(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/speaker http://www.asmdc.org/mitchell
(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 - 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 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.
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) - 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) -- Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) joined representatives from the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Donate Life program at a news conference to encourage everyone to sign up for the life saving organ donation program. Speaker Pérez says he's intimately familiar with the need for organ donation because his mother spent many years going through dialysis and, while spending time at the hospital with her, he met many people who benefited from organ donation. The Speaker says also realized the importance of organ donation when his father, who was an organ donor, died and he found solace in the fact others would be helped by his father even after his death. Here's more from the Speaker in this Assembly Access video.
(Sacramento) -- Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and 10 business leaders from across the state praised the 71-1 vote by the California Assembly to pass AB 113, legislation which will give an additional $2 million in funding to the Secretary of State as a critical first step in expediting the state's processing of business filings to no more than five business days by November 2013. The rapid action by the Assembly aims to reduce the backlog, which had been as high as 85 days. "Every day that a business owner must wait on paperwork to be processed is a day that they are not selling to customers, hiring workers, or contributing to our recovery," said Speaker Pérez. "No longer will new businesses need to wait weeks or even months for the simple paperwork to be processed in order to begin to hire employees, sign contracts, and open for business."
Sacramento - The California State Assembly has passed legislation authored by Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) to ensure Californians who are struggling with an illness, sometimes called a pre-existing condition, will be able to purchase insurance coverