Releases & Statements

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

Submit to FacebookSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

(Sacramento) - At 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.

Assembly Speaker Pérez: Getting California Back to Work

(Sacramento) - At 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.” Here’s more from Speaker Pérez in this Assembly Access video.

Assembly Speaker Pérez: Restoring Child Care

(Sacramento) - At today's opening session of the 2011-2012 California Legislature, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) laid out many of the goals for the Assembly, including restoring funds for child care programs. The Speaker 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. Here's more from the Speaker in this Assembly Access video.

Assembly Speaker Pérez: Accountability and Transparency

(Sacramento) - At 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. 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.” Here's more in this Assembly Access video.

Assembly Speaker Pérez: Working with Governor-elect Jerry Brown

(Sacramento) - At 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. In addition the Speaker commented on working with incoming Governor Jerry Brown. “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.” Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.

Below are links to audio of the Speaker's remarks at today's session:

Speaker Pérez says the top priority for the Legislature must be restoring the state's economy and creating jobs. (:52){mp3remote}http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/Newsline/Audio/20101206SwearingInPerez1.mp3{/mp3{remote}

Speaker Pérez says the Legislature must restore funding for child care programs. (:51){mp3remote}http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/Newsline/Audio/20101206SwearingInPerez2.mp3{remote}

Speaker Pérez says transparency and accountability must be part of all levels of government. (:42){mp3remote}http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/Newsline/Audio/20101206SwearingInPerez3.mp3{remote}

Speaker Pérez says he's looking forward to working with Governor-elect Jerry Brown. (:41){mp3remote}http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/Newsline/Audio/20101206SwearingInPerez4.mp3{remote}

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

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

Speaker Pérez Sends Gay and Lesbian Youth Holiday Message: "It Absolutely Gets Better"

Submit to FacebookSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released a Youtube video as part of the It Gets Better series created in the wake of national headlines of LGBT kids committing suicide after anti-gay bullying and harassment by their peers. The series was created by columnist Dan Savage, and in it participants are asked to convey to LGBT kids that it gets better by sharing their stories of coming out, their experiences as LGBT youth and adults and the ultimate message that it gets better.

"The rash of suicides we've seen in the past year have been nothing short of heartbreaking in every sense of the word. The particulars are the same in every case, where the kid felt so lonely and isolated and had no hope for the future to the point where they felt the only answer was taking their own life," Pérez said. "The It Gets Better series is a way for each of us who struggled with the same issues to reach out to the kids and let them know how wonderful and special and not alone they are. I chose to do this video now because with the holiday season approaching it's more critical than any other time of the year to send the kids a message of hope."

In the video the Speaker discusses his experiences coming out over the Thanksgiving holiday when he was in college. The Speaker also sends a strong message to LGBT kids in California that it gets better.

"I was so lucky to have loving and understanding parents and tomorrow I will be saying a prayer of thanksgiving for that," Pérez said. "Not every kid is so lucky, which is why it's so important for them to hear something positive about who they are."

Speaker Pérez: It Absolutely Gets Better (SHORT VERSION)

Speaker Pérez: It Absolutely Gets Better (LONG VERSION)

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

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

Speaker Pérez Calls for Heightened University Policies to Promote Safe Environments for Students

Submit to FacebookSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

SACRAMENTOAfter the recent suicide of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today sent a letter to the University of California Regents and California State University Trustees asking them to review policies and programs established on California campuses to protect all students and provide them with safe learning environments.

“The recent tragedies of young men and women committing suicide has brought to light the disturbing fact that in today’s digital world, there are too many outlets for people to be bullied, harassed and hounded to the point of desperation,” Pérez said. “California’s institutions of higher learning have taken steps to promote a safe and inclusive campus environment, but we need to ensure that every measure is taken to protect young people. I have asked for the UC and CSU leadership to review the conditions on campuses throughout California to ensure that we are taking those steps, and will be working closely with them in my capacity as a UC Regent and CSU Trustee. The safety and well being of our students must be their highest priority.”

This past September, Rutgers University freshman, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide after he was outed as gay by his roommate and another student.  The students filmed and uploaded to the Internet a video of Tyler and another male student together.

Pérez, the first openly gay legislative leader in California’s history, requested that the following questions be discussed at a future meeting of the UC Regents and the Trustees regarding university policies and programs to deter hatred on California campuses:

  1. What policies or programs do the UC and the CSU have that promote a safe and hostile-free environment for students, including LGBT students, both on campus and in dormitories?

  2. What is the UC and CSU code of conduct with respect to student privacy issues and what is the recourse if a student violates this code?

  3. What is the expectation of privacy for students that reside in dormitories and are those students aware of the level of privacy to which they are entitled?

  4. How have the systems and the campuses funded critical student services like psychological services, resource centers, and retention services particularly in light of state budget reductions and significant student fee increases?

  5. How did the UC and the CSU respond administratively, programmatically, and from a policy standpoint to what happened at Rutgers (e.g. review policies, send out reminders about UC on CSU policies to their faculty, students and administrators, etc.)?

The Speaker believes these questions will help stimulate beneficial discussions on the actions taken by college campuses to promote tolerance and analyze the existing conditions of college campuses.

Click here to read the full letter.

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

Speaker Pérez Statement on Settlement Keeping Child Care through End of Year

Submit to FacebookSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today released the following statement on Alameda County Superior Court Judge Wynne Carvill approving a settlement that keeps the state’s Stage 3 child care services continuing through the end of the year:

This is good news in tough times, and a welcome early holiday gift.  By extending until the end of the year child care services for the thousands of families threatened by the Governor’s veto, this decision is a real reprieve for parents who would have lost jobs and providers who would have closed down. Because families must request a screening by December 10 to see if they are eligible for other child care services, it is important to get the word out so impacted families can take the necessary steps in time.

“This decision also gives us time to keep working on legislation to restore this vital child care funding in January. Even in the most difficult budget circumstances, throwing 60,000 people out of work, into unemployment or back onto welfare makes no economic sense. We will continue working with the local First 5 Commissions, who stepped up to the plate in an extraordinary manner to help provide bridge funding, as well as the state First 5 commission and other children’s advocates to ensure this vital program remains on the books and continues to be a successs story for California.”

Speaker Pérez had previously announced that more than $40 million in bridge funding has been obtained to ensure the child care services can continue until legislation restoring the cuts can be enacted. $6 million of the bridge funding comes from the Assembly, which is contributing funds from cuts made to the Assembly’s own operating budget.  More than $34 million in additional funding has come from local First 5 Commissions throughout the state.

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

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

Speaker Pérez Statement on Ruling Delaying Implementation of Governor’s Veto of Child Care

Submit to FacebookSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

SACRAMENTOAssembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today released the following statement regarding the ruling by Alameda Superior Court Judge Wynn Carvill delaying the implementation of the Governor’s veto of funding for child care services for former CalWorks recipients who are now in the workforce:

“Today’s ruling is good news for the working families and child care providers who were jeopardized by Governor Schwarzenegger’s veto of child care funding, and it’s good news for all of us working to avoid a crisis until the governor’s cut can be restored in January.  The ruling provides vital additional time for the working families and child care providers affected by the cuts, and during this time we will continue our efforts to make sure parents can keep their jobs, children can keep their safe child care slots, and small business child care providers can keep their doors open.”

The judge delayed implementation of the governor’s cuts until impacted families can be provided adequate notice and screened for other child care options.  Another hearing is scheduled for November 23.

Earlier today Speaker Pérez announced that $40 million in bridge funding has been obtained so far to ensure the child care services can continue until legislation restoring the cuts can be enacted. $6 million of the bridge funding comes from the Assembly, which is contributing funds from cuts made to the Assembly’s own operating budget.  More than $34 million in additional funding has come from county First 5 Commissions throughout the state.

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

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

Assembly Democrats Unanimously Back New Term for Speaker John A. Pérez

Submit to FacebookSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, has announced that while meeting in Sacramento today returning and newly-elected Assembly Democrats voted unanimously to support Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) for a second term as Speaker of the Assembly.

“Speaker Pérez has focused the Assembly on the economy and jobs and he fought hard for the values we share during the long and difficult budget negotiations,” Assemblymember Hill said.  “His current effort to prevent a crisis for thousands of working families who could lose their child care is the latest example of why we want his strong leadership to continue.”

