(Los Angeles) - It was a great day for California's middle class college students and their families. California State Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) joined Governor Jerry Brown in Los Angeles at Cahuenga Elementary School for the signing of Speaker Pérez's Middle Class Scholarship. The Middle Class Scholarship will cut fees at UC and CSU by 40 percent for California families earning less than $100,000 and 10 percent for families earning less than $150,000 annually.
"This is a great victory for higher education and middle class families in California, and a huge first step in keeping college affordable," said Speaker Pérez. "For the past ten years, the middle class has been increasingly squeezed out of our public universities because of skyrocketing tuition rates, forcing students to drop out of college or take on massive student debt that will negatively impact them for years, possibly decades. This legislation will ensure that California maintains a healthy middle class and an educated workforce to keep our economy strong."
Unfortunately, this great news for students comes the same day as some disappointing news. Because of Congress's failure to act, student loan interest rates have doubled. Even though today’s deadline to prevent the increase has passed, Speaker Pérez called on Congress to act to avoid this harm to students. In June, Speaker Pérez authored Assembly Joint Resolution 20, urging Congress to act to prevent the interest rates from rising, which passed with strong bipartisan support.
Watch the AB 94 signing ceremony and Speaker Pérez's comments in this Assembly Access Video.
(Sacramento) – California State Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and legislative leaders proudly watched as Governor Jerry Brown signed the 2013-14 California Budget Act. This year’s balanced budget was hard-fought and years in the making. Speaker Pérez worked tirelessly with other leaders in an effort that has restored fiscal responsibility to our budget as California and the nation recover from a long recession.
“This budget reflects the collective values of the people of California, while strengthening the middle class and delivering effective and efficient services.” said Speaker Pérez.
During the ceremony, the Governor also signed AB1X-1 which allows the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act and will expand Medi-Cal coverage to over one million low-income and uninsured Californians.
“Today marks an historic milestone for health care in our state and the nation,” said Speaker Pérez. “AB1X-1 is an important vehicle for California to fully partner with the federal government to expand health coverage to our lowest-income Californians. The Governor’s signature on this important legislation means our state will help ensure the health and well-being of more Californians, and it allows us to continue to be a model on health care reform for the rest of the nation.”
Watch this Assembly Access Video to hear Speaker Pérez’s comments and see highlights of the budget signing ceremony.
Sacramento - It was a day that many Americans, especially those in the LGBT community held their breath for: Decision Day. On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States declared the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and upheld marriage equality in California. California State Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), the first openly-gay speaker of a state legislature had this to say, “This is a tremendous victory, not just for the LGBT community and not just the large and growing majority of Americans who have embraced us, but a victory for justice itself.” After the jubilant day, Speaker Pérez and hundreds of celebrants joined at the West steps of the State Capitol for a Decision Day rally. Although, the crowd was joyous about the SCOTUS marriage equality decisions, Speaker Pérez reminded those in attendance that there was still work to be done. “There are states in this country where marriage restrictions still exist,” Speaker Pérez proclaimed. “Tonight we celebrate, and tomorrow we go back to work.”
Listen to the Speaker’s inspiring speech in this Assembly Access Video.
Sacramento - Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and members of the LGBT Caucus spoke during a news conference at the State Capitol after the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decisions declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and allowing same-sex couples to marry in California. “This is a tremendous victory, not just for the LGBT Community, and not just for the large and growing majority of Americans who have embraced us, but a victory for justice itself,” said Speaker Pérez. “With the Court’s action, Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision is the law of the land in California, and that means that, for the first time in five years, LGBT Californians can walk the streets of California knowing that we are fully equal citizens in every respect.” Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.