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Sacramento, CA –Assembly Bill 935 (2014) by Assemblymember Frazier takes effect Nov. 12, and will allow United States military service members to apply for a California driver’s license or identification card with a “Veteran” designation.

“With the growing population of veterans returning to California, it is our responsibility to help make sure they are well-equipped to integrate back into civilian life,” said Assemblymember Frazier. “Assembly Bill 935 helps us fulfill that pledge to our veterans. Proof of military service is now literally at the individual’s fingertips, which will help ensure that California veterans are receiving all the benefits and services they’re rightfully entitled to.”

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Statement from Speaker Atkins on Air Force Contract Award

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SAN DIEGO—Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) today released the following statement regarding the Air Force’s announcement on long-range strike bomber award contracts:

“This announcement means thousands of jobs will be coming to California, and that’s great news. When the Legislature created the tax credits to help Northrup Grumman and the team of Lockheed Martin and Boeing compete for the Department of Defense’s long-range bomber project, this is exactly the outcome we wanted to see. This also shows our approach to use targeted tax credits tied to actual job creation is a better model than Texas-style corporate giveaways. Both bidders, Northrup Grumman and Lockheed Martin / Boeing, made strong proposals, but the real winner is California’s workforce.”

CONTACT:  John Casey (916) 319-2408

Website of Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins:

Speaker Atkins’ Statement on UC Increasing Enrollment for 5,000 California Students

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SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins today released the following statement regarding UC President Janet Napolitano’s announcement that she is preparing a plan to have UC increase its enrollment of California students:

“It appears the University of California is moving in the right direction to enroll more California students—and that’s great news. When the Assembly conducted our in-depth review of the University of California this year, it was clear that the university can and should do a better job fulfilling its mission to educate California students. That’s why we included an additional $25 million for UC if it enrolls 5,000 more Californians. President Napolitano’s comments suggest UC has accepted this challenge. Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, and the members of the subcommittee deserve California’s thanks for highlighting this issue and bringing us to this point.”

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Speaker Atkins Credits Assembly Members, Governor, With Compromise to Create Historic Medical Marijuana Legislation

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SAN DIEGO—(San Diego, CA) -- Today, Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) credited Assemblymembers Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) for negotiating legislation with Governor Brown and bringing the state to the verge of finally having medical marijuana regulations in place. Bonta and Wood, two of the lead authors of the legislation, joined Atkins, along with a strong coalition of supporters from law enforcement, local government, patient advocacy groups, labor, and the medical marijuana industry, at a morning news conference at the Hall of Justice during the countdown to final action on the bills by the Governor.

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Speaker Atkins: Poverty, Drought, Climate Change Action Highlight Productive Legislative Session

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SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins concluded the 2015 legislative session by highlighting the significant gains for Californians made by the Legislature this year.

“When the PPIC report came out last year showing that half of California’s children live in poverty or near poverty, I was moved to act,” said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). “That motivation pushed the Assembly to include the $380 million state Earned Income Tax Credit in the budget for 2 million workers. Struggling Californians looking for work will be aided by the $263 million we provided for a comprehensive package of child-care services.”

Session highlights:

Reducing Poverty

  • 2 million Californians will now benefit from the Assembly Democrat-championed $380 million state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
  • 50,000 Californians will be lifted out of poverty and another 50,000 will be lifted out of deep poverty.
  • More families will be rescued from homelessness due to a $15 million increase in funding to the CalWORKS Housing Support Program to last year’s $20 million.
  • Affordable Housing: Legislation by the Assembly Democrats expands California’s very-low and extremely low-income housing credit, designates a state agency to administer the funds received from the Federal Housing Trust Fund and seeks to reduce recidivism by providing housing for formerly incarcerated inmates through Proposition 47 savings.

Investments in Education

  • From Early Education to Higher Education More than 84,000 students have benefited from the Middle Class Scholarship for the 2014-15 school year, totaling over $56 million in grants.
    • The Middle Class Scholarship is set to award $80 million in grants for the 2015-16 school year.
  • The California State University system received $97 million to increase enrollment and fast-track graduation. The Assembly instituted zero-based budgeting for the University of California system, allowing the public and Legislature to scrutinize whether the UC is spending its money efficiently and whether tuitions could be frozen at current levels.
  • More than 85,000 community college students stand to benefit from a substantial increase in Cal Grant funding.
  • This year’s budget includes nearly $500 million for a one-time teacher-effectiveness block grant to help improve performance in the classroom.
  • The state budget appropriates $265 million to fund an additional 7,130 preschool slots and 6,800 child care slots.

Drought Relief

  • Areas hit hard by the drought were provided immediate relief through a $1 billion drought package in March.
  • The budget includes $10 million from Proposition 1 aimed at increasing water efficiency.
  • California also moved to: consolidate the drought water system; give a CEQA exemption for recycled water projects, water codes and well ordinances; expand local enforcement and penalties for drought violations; and require drought monitoring and reporting for some water diversions.

Climate Change

  • The Legislature passed SB 350, a landmark climate-change bill that pushes for stronger standards for renewable energy and building energy efficiency.
  • Legislation that ensures diversity on the state Air Resources Board was passed.

Atkins Announces Rendon to Become 70th Assembly Speaker in 2016

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Speaker-designate Rendon

SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) announced today that  the Assembly Democratic Caucus has selected Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) to become the 70th Speaker of the Assembly. The leadership change will occur after a floor vote in January and a transition period to be determined by the Speaker and the Speaker-designate.

“With the crush of business facing us in the coming final week of the legislative session, I decided it’s time to end all the suspense and speculation so we can focus our undivided attention on the critical issues before us,” Speaker Atkins said. “The Caucus has made an excellent choice, and I’m delighted to see everyone uniting behind Assemblymember Rendon. I know he will find the job as rewarding and challenging as I do.”

“I am deeply honored to have the support of my colleagues to become the next Speaker,” Assemblymember Rendon said. “I also know I have a very tough act to follow, which is why I’ll be working to learn as much as I can from Speaker Atkins as she leads us through the end of session and into next year. I am proud to be part of the Speaker’s team as we finish a very productive year and prepare for more successes in 2016.”

Rendon currently serves as Chair of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee. Prior to serving in the Assembly, he was an educator, non-profit executive director, and environmental activist.

Website of Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins:
Website of Speaker-designate Anthony Rendon: