Releases & Statements

Assemblymember Nava Calls for Ban on Toxic Lead Shot in State Wildlife Areas

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Supporters include Audubon California, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Humane Society of the United States

(Sacramento) –Assemblymember Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) today announced the introduction of Assembly Bill 2223, which will ban the use of toxic lead shot in California’s 627,000 acre network of State Wildlife Areas.

As a result of widespread scientific consensus that the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting poses a significant danger in wetland environments, its use has been banned by federal law.  However, the use of lead shot for upland game is currently allowed in most State Wildlife Areas, and often results in lead being introduced into wetland environments. This has been supported by recent reports concluding that both wetland and upland birds ingest spent lead shot, thereby creating the potential for devastating effects.

“We need to get lead out of wildlife areas,” Said Mr. Nava “It makes no sense to allow people to leave poisonous material in our state parks.  We expect people to clean up their litter, we should expect something similar of our hunters.”

A total of 25 states have lead shot prohibitions for hunting beyond those required by the federal government for waterfowl. Of the 40 states that allow dove hunting, 16 have some level of nontoxic shot requirements specific to dove hunting. Lead shot is banned outright in Canada, our North American neighbor.

“Allowing this situation to continue is inconsistent with the state’s mission to manage these wildlife areas to the highest standards,” said Dan Taylor, Director of Public Policy for Audubon California. “These areas are islands of habitat that serve as magnets to wildlife and human visitors with excellent wildlife viewing, fishing and hunting opportunities.”

“There are alternatives to lead shot widely used by hunters throughout the nation. There’s no excuse for continuing to spread this toxic substance into the environment and put so many animals at risk,” said Jennifer Fearing, California senior state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “Like asbestos, lead doesn’t just kill—but delivers slow, agonizing death.”

Assemblymember Nava also authored the Ridley Tree Condor Preservation Act, which prohibited the use of lead ammunition in areas inhabited by the California condor because of the dangers that it posed for that protected species.

“We would expect hunters to embrace and quickly adapt to the new regulations as they did with the ban on lead shot for waterfowl,” said Taylor. “There is no reason to choose between conservation and recreation on these lands.”

"Lead has long been known to be a toxic substance with no biological benefits," said Pamela Flick with Defenders of Wildlife. "This toxin has rightfully been banned in everything from gasoline to cookware, even shot for waterfowl. It's time to get the lead out of our State Wildlife Areas and this bill will do just that."

Here are links to audio of Assemblymember Nava:

Assemblymember Nava’s opening statement at today’s news conference. mp3

Assemblymember Nava says lead is a toxic material that should not be allowed in state wildlife areas. mp3

Assemblymember Nava says environmentalists and hunters have a mutual interest in healthy wildlife areas. mp3

Assemblymember Nava says the federal ban on lead shot has improved the health of water fowl nationwide. mp3

Contact: John Mann (916) 718-7420

Speaker Bass Reflects on Speakership

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SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) held her final news availability with reporters today and reflected on accomplishments of the Assembly made during her time as the first African American woman to serve as California’s Assembly Speaker.

“I served as Speaker in the state’s worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression, and in spite of that, we were able to get some things done that I’m very proud of,” Bass said. “If we think about a year ago, California felt like we were on a truck going down a cliff and we didn’t know when—and if—we were going to hit the bottom. It was definitely the two most difficult years that I’ve ever experienced politically— certainly not personally but politically— but I was glad that I was there and I have no regrets. I’ve always looked at service as a calling, and I am proud to have serve when called.”

Issues Speaker Bass noted she was pleased she and her colleagues addressed included:

  • AB 1422, a bill Bass wrote to bring stakeholders funding together to ensure 700,000 children didn’t lose coverage under the state’s Healthy Families program
  • AB 23 to make sure Californians laid off by small businesses fully benefit from federally subsidized COBRA health coverage
  • The University of California’s participation in the reopening of Martin Luther King Hospital for medically underserved South Los Angeles communities
  • Saving California’s safety net from being eliminated by budget cuts
  • Responsible legislation to help California students benefit from reform and federal funding under President Obama’s Race to the Top education initiative
  • The historic water agreement to increase water supply reliability and quality while improving the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the source of drinking water for two-thirds of the state
  • Supporting California’s infrastructure and construction workers with AB 3X 20, a bill Bass authored to help ensure all California local governments in California meet federal deadlines so the state doesn’t lose $2.6 billion in federal road and highway stimulus funding
  • Making the state eligible for up to $3 billion in federal unemployment insurance funds and increasing federal relief for more than 469,000 unemployed Californians by extending unemployment benefits
  • Passing AB 262, a bill Bass co-authored to ensure that $113 million in federal economic stimulus energy funding can help build California green industries as quickly as possible
  • Passing several pieces of legislation to help foster youth, including AB 12, jointly authored by Bass, which extends the state’s support for foster youth to 21 and which recently passed the Assembly on a bipartisan 72-0 vote
  • Curtailing the potentially harmful situations created by out of control paparazzi with AB 524, a bill Bass authored that extends invasion of privacy laws to persons that purchase, publish, and print images or recordings of individuals, if they knew that the images or recordings were obtained illegally
  • Working with the Legislative Black Caucus to commission the State of Black America Report, which provides qualitative and quantitative data collection measuring the status of the state’s black population relative to whites and other ethnic and racial groups, and has provided impetus for several bills focusing on closing gaps in employment, education and other areas
  • Bass also pledged to continue finalizing and enacting reform efforts both in her remaining time as Speaker and as Speaker-emeritus.

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408

Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III Stands with Fellow Legislators Condemning Racist and Sexist ‘Compton Cookout’ Event

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(Sacramento) – Assistant Speaker pro Tempore Isadore Hall, III (D-Compton) today was joined by Speaker Karen Bass (D – Los Angeles); Speaker-elect John A. Pérez (D- Los Angeles); members of the legislative Asian Pacific Islander, Black, Latino, LGBT and Women’s caucuses; prominent civil rights organizations and representatives from the University of California at the State Capitol in publicly condemning a racially offensive student event hosted by students of UC San Diego and demanding full accountability for their actions.


The event called the, ‘Compton Cookout’ was organized by members of various Greek fraternal organizations including Pi Kappa Alpha and encouraged participants to mock Black History Month by promoting negative and offensive racial and gender stereotypes.

“These acts of racism and sexism will not be tolerated in California or anywhere in the United States,” said Assemblymember Hall. “I stand united with fellow legislative leaders in publicly condemning those responsible for this act of hate and demanding full accountability for their actions.”

Continued Hall, “Today, I call upon UC San Diego Chancellor Mary Anne Fox, UC President Mark Yudof and the UC Board of Regents to launch an immediate and thorough investigation of the ‘Compton Cookout’ event to determine the names of those responsible for planning and participating in this act of racism and sexism, what university affiliated organizations participated in the event and what if any public funds or resources were used to plan or carry out the event. At the conclusion of the investigation, university officials should act swiftly to sanction all responsible parties including the revocation of fraternity or sorority charters, the full repayment of any public funds used to support these organizations and the individual suspension or expulsion of any student found responsible for planning or participating in this act of hate.”

“I don’t want these organizations to merely apologize for their actions. I want names and I want these individuals and organizations to understand that this type of racist and sexist behavior will not be tolerated in California. State taxpayers will not stand for their money to be spent supporting any organization that fosters racism, hate and intolerance. The legislature will closely monitor the university’s investigation and, if necessary, will act within its budgetary and oversight capacity to ensure that public funds do not finance racism or sexism in our state,” concluded Hall.

The full text of the ‘Compton Cookout’ invitation is attached for reference.

Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III Condemns Racist and Sexist “Compton Cookout” Event

(Sacramento) - Assistant Speaker pro Tempore Isadore Hall, III (D-Compton) stood  at the Capitol steps,with his fellow legislators  including Speaker Karen Bass and Speaker-elect John Pérez to publicly condemn a racially offensive student event hosted this past weekend by students of the University of California, San Diego. The event called the, ‘Compton Cookout’ was organized by members of various Greek fraternal organizations and encouraged participants to mock Black History Month by promoting negative and offensive racial and gender stereotypes. Assemblymember Hall says university officials should investigate the organizers of the event and determine what sanctions, including suspension, should be taken against the fraternity or fraternities responsible for the event. Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaker Bass Condemns Racist and Sexist “Compton Cookout” Event

(Sacramento) – Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) joined Assistant Speaker pro Tempore Isadore Hall, III (D-Compton) and other legislators on the steps of the State Capitol to publicly condemn a racially offensive student event hosted recently by students of the University of California, San Diego. The event called the, ‘Compton Cookout’ was organized by members of various Greek fraternal organizations and encouraged participants to mock Black History Month by promoting negative and offensive racial and gender stereotypes. Speaker Bass says university officials should investigate the organizers of the event and determine what sanctions, including suspension, should be taken against the fraternity or fraternities responsible for the event. Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.

 

 

Speaker-elect John A. Pérez, Condemns Racist and Sexist “Compton Cookout” Event

(Sacramento) - Speaker-elect John A. Pérez  (D- Los Angeles) stood at the Capitol steps,with his fellow legislators including Speaker Karen Bass to join Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III (D-Compton) in publicly condemning  a racially offensive student event hosted this past weekend by students of the University of California, San Diego. The event called the, ‘Compton Cookout’ was organized by members of various Greek fraternal organizations and encouraged participants to mock Black History Month by promoting negative and offensive racial and gender stereotypes.  Speaker-elect Pérez said that this event was "calculated to be offensive" and added that it creates an atmosphere of hostility and exclusion which compromises the core mission of an educational institution.  Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.

 

 

Audio:

Assemblymember Hall says those responsible for the event must be held accountable. (:32) mp3

Assemblymember Hall says the event invitation was full of racial and sexist references. (:15) mp3

Assemblymember Hall says acts of racism and sexism must not be tolerated. (:20) mp3

Assemblymember Hall’s complete opening remarks at today’s news conference. (6:27) mp3

Speaker Bass’ remarks at the news conference. (1:19) mp3

Speaker-elect Pérez’s remarks at the news conference. (2:12) mp3

Assemblymember Sandré Swanson’s (D-Oakland) remarks at the news conference. (1:18) mp3

Assemblymember Warren Furutani’s (D-South Los Angeles County) remarks at the news conference. (1:59) mp3

Assemblymember Nancy Skinner’s (D-Berkeley) remarks at the news conference. (1:18) mp3

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s (D-San Francisco) remarks at the news conference. (:56) mp3

Assemblymember Tony Mendoza’s (D-Norwalk) remarks at the news conference. (:42) mp3

Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal’s (D-Long Beach) remarks at the news conference. (:47) mp3

Assemblymember Noreen Evans’ (D-Santa Rosa) remarks at the news conference. (1:15) mp3

Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) remarks at the news conference. (:50) mp3

 

Speaker Bass and Assemblymember Galgiani Applaud “First Step Funding” for High-Speed Rail

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SACRAMENTO - California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani (D-Livingston) on Thursday thanked President Obama and Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for their dedication and commitment to high-speed rail by allocating billions of dollars to 31 states, including California, for their projects.

"The Legislature has worked closely with the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Caltrans and other stakeholders to show just how well prepared California is to launch a high-speed train here--and today's announcement by President Obama shows that effort has paid off,” Bass said. "We hope this is only the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership between California and the federal government to make sure transportation in California and throughout the country comes into the 21st Century.”

Galgiani agreed. "California is unified behind its high-speed train project. We have gathered support from a broad coalition of groups in all geographic regions throughout the state. We are all unified in our goal of obtaining a clean, safe, interstate transportation system, as well as offering an economic boost to the state by providing Californians jobs. For every $1 billion spent on infrastructure projects for a high-speed train, jobs are created for 18,000 Californians.”

"The federal government created the Eisenhower Interstate System in 1956, the greatest public works project in history, and now they are ready to take the next step and improve interstate travel and invest in a high-speed rail system. I am pleased we have received this boost of funding and I am proud that California is one of the few states in the country who are taking the lead in developing a true high-speed rail train system,” added Galgiani.

The Obama Administration announced earlier today that California is going to receive $2,349,400,000 of the $8 billion in stimulus funding for high-speed train development under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Combined with matching state, local and private funding, the federal infusion could generate billions to help launch the initial Anaheim-to-San Francisco link in a system that eventually will stretch to 800 miles, serving most of the state's major cities.

Website of Speaker Karen Bass: www.asm.ca.gov/speaker

Website of Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani: www.asm.ca.gov/galgiani

Contact: Shannon Murphy (Bass) (916) 319-2408
Contact: Reichel Everhart (Galgiani) (916) 319-2017

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Assemblymember Hayashi Introduces Comprehensive Legislation To Tackle Sports-Related Injuries

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Bills Will Address Problem of Concussions Among High School Athletes

(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) has introduced two bills to address the problem of recurring concussions and life-threatening injuries among high school athletes. AB 1646 will add training on potentially catastrophic injuries, such as head and neck injuries, asthma attacks, and heatstroke, to the CPR and first aid certification required of all California high school coaches. AB 1647 will require athletes suspected of having a concussion to get a doctor’s written permission before returning to play. Below are Assemblymember Hayashi’s prepared remarks from today’s capitol news conference announcing the introduction of AB 1646 and 1647.

“Too many high school athletes return to play too early after a head injury, placing them at risk for another concussion. Multiple concussions can result in brain bleeding and swelling, and related health problems such as sleep disorders, memory loss, and depression.

I am pleased that state leaders and advocates have joined together to discuss the impact such injuries are having on student health and safety. It is a serious problem, as the Center for Injury Research and Policy reported that 41 percent of high school athletes who suffered a concussion returned to play prematurely. Because their heads and necks are still developing, high school players are at risk for greater injury and need a longer recovery time. The American Academy of Family Physicians showed that the incidence of catastrophic head injuries is more than three times greater among high school football players than college players.

But football is not the only sport, and this is not just about boys and men. In 2008, an NCAA study reported that concussion rates were higher in women than in men in soccer - 27 percent higher. They were also higher in basketball (66 percent), and in ice hockey (80 percent). In fact, a 2009 American Journal of Sports Medicine article showed that female athletes are suffering more severe symptoms from multiple concussions than male athletes.

I have introduced two bills to address this problem and increase student safety. AB 1646 will add training on concussions and other potentially catastrophic injuries, such as asthma attacks and heatstroke, to the CPR and first aid certification required of all California high school coaches. AB 1647 will require medical clearance from a health professional before a student can return to play following a sports injury.

AB 1646 is similar to the laws passed by Oregon and Texas. Oregon’s 2009 law mandates annual concussion training for coaches. School sports officials also keep players off the field for the rest of the day when injured, and mandate a medical evaluation before they return. In 2007, Texas passed “Will’s Bill,” requiring every high school coach to be trained in basic safety and emergency procedures, with special emphasis on concussions and second-impact syndrome. AB 1647 is similar to Washington State’s law, which is considered the nation’s toughest return-to-play law. It passed last year, requiring medical clearance of youth athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion before they go back to training and competition.

Our kids believe that they need to be tough and play through the pain when injuries occur, so they’re unlikely to tell anyone when they think they have a concussion. It’s also hard for parents to say no to their kids when they want to go back and play. We need to help the adults around student athletes become more aware of the problem, and empower them with laws that put the health of the player first. 2010 should be the year that California resolved to take concrete steps to protect its student athletes. Through these bills, we can better protect our kids, allowing them to be the athletes they want to be, without sacrificing their safety.”

Website of Assemblymember Hayashi: www.asm.ca.gov/hayashi

Here are links to audio of Assemblymember Hayashi and others at today’s news conference:

Assemblymember Hayashi’s opening remarks at today’s news conference. (2:30) mp3

Assemblymember Hayashi explains why AB 1646 and 1647 are needed to protect student athletes. (:17) mp3

Remarks from Assemblymember Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), principle co-author of the legislation. (1:53) mp3

Remarks from Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), a co-author of AB 1646 and AB 1647. (1:18) mp3

Remarks from Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), a co-author of the sports injury legislation. (:38) mp3

Beth Mallon, a San Diego area mother of a young man who suffered a major sports injury, talks about why she feels AB 1646 and 1647 are so important. (:34) mp3

