Releases & Statements

Speaker John A. Pérez Statement on Death of Sargent Shriver

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SACRAMENTO - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement upon news that Sargent Shriver, brother-in-law to President Kennedy, founder of the Peace Corps, 1972 Democratic Party Candidate for Vice President and father of former California First Lady Maria Shriver, has passed away:

"I was deeply saddened to learn that Sargent Shriver has passed away. He was a dedicated public servant, and a compassionate leader. His service as the founding Director of the Peace Corps was emblematic of President Kennedy's call for all Americans to 'ask what they can do for their country, ' and the good works of the Peace Corps all over the world will stand as a permanent testament to a man who will be remembered as a gifted and talented public servant."

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

Speaker Pérez to Honor Dr. King’s Life and Legacy

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LOS ANGELES – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) will be honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this week at a variety of events celebrating Dr. King’s life and legacy.

“In these tough times it’s more important than ever that we dedicate ourselves to the practical application of Dr. King’s dream,” Pérez said.  “Dr. King said ‘the arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice’ – I’m proud to be part of the celebrations this week where Californians come together and recommit to ensuring the arc of history keeps bending in the right direction.”

This weekend Speaker Pérez is dedicating the official Assembly Radio Address to Dr. King.  In the address Speaker Pérez states, “It’s fitting that King’s final days were spent in Memphis in support of striking Sanitation Workers who had been denied the same collective bargaining rights as white workers. They were being denied the opportunity to live their American dream, and Dr. King stood with them in their struggle.”

On Monday morning Speaker Pérez will be participating in the annual MLK Day Breakfast put on by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, which will include as special guests two veterans of the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike.

Later Monday Speaker Pérez will sponsor a float in Los Angeles’s Kingdom Day Parade, where he will be joined by Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), Chair of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee, Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Cater (D-Rialto), Assistant Majority Policy Leader, and Assemblymember Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), Chair of the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

On Thursday, January 20, Speaker Pérez will convene the Assembly for its annual ceremony honoring Dr. King. The program will include approval of ACR 5 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and presentations honoring individuals recognized by the Legislative Black Caucus for their community involvement and advocacy toward equality in health care.

“As a state and country, we are working hard to find solutions to challenges unprecedented since the Great Depression, especially having more than 2.3 million Californians out of work,” Pérez said. “We must honor Dr. King’s legacy year round by keeping our focus on ensuring that the doors of opportunity remain open to every Californian.”

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

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

Speaker Pérez: Child Care Effort Succeeds--Big Victory for Thousands of Working Families and Small Businesses

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SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today announced that thanks to efforts by the Assembly, California’s local First 5 Commissions, and the Brown Administration, thousands of working parents in California will continue to receive the child care services that allow them to stay in their jobs and keep their families off welfare.

“With the stroke of his blue pencil last fall, former Governor Schwarzenegger forced thousands of working parents to face the choice of losing their jobs or letting their kids fend for themselves,” Pérez said. “Today, I am pleased to announce that we did not let that happen and that this program is in fact being restored and is included in Governor Brown’s budget. This is a big win for working parents and their children, and also for the thousands of small business child care providers who would have had to close their doors or lay off their employees.”

In December, Speaker Pérez introduced AB 1, the first bill introduced in the 2011-2012 session of the Assembly, to reverse Schwarzenegger’s veto and restore the Stage 3 Child Care services that enable parents to transition from welfare to work.  Speaking from the Assembly floor today, Pérez announced AB 1 would now be used as a vehicle if one is necessary to allocate existing transition funding until the budget is enacted and the program officially restored.

“Not only did Governor Brown hear us and restore Stage 3 Child Care in his budget this week, his administration is also actively working with us to identify existing funding that can be used to transition until the budget is enacted,” Pérez said. “As we move forward, should it be determined that any interim funding we identify requires authorizing legislation, I will make AB 1 available for that purpose.”

More than $40 million in bridge funding – including $6 million from cuts Speaker Pérez made to the Assembly’s own budget and additional funding he sought from the county First 5 commissions – helped buy time until Stage 3 Child Care services could be restored.  A judge’s stay of the elimination of the services also allowed time for Speaker Pérez and other advocates to successfully push for the program’s restoration.

“Of course, there are still difficult cuts proposed to all child care programs – and undoubtedly, the final budget will have to include some of the proposed reductions,” Pérez said. “But as painful as those cuts may be, they will still be far better than Governor Schwarzenegger’s wholesale elimination throwing 60,000 families out of the workforce or their children into harm’s way. This is a very positive sign we can work with this Governor to create jobs, put California’s fiscal house in order, and make sure every Californian can find opportunity and the chance to succeed.”

Timeline:

October 8, 2010—Governor Schwarzenegger blue-pencils Stage 3 Child Care funds eliminating services for 81,000 children in 60,000 families transitioning from welfare to work.

October 19, 2010— Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez pledges $6 million from part of his 15% cut to the Assembly operating budget and contacts state and county First 5 commissions asking for help in providing bridge funding until Stage 3 Child Care can be restored.  Local commissions take action throughout the next several weeks.

October 29, 2010—Alameda County judge issues stay in implementation of the cuts and orders November hearing.

November 5, 2010—Speaker Pérez announces more than $40 Million in bridge funding pledged so far.

November 17, 2010—Judge approves settlement keeping child care services available through end of year.

Dec 6, 2010— Speaker Pérez introduces AB 1 to reverse the veto and restore Stage 3 Child Care.

January 10, 2011—Governor Brown includes Stage 3 Child Care funding in his 2011-2012 budget proposal.

January 14, 2011—Speaker Pérez announces victory for working families and providers. Moves AB 1 to become authorizing vehicle if necessary for interim funding identified by Assembly and Brown Administration.

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

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

Speaker Pérez Names Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter to Leadership Post

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SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today announced that he has appointed Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter (D-Rialto) to serve as Assistant Majority Policy Leader for the 2011-2012 session of the California State Assembly.

“I am delighted that Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter will be bringing her commitment and skill to the role of Assistant Majority Policy Leader,” Pérez said. “Ms. Carter is dedicated to education and job creation, two of the Assembly’s top priorities, and she is a respected legislator whose soft-spoken approach gets results. I am confident that as a part of the Assembly Democrats’ leadership team, she will be very effective in helping shape our policy priorities and oversight activities.”

“As Assistant Majority Policy Leader, I am hopeful I can use the experience I’ve gained serving in these tough times to help the Assembly’s Democratic majority, especially our new members, set priorities and advance the kind of smart, innovative policy solutions our state needs to create jobs, recover from the recession and prepare our students for the future,” Carter said. “I’m also looking forward to the part of the job that will help ensure the policies we enact are being implemented to the full benefit of the people of California.”

Assemblymember Carter represents the 62nd Assembly District which covers the cities of Rialto and Colton, portions of the cities of Fontana and San Bernardino, and the communities of Bloomington and Muscoy. Prior to being elected to the California State Assembly, she served on the Rialto Unified School District Board for sixteen years.

Senator Curren Price (D-Los Angeles), Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, added “Assemblymember Carter’s appointment to this important post will make the Legislature stronger as a whole by ensuring that every community has a voice in the Legislature. She will be a strong and effective leader in this new role, and will be a critical part of our efforts to create new jobs in California.”

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

Speaker Pérez Says Congresswoman Giffords Was Gunned Down While Serving Her Community

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(Sacramento) – California Assembly Speaker, John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) says Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was serving her constituents at a community outreach meeting when she was tragically shot in a Tucson, Arizona shopping center. Six people were killed in the shooting rampage. Giffords and 14 others were wounded. Speaker Pérez adjourned in the memory of those who died in the senseless massacre. Pérez hopes that tragic incidents like this won’t inhibit people from getting involved in their community or serving the public. Learn more in this Assembly Access Video.

Speaker 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 Jerry Brown’s budget proposal:

“The Governor’s budget is the starting point of a responsible fiscal plan for California. I look forward to working with the Governor to approve a budget that will begin to eliminate our structural deficit and protect California jobs.”

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

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

Speaker Pérez Highlights Legislative Priorities at L.A. Area Chamber Forum

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LOS ANGELES – On the heels of gaveling in a new legislative session, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) met with business leaders at an L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce forum, providing a briefing on the California budget as well as underlining his goals and priorities moving forward. Pérez focused on the Legislature's most important goal—job creation—while also touching on his proposed legislation to save jobs for tens of thousands of working parents and small business child care providers.

"We have maintained that job creation is our number one priority," Pérez said. "That is why on Monday, I introduced a bill that will fully restore funding that assists low income parents afford child care and keep their jobs. The folks who utilize this program are the people who have successfully struggled to get themselves off of welfare and are working to make a better life for themselves and their family, and that is admirable."

Pérez also discussed how the Assembly plans to increase oversight and accountability in government—starting in Pérez's own district, with his plan to eventually disincorporate the mismanaged City of Vernon.

"Government needs to be held accountable at every level—local, state and federal," Pérez said. "The lack of transparency and accountability in Vernon is a threat to the workers and residents of that city, and the businesses that call Vernon home. When the playing field is level, and everyone has a shot to compete, Californians win. That is not the case in Vernon, where a handful of individuals are profiting from the hard work of so many businesses and workers."

L.A. Area Chamber President & CEO Gary Toebben closed the event by stating his desire to continue to work with Speaker Pérez and the Legislature in finding solutions to California's problems.

"These challenging times require all of us to think differently and collaborate on solutions to California's economic crisis," Toebben said. "The L.A. Area Chamber is proud of our partnership with Speaker Pérez and this conversation is a launching point for us to meet these challenges in 2011."

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

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

Assemblymember Fiona Ma: Governor-Elect Brown Forum Positive Sign for Budget

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SACRAMENTO – In this Democratic weekly address, Assemblymember Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) discusses why Governor-Elect Jerry Brown's recent budget forum is an important part of the public process needed to develop responsible state budget solutions. Assemblymember Ma says a public process is critical because "Californians understand not only that saving and creating jobs is critical to the economy, but that our state budget will never be sound without getting the 2.3 million unemployed Californians back to work."

Click onto the following link for the English language MP3 file. The running time is 1:34. mp3

Click onto the following link for the Spanish language MP3 file. The running time is 2:24. mp3

Contact: Larry Kaplan @ (818) 558-3043

Website of Assemblymember Fiona Ma: www.asm.ca.gov/ma

Transcript:

Hello, this is Assemblymember Fiona Ma.

This week Governor-Elect Jerry Brown held a forum to discuss fiscal challenges facing California. Assembly Democrats value this kind of open process.

As the recession has caused steep declines in state revenues, we know all elected officials and the public must come together to advance solutions.

The assembly held regional budget forums throughout the state to bring together diverse perspectives to find budget solutions.

More than 1900 Californians participated in these forums.

They helped us outline the scope of the problem, as well as the solutions available to us in closing the deficit.

Californians understand not only that saving and creating jobs is critical to the economy, but that our state budget will never be sound without getting the 2.3 million unemployed Californians back to work.

With the Legislature convening this month, Speaker John Pérez has reiterated our commitment to these twin goals of job creation and responsibly balancing the budget.

Assembly Democrats will also work to develop a disciplined, focused plan to close the long-term structural deficit, which has only been magnified by the recession.

Doing this in a responsible way is a lot easier said than done and engaging Californians from every background to find solutions will be critical.

Governor-Elect Brown's forum provided a sober, rational—and most importantly—public discussion critical to moving ahead.

Assembly Democrats look forward to a continued discussion that helps ensure our path forward will create and save jobs and will help all Californians overcome the challenges before us.

I'm Assemblymember Fiona Ma.

Thank you for listening.