“As an incoming member of the Assembly I am very pleased Speaker Pérez’s priorities match the priorities and values of the people who sent me to Sacramento,” incoming Assemblymember Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) said. “The new members also appreciate the fact that Speaker Pérez is only in his second term, which will help give the Assembly greater strength and stability as we work to ensure that California recovers from the recession.”

Under Speaker Pérez’s leadership the Democratic majority in the Assembly grew from 50-29-1 to 52-28, one of only two Democratic legislative houses in the country to post a gain in Tuesday’s midterm election.  The official election of the Speaker will take place after all 80 Assembly members are sworn in on Monday, December 6.

Thanking his colleagues for their support, Speaker Pérez made the following statement:

“It has been a humbling privilege to lead the outstanding members of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, who work so hard every day to make things better for the people they represent and all the people of California. I am also greatly impressed with the caliber and character of our new members, and I welcome them to the people’s house.  There is still a lot to do and I look forward to working with all my colleagues—and a new Democratic Governor—on our key goals: creating jobs and helping the California families and businesses who have been hurt by the recession.”

Website of Assembly Democratic Caucus: http://asmdc.org/

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

Speaker Pérez Announces More Than $40 Million In Bridge Funding To Avoid Child Care Crisis

Submit to FacebookSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today announced more than $40 million has been advanced as bridge funding to prevent a crisis for thousands of California families and child care providers following Governor Schwarzenegger’s veto of child care funding for former CalWorks recipients.  The bridge funding is intended to last until new legislation to restore the cuts can be acted upon in January.

“The Governor was clearly wrong to veto child care funds that help keep thousands of families working and off welfare,” Pérez said. “While the implementation of the cuts is being heard in court, we are continuing our efforts to find bridge funding until we can restore the money for this vital program. I’m very pleased to announce that more than $40 million has come forward so far, helping us meet the need for the youngest children, from infants to age 5, through the end of January.”

The Governor’s veto would eliminate safe, subsidized child care slots for 81,000 children in 60,000 working families in California whose parents have moved off welfare and into the workforce. His veto also means small business child care providers throughout the state face having to lay off their own employees.

$6 million of the $40 million comes from the Assembly, which is contributing the funds from cuts made to the Assembly’s own operating budget. On October 19, Speaker Pérez also contacted the state’s First 5 Commission and the 58 County First 5 Commissions, seeking their help in providing bridge funding. So far more than $34 million in specific contributions have been put forward by county First 5 Commissions to assist families affected in those counties. Other Commissions have not designated a specific amount, but have generally authorized covering costs to ensure that impacted children aged infant to 5 in the county do not lose their child care.

The First 5 County Commissions that have so far come to the aid of families include Alameda ($1.75 million), Alpine, Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa ($2 million), Humboldt ($43,000), Lake ($140,000), Los Angeles ($15 million), Marin ($180,000), Mendocino, Monterey ($260,000), Napa ($85,000), Nevada ($50,000), Orange ($400,000), Placer ($300,000), Riverside ($2.1 million), Sacramento ($2 million), San Diego ($3.2 million), San Joaquin ($553,000), San Luis Obispo ($300,000), San Mateo ($705,000), Santa Barbara ($470,000), Santa Clara ($3 million), Santa Cruz, Solano (761,000), Shasta ($207,000), Sonoma, Tuolumne, Ventura ($630,000), Yolo ($306,000), and Yuba.

Meetings where the issue will be considered are slated for Amador, Glenn, Madera, Merced, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Francisco and Tulare counties.

An Alameda County judge who had stayed implementation of the cuts for one week is expected to issue a ruling later today, and could potentially extend the stay or otherwise impact how the cuts might go into effect.

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

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

Speaker Pérez Statement on Election of Connie Conway as Republican Assembly Leader

Submit to FacebookSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

SACRAMENTOAssembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) issued the following statement regarding the election of Assemblymember Connie Conway (R-Tulare) to lead the Assembly Republican Caucus:

“I want to congratulate Assemblymember Conway on her election as Republican Leader today. We came to the Assembly at the same time, and despite our many disagreements on policy issues, we have always enjoyed a warm and productive working relationship across the aisle. She is smart, savvy, and tough as nails, and I am very much looking forward to working with her as we find solutions to the major challenges facing our state, foremost of which is taking action to create the quality jobs that will lead our state back to prosperity.