Tommy Mallon, Beth’s son, talks about how the athletic trainer saved his life after he was injured. (:45) mp3

Mike West, President of the California Athletic Trainers Association, says the need for AB 1646 and 1647 is critical. (:23) mp3

Contact: Ross Warren (916) 319-2018

Assemblymember Jones Introduces Comprehensive Ski Resort Safety Legislation

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AB 1652 takes a comprehensive approach to promote increased safety for skiers and snowboarders

(Sacramento) - Today Assemblymember Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) announced the introduction of Assembly Bill 1652. This bill takes a comprehensive approach to promote increased safety for skiers and snowboarders by requiring better signage, accident and injury reporting, and helmet use for kids and resort employees.

California has 32 largely unregulated ski resorts. There are no requirements concerning posting of signs related to ski slope conditions, boundary warnings, or known hazards. Data regarding injuries or fatalities occurring at ski resorts is only aggregated nationally by the ski industry associations; therefore consumers are unable to get information about the overall death and injury statistics or the relative safety performance of individual ski resorts.

Numerous recent studies have found that traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of injury-related death among skiers and snowboarders, and children in particular are at higher risk. A 2008 study conducted by University of Washington professor Peter Cummings concluded that the use of helmets could reduce the risk of serious injury in up to 60 percent of all accidents. Additionally, skiers and snowboarders who crashed or fell had a 15 percent reduction in the risk of any head injury if they were wearing a helmet.

"While tragic accidents at California's ski resorts are, fortunately, not common, we know we can do more to protect the safety of ski resort enthusiasts and workers," said Jones. "Requiring helmet use for workers and kids, having a clear safety plan, posting adequate signs warning of possible dangers and changing conditions are the tools we need to put in place to ensure the safety of those enjoying California's mountains. I am pleased to be working with the California Ski and Snowboard Safety Organization to craft comprehensive legislation to put these important protections in place."

Assemblymember Jones was joined by Dr. Dan Gregorie, founder of the California Ski and Snowboard Safety Organization (CSSSO), at the event in the State Capitol to announce the introduction of AB 1652.

"Accidents happen, but when injuries and deaths occur that could potentially be avoided, that's when the Legislature needs to investigate what can be done," said Dr. Gregorie. "Skiers and snowboarders now travel as fast as cars. If highway safety is a priority, then why not ski and snowboard safety? One life lost to a preventable accident is one life too many. It's time something is done to hold ski resorts more accountable and make uniform signage, adequate barriers and proper traffic and speed management part of everyday safety practices."

Website of Assemblymember Jones: www.asm.ca.gov/jones

Here are links to audio of Assemblymember Jones:

Assemblymember Jones says talks about the need for ski resort safety legislation. (1:02) mp3

Assemblymember Jones says AB 1652 is based on scientific studies. (:24) mp3

Assemblymember Jones says children are the ones who most need to wear helmets when snowboarding or skiing.(:26) mp3

Contact: Kayte Fisher (916) 319-2009

Assemblymembers Ted Lieu, Alyson Huber, Law Enforcement & Crime Victims Call on CDCR To Protect Public Safety as Early Release of Prisoners Begin

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(Sacramento) - Assemblymembers Ted Lieu and Alyson Huber today joined Crime Victims United and law enforcement officials to call on the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to implement common-sense public safety protections as tens of thousands of prisoners begin to be set free early, many without parole supervision and with no rehabilitation. Lieu and Huber announced the introduction of Assembly Bill 1678 to mandate public safety protections.

"As a tidal wave of prisoners are released back into our community, many of them without rehabilitation services or parole supervision, it is imperative that common-sense public safety protections be in place to protect the public and help local law enforcement shoulder the burden of the early release of convicted criminals," said Assemblymember Ted Lieu. "Law enforcement not only needs to know who CDCR is releasing early and without parole supervision, but they should also have a voice to ensure CDCR isn't releasing prisoners who will immediately commit another crime."