Asambleístas Demócratas: Foro del Gobernador Electo Brown es Una Señal Positiva Para el Presupuesto

SACRAMENTO – En el mensaje semanal, el bloque demócrata de la Asamblea estatal comenta el porqué el reciente foro auspiciado por el gobernador Jerry Brown es una parte importante del proceso público que se necesita para desarrollar un presupuesto fiscal con soluciones responsables. Los asambleístas demócratas creen que un proceso público es critico porque "Los californianos no solamente entienden que resguardar y crear empleos es crucial para la economía, si no que nuestro presupuesto fiscal no será sano sin que 2.3 millones de desempleados californianos vuelvan a encontrar un trabajo."

El discurso radial en archivo de MP3 puede ser localizado en el sitio de Internet. mp3

Portal de la Asamblea Demócrata: http://www.asmdc.org/

MENSAJE RADIAL

Que tal, a continuación el mensaje radial del bloque demócrata de la Asamblea estatal de California.

Esta semana el gobernador electo Jerry Brown encabezó un foro para discutir los desafíos fiscales que confronta California. Los asambleístas demócratas valoramos este proceso abierto.

Tal como la recesion ha causado una profunda disminución en los ingresos del estado, nosotros sabemos que todos los funcionarios públicos electos y el público deben trabajar conjuntamente para encontrar las soluciones.

Eso es lo que la Asamblea hizo cuando se llevaron a cabo foros regionales sobre el presupuesto a través del estado para juntar las diversas perspectivas que ayudarían a encontrar las soluciones fiscales.

Más de 1900 californianos participaron en estos foros.

Ellos nos ayudaron a delinear el real impacto del problema, como también, con las soluciones disponibles para cerrar el déficit.

Los californianos no solamente entienden que resguardar y crear empleos es crucial para la economía, si no que nuestro presupuesto fiscal no será sano sin que 2.3 millones de desempleados californianos vuelvan a encontrar un trabajo.

Con la Legislatura de vuelta a sesionar este mes, el presidente John Pérez ha reiterado nuestro compromiso con este par de metas que son la creación de empleos y la responsabilidad de balancear el presupuesto fiscal.

Los asambleístas demócratas trabajaremos en la confección de un plan disciplinado, y enfocado en el déficit estructural de largo plazo, el cual ha sido magnificado por la recesion.

Haciendo esto de una manera responsable y atrayendo a los californianos a participar con diferentes experiencias para encontrar las soluciones será crucial.

El foro del gobernador electo Brown dio pie a una discusión pública seria y racional para seguir adelante.

Los asambleístas demócratas esperamos seguir adelante con las discusiones con todas las partes interesadas para ayudar a asegurar que nuestro camino cree y resguarde empleos, y ayude a todos los californianos a sobrepasar los desafíos que tenemos en frente.

Gracias por su atención. Aquí concluye el mensaje radial del bloque demócrata de la Asamblea estatal de California.

Assembly Changes Rules to Save Money and Trees by Increasing Electronic Submission of Documents

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SACRAMENTOAt the urging of Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), the California State Assembly has changed its rules in order to help save tens of thousands of dollars every year – as well as many trees – by increasing the electronic submission of documents and decreasing the number of hard copies required to be printed, duplicated and mailed.

“The Assembly is always looking for ways to be more efficient, and when we can do that and also be more environmentally friendly, that’s a win-win for the people of California,” Pérez said in proposing the rule change. “I’m hopeful this change is one of many ways in which we can have a leaner and greener State Capitol.”

The rule change was adopted following the swearing-in of Assembly members for the 2011-2012 session of the Legislature on Monday, December 6.  The change allows committee reports to be submitted electronically, and directs the Chief Clerk of the Assembly to transmit copies of Assembly Joint Resolutions electronically to Members of the Legislature and Members of Congress, or to submit only one hard copy to the administrative offices of those bodies. The new Assembly rules will also allow for the implementation of electronic reporting by state and local agencies mandated to submit reports to the Assembly, in keeping with provisions of AB 1595, which was approved earlier this year.

Speaker Pérez has also imposed a 15% cut in the Assembly’s operating budget, directing the Assembly to be more efficient and do more with less in these tough times.