“I also want to thank the outgoing Republican Leader, Mr. Garrick, for his service to the people of California. Despite a very different approach to governing, we were able to work together productively in finding budget solutions that avoided catastrophic job losses, and ultimately produced a budget that reflected the values and priorities of Californians.”

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

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

Assembly Democrats Unanimously Back New Term for Speaker John A. Pérez

Submit to FacebookSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, has announced that while meeting in Sacramento today returning and newly-elected Assembly Democrats voted unanimously to support Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) for a second term as Speaker of the Assembly.

“Speaker Pérez has focused the Assembly on the economy and jobs and he fought hard for the values we share during the long and difficult budget negotiations,” Assemblymember Hill said.  “His current effort to prevent a crisis for thousands of working families who could lose their child care is the latest example of why we want his strong leadership to continue.”

“As an incoming member of the Assembly I am very pleased Speaker Pérez’s priorities match the priorities and values of the people who sent me to Sacramento,” incoming Assemblymember Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) said. “The new members also appreciate the fact that Speaker Pérez is only in his second term, which will help give the Assembly greater strength and stability as we work to ensure that California recovers from the recession.”

Under Speaker Pérez’s leadership the Democratic majority in the Assembly grew from 50-29-1 to 52-28, one of only two Democratic legislative houses in the country to post a gain in Tuesday’s midterm election.  The official election of the Speaker will take place after all 80 Assembly members are sworn in on Monday, December 6.

Thanking his colleagues for their support, Speaker Pérez made the following statement:

“It has been a humbling privilege to lead the outstanding members of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, who work so hard every day to make things better for the people they represent and all the people of California. I am also greatly impressed with the caliber and character of our new members, and I welcome them to the people’s house.  There is still a lot to do and I look forward to working with all my colleagues—and a new Democratic Governor—on our key goals: creating jobs and helping the California families and businesses who have been hurt by the recession.”

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (Pérez) (916) 319-2408

CONTACT: Aurelio Rojas (Hill) (916) 319-2019

Website of Assembly Democratic Caucus: http://asmdc.org/

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

Obama Administration Approves $10 Billion Medi-Cal Waiver

Submit to FacebookSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

SACRAMENTO - The federal government today approved California's five-year, $10 billion Medi-Cal Section 1115 waiver proposal that will fund key coverage initiatives for low income Californians and better coordinated care for Medi-Cal recipients.

California's current waiver expires this month and the state has been negotiating a new waiver to fund a variety of health care initiatives that will better position the state and its safety net providers to care for the significant number of Californians that will become eligible for Medi-Cal and the California Health Benefit Exchange in 2014.

California recently enacted bipartisan urgency legislation, subject to the final federal approval gained today, that implements the provisions of the new waiver in AB 342 (J. Pérez) and SB 208 (Steinberg).

"I want to thank the Obama Administration for its incredible commitment to California and bipartisan cooperation," Pérez said. "Not only is this the largest Medicaid waiver ever approved, it invests in our state and our counties and helps vulnerable Californians gain access to better, more coordinated care. I also want to thank the members of our Congressional delegation that have supported this effort over the last year. They have truly made a difference."

The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has broad authority to "waive" federal Medicaid law to fund state demonstration projects that will improve the state's Medicaid programs and services to low income and disabled people.

WHAT DOES THE WAIVER DO FOR CALIFORNIA?

  • California will receive approximately $10 billion in federal funds to invest in the health delivery system and support the state's preparation for and transition to the requirements of federal health care reform. These investments are also designed to help slow the rate of growth in health care costs within the Medi-Cal program.

  • $3.3 billion for investments in California's public hospitals.

  • $2.9 billion over the next four years for county based coverage for low-income individuals who will become eligible for full Medi-Cal in 2014.

  • $3.9 billion for uncompensated care costs to safety net hospitals and the state.

  • Generates over $2.5 billion in General Fund savings over the five year term of the waiver.

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