Under the Governor's proposals, which became law today, three fundamental changes will occur. First, many criminals behind bars in either state prisons or local jails will have their confinement cut in half. For every six months a criminal serves in confinement, that criminal will receive six months of early release credit. Second, for state prisoners, CDCR begins determining which prisoners to release without parole supervision, also known as Non-Revocable Parole. Third, rehabilitation programs in state prisons will be gutted and 600 to 800 vocational and educational prison instructors will be given pink slips.

"Public safety must be our number one priority," said Assemblymember Alyson Huber. "That's why we are calling on CDCR to immediately involve local law enforcement."

"In an effort to save money, we believe the crime reductions many communities have seen could be at risk," said Floyd Hayhurst, Vice President of the Association for Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs. "We believe the state should implement ways to reduce the impact of early release."

Assembly Bill 1678, authored by Assemblymembers Lieu and Huber, was introduced today to mandate common sense public safety protections. Specifically, AB 1678 would enable local law enforcement agencies to object to the release of a convicted felon into Non-Revocable Parole status; require CDCR to notify local law enforcement agencies with critical information about identity, location and criminal history within a reasonable time period prior to their release; and increase transparency by making public a list of crimes committed by prisoners being released without parole supervision.

"We believe these protections are reasonable and will help us control crime and protect the public," said Brian Johnson, Director for the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

Website of Assemblymember Lieu: www.asm.ca.gov/lieu

Website of Assemblymember Huber: www.asm.ca.gov/huber

Here are links to audio of Assemblymembers Lieu & Huber:

Assemblymember Lieu's opening remarks at today's news conference. (3:15) mp3

Assemblymember Huber's opening remarks at today's news conference. (1:32) mp3

Assemblymember Lieu says the actions by the Department of Corrections will have a devastating impact on local communities. (:12) mp3

Assemblymember Lieu says no matter what anyone else calls it today's actions amount to early release. (:45) mp3

Assemblymember Huber says She hopes AB 1678 ends up being unnecessary. (:17) mp3

Contact: Shannon Murphy (Bass) (916) 319-2408
Contact: Jeff Barbosa (Torrico) (916) 319-2020

Speaker Karen Bass and Speaker-elect John A. Pérez Announce Assembly Transition

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SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and Speaker-elect John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) announced today that March 1, 2010 will be the date of Pérez’s official swearing in as the 68th Speaker of the California State Assembly.

“It’s recently been announced that March 1, 2010 will mark one of the roughest transitions in history--the changing of the Tonight Show from Conan O'Brien to Jay Leno,” Bass said. “I am delighted that March 1, 2010 will also mark one of the smoothest transitions in history, when I turn the Assembly gavel over to incoming Speaker John Pérez. As we have been meeting and working together closely these past few weeks, I know absolutely that John is more than ready, willing and able to step in as Speaker and do an excellent job helping the people of California meet the tough challenges we face together.”

“I am excited to officially assume the duties of office of Speaker,” Pérez said. “Even though this is one of the most challenging times in modern California history, I am confident that this can be a year of reform where we finally stabilize our budget situation, and push forward with the hard work of creating the decent, well-paying jobs that will bring California out of this recession. I want to thank my colleagues in the Legislature for their confidence, and I particularly want to thank Speaker Bass and Leader Blakeslee for their thoughtful and dedicated leadership. This can be a great year for California, and I am eager to get to work.”

Website of Speaker Karen Bass: www.asm.ca.gov/speaker

Website of Speaker-elect John A. Pérez: www.asm.ca.gov/jperez

Contact: Shannon Murphy (Bass) (916) 319-2408
Contact: John Vigna (Pérez) (916) 319-2046

 

 

 

Assemblymember Block's Bill Takes Key Step to Close Tax Loophole and Lower Costs for Students

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(Sacramento) – The Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation has passed AB 1178, a bill authored by Assemblymember Marty Block (78th Assembly District, San Diego) to support California's college students by reducing by $120 million annually the sales tax on textbooks and school supplies found at college bookstores. AB 1178 would take the burden off the shoulders of students by bringing in state revenues currently lost to a corporate tax loophole that allows for the use of foreign tax havens.