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

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

Speaker Pérez Announces Goals for 2011-2012 Assembly Session: Getting California Back to Work, Putting California’s Fiscal House in Order

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SACRAMENTOAt today’s opening session of the 2011-2012 California Legislature, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) laid out goals the Assembly will work towards to help Californians recover from the recession.

“We know precisely what our goals must be: getting California back to work and putting California’s fiscal house in order,” Pérez said. “Each and every one of us knows that the economic pain wracking California will not subside until the 2.3 million Californians on the unemployment line find decent, quality jobs. Job creation is our top priority, and it’s central to putting California back on the pathway to prosperity. And this is a part of our continuing budget problems--Until Californians go back to work, our deficit will not be eliminated.”

Taking action to save jobs for tens of thousands of working parents and small business child care providers, Pérez introduced a bill to restore child care funding for working parents that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently vetoed. The action comes after Speaker Pérez worked to provide bridge funding for the program by committing $6 million generated from cuts in the Assembly’s operating budget and working with California’s state and local First 5 Commissions to arrange for more than $40 million in bridge funding for the child care services.

“We partnered with First Five Commissions all throughout the state to keep these parents and childcare providers working--That was the first step,” Pérez said. “Today, I am taking the second step by introducing a bill that will fully restore this program and keep the parents and child care providers working. We will not stand idly by while others force parents back onto the welfare rolls and drive providers to the unemployment line. Failing to act will cost taxpayers far more than the cost of providing childcare.”

As the Assembly began its new legislative session, Speaker Pérez discussed significant differences between the current and previous sessions that will help the Assembly help Californians.

“The voters, in their wisdom, passed Proposition 25, which amended the Constitution to require a simple majority to pass the budget,” Pérez said. “I believe they did this for two reasons: to decrease the gridlock and increase accountability. Frustrated with years of late budgets, the voters decided that California’s budget should be approved by a simple majority, as is the case in 47 other states and the federal government. But just because this budget can be passed by a simple majority of 41 doesn’t mean that only 41 members have a responsibility for putting California’s fiscal house in order.”

“Next month, Jerry Brown will once again be sworn in as Governor of California,” Pérez said. “He has already begun meeting with legislative leaders to close our deficit. He and I have had several productive conversations, but we both recognize that our entire state must be involved in this process. He is committed to increasing transparency in the budget. He shares our commitment in not only closing this deficit, but in finally ending the structural deficit that has only been magnified by the recession.”

In addition to working to save and create jobs and eliminate the deficit, Speaker Pérez discussed how the Assembly will work to increase oversight and accountability. Beginning with his own Assembly district, the Speaker proposed the eventual disincorporation of the mismanaged City of Vernon.

“Government needs to be held accountable at every level—local, state and federal,” Pérez said. “The City of Vernon, in my own district, provides another example for why this is true. For years, the entrenched leaders of that city have operated with impunity and no accountability. They have abused the trust of the taxpayers and been bad neighbors to the cities that surround Vernon. Recent reports have shown the city operates as something close to a racket. This is an unacceptable situation, which is why Cameron Smythe, the Chair of the Local Government Committee, and I have joined together to introduce a bipartisan bill that will disincorporate the City of Vernon.”

Speaker Pérez closed his remarks by expanding on President Clinton’s well-known adage that “there is nothing wrong with California that can’t be fixed by what’s right with California.”

“Our state is known for its exceptionalism, inventiveness and creativity, and we will use these traits to overcome our challenges,” Pérez said. “We must close our deficit responsibly. We must put our state on a focused, disciplined pathway to eliminate the structural deficit. And we must continue to fight for policies that will put unemployed Californians back to work. This is an enormous responsibility, but it’s one worthy of the people of California. We have a lot of work to do, so let’s get to work.”

California’s new Chief Justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, swore-in the 80 Assembly members elected in November, including 28 brand new members. It is the 106th time the Assembly has organized since 1849.

See Speaker’s remarks attached, as prepared for delivery.

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

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