(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), Governor Jerry Brown and Senate pro Tem Darrell Steinberg met with reporters to discuss the Joint Budget Conference Committee’s agreement on a budget plan for the state. Speaker Pérez said, “The Budget Conference Committee’s actions last night put us on track to complete our third on-time, balanced budget in a row. The budget the Legislature will adopt by our Constitutional deadline reflects the core priorities laid out in the Assembly Blueprint for a Responsible Budget: continuing fiscal responsibility, strengthening the middle class and making government services more efficient and effective. I am particularly pleased the budget will take action on one of the most crucial issues facing our long-term recovery by making college more affordable with the Middle Class Scholarship Act.” Here’s more from the Speaker in this Assembly Access video.
(Sacramento) - On a 70-1 vote the California State Assembly approved a resolution by Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) urging Congress to act swiftly to avoid a doubling of student loan interest rates. Under current federal law, Federal Direct Stafford Loan interest rates will jump to 6.8 percent from the present 3.4 percent on July 1, unless Congress passes legislation to avert the increase. The Resolution received unanimous, bipartisan support in committee. "Today the Assembly acted to help prevent hundreds of thousands of California's students from being hit with a major increase in the cost of their education," said Speaker Pérez. Here's more in this Assembly Access video.
(Sacramento) - The Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Act (Assembly Bill 639), authored by Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), was the focus of a recent news report on KABC-TVin Los Angeles. AB 639 would give California’s voters the opportunity to repurpose $600 million in existing veterans’ bond funds to respond more effectively to the housing needs of today’s veteran population and their families. Here’s KABC’s story in this Assembly Assets video. http://www.asmdc.org/speaker
(Sacramento) -- California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), Assemblymember Holly Mitchell (D-Culver City) and other lawmakers joined hundreds of parents for a march and rally at the State Capitol to show their support for new investments in child care programs. "Thousands of families all over the state face a Catch-22—go to work to support their children who have to then fend for themselves or lose their jobs so they can take care of their children," said Speaker John A. Pérez. "Child care programs throughout our state keep parents in the workforce and keep children safe in enriching settings, and maintaining that should be a priority." Improving the educational outlook of low income students, as the Governor desires, requires access to quality child care programs. Here's more in this Assembly Access video. http://www.asmdc.org/speakerhttp://www.asmdc.org/mitchell
Sacramento - Assembly Bill 10, authored by Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) to raise California’s minimum wage, has been approved by the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee. Specifically under AB 10, in 2014 the hourly minimum wage will increase 25 cents per hour to $8.25, which is $2.00 a day for a standard 8-hour work day. In 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $8.75. In 2016, the minimum wage will increase to $9.25. And in 2017, the minimum wage would be adjusted the state minimum wage on an annual basis according to the rate of inflation. “AB 10 provides modest increases over time and implements a cost of living adjustment 5 years from now to help ensure equity for minimum wage workers in the long-term,” Assemblymember Alejo told the Committee. Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.
Sacramento - The day after the U.S. Congress rejected responsible gun controls, Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) led the State Assembly effort to seize firearms from people who are already prohibited from having guns - felons, people with a history of spousal abuse or those deemed mentally unfit by a court. If signed by Governor Brown, SB 140 provides $24 million to the California Department of Justice to ramp up efforts to seize 40,000 illegally owned firearms across the state. The funds will come fees collected during gun purchases and form the Dealer Record of Sale account. Here's more in this Assembly Access video.
(Sacramento) - Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and higher education students from around California rallied on the steps of the State Capitol in support of reducing student loan debt and to improving financial literacy education. "The $1 trillion student debt crisis not only threatens the financial future of today's students, but the economic future of our economy," Wieckowski said. "That's why I have introduced the Student Bill of Rights. Reducing the amount of debt saddling students will help families stabilize their finances and regain their financial footing." Wieckowski's Student Bill of Rights legislative package takes a two-pronged approach to the issue by educating students and helping them become financially-literate consumers on the front end, and easing the burden for those graduates who are struggling or unable to pay their debt after leaving college
The Student Bill of Rights aims to give California scholars the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond. This legislative package aims to ensure that California's students learn the basic financial skills required to become successful adults. To that end, students will also be entitled to the same comprehensive financial counseling, whether the loan is public or privately held.
Further, students struggling to make ends meet can no longer have their wages garnished for the repayment of many student loans. The package encourages creditors to work with the debtor and figure out a repayment plan that the student can manage.
Finally, if bankruptcy is designed to give a fresh start, it must include private loans in addition to public loans. As such, the Student Bill of Rights explicitly states California’s support for changing federal bankruptcy laws to remove the private loan exemption.
(Sacramento) -- Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and the rest of the State Assembly observed a moment of silence and adjourned their April 18th floor session in the memory of those who were killed and injured in the Boston Marathon bombings. In remarks on the Assembly floor, Speaker Pérez said, "Whatever the motivation for this attack, in the aftermath, we've seen our fellow citizens come together. And remember that it is in moments of pain and tragedy that we're reminded that the ties that bind us together are far stronger than the narrow, parochial concerns that sometimes serve to drive us apart." Here's more in this Assembly Access video.
(Sacramento) - Graduation season is upon us. In this PSA, California State Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Santa Cruz) warns students of the dangers of drinking and driving, and he urges them to stay safe and sober this graduation season. Learn more this Assembly Access Video.
(Sacramento) -- Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) believes in the Cal Grant program and she's introduced legislation to make sure as many students as possible have the opportunity to use the financial aid program to help them pay for college. Assembly Bill 1241 would open the application window for Cal Grants wider by extending the number of years a student is eligible to apply. Assemblymember Weber says the current eligibility requirement for Cal Grants penalizes low income students who are not able to go to college immediately after high school graduation. Here's more in this Assembly Access video.