“Our college kids are struggling to get by while corporate bad actors take a Cayman Islands Spring Break from paying their fair share in taxes,” Block said. “For some corporations to find a loophole whereby they don't have to pay their fair share is not only unjust, it adds to the burden the rest of us must shoulder and it should be illegal. This bill would close an often-used loophole to level the playing field in terms of tax burdens and help our college students strengthen our state's economy.”

According to California Franchise Tax Board estimates, AB 1178 will generate over $330 million in state revenues over the next three years by collecting taxes currently avoided by the use of foreign tax havens.

A long time advocate of closing corporate tax loopholes that leave an undue tax burden on California residents, Block wrote AB 1178 to ensure corporations would not be penalized for simply conducting economic activity in another country. AB 1178 must now be passed by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations before it is voted on by the full Assembly. For additional information on AB 1178, please contact Assemblymember Marty Block's Sacramento office at (916) 319-2078.

Website of Assemblymember Marty Block: www.asm.ca.gov/block

 

 

Here are links to audio of Assemblymember Block:

Assemblymember Block says AB 1178 fulfills a campaign promise. mp3

Assemblymember Block says students are the ones who deserve a tax break. mp3

Assemblymember Block says AB 1178 funnels the money back into education. mp3

Assemblymember Block says AB 1178 will benefit the state's economy. mp3

Contact: David Glanzer(619) 208-2001

Speaker Bass Responds to Governor’s Budget Proposal

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(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D- Los Angeles) today said California should collaborate with the federal government to identify potential federal funding for the state, but questioned much of the rest of the Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed spending plan.

“Democrats are supportive of the governor’s call for a better return on the dollars we send Washington, but budget threats the Governor usually aims at the Legislature should not be turned to the President of the United States,” said Bass.

Bass said leaders should approach the federal government from a point of collaboration and that all options should be on the table to address the budget deficit.

“The governor said that if California doesn’t receive $8 billion dollars from the federal government, he will push for draconian budget cuts to our safety net. He also called on our congressional delegation to vote against the health care reform we so desperately need in our country. It’s important we begin the challenging year ahead with cooperation, not a combative, contradictory tone,” Bass said.

The Speaker was critical of the administration’s proposed cuts that would effectively dismantle the safety net needed by millions of Californians, particularly during the ongoing recession. She also criticized the administration for slipping conservative policy proposals – that have no bearing on the budget – into the budget proposal in an effort to burnish the governor’s legacy.

“Unfortunately the governor is slipping policy issues in his budget that really amount to his concern over his legacy. Once again he’s looking to erode environmental, legal, education and pension protections. These have little to do with closing our budget deficit and more to do with a conservative legacy he wishes to leave behind. The governor says he wants to be in denial about this being his last year in office. This budget amounts to is a big pile of denial. The Legislature will take a much more serious approach to closing the state’s budget deficit.”

Website of Speaker Karen Bass: www.asm.ca.gov/speaker

Speaker Bass: Gov’s Proposed Budget is “Big Pile of Denial”

 

 

(Sacramento) – California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) says she’s pleased the Governor is planning to press the federal government to pay its fair share to help California overcome the current budget crisis but says much of the rest of the Governor’s proposed spending plan has little connection to reality. Speaker Bass says the Governor’s proposed cuts would effectively dismantle the safety net needed by millions of Californians. And, Speaker Bass says the Governor has slipped conservative policy proposals – that have no bearing on the budget – into his budget proposal in an effort to burnish is legacy. Here’s more from Assembly Speaker Bass in this Assembly Access video.

Here are links to audio of Speaker Bass:

Speaker Bass' opening remarks at budget response news conference. (3:58) mp3

Speaker Bass says the Governor's budget proposal is "in denial". (from the end of the opening statement) (:16) mp3

Speaker Bass says she expects the legislature to present its own series of reforms. (:09) mp3

Speaker Bass says the Gov's proposed cuts to health care and CalWorks are simply wrong. (:16) mp3

Speaker Bass says the Gov's proposals for off shore oil drilling has failed to win approval in the past. (:11) mp3

Speaker Bass says taxes will NOT be the centerpiece of a budget but says all options must be on the table during the upcoming budget process. (:17) mp3

Contact: Shannon Murphy: (916) 319-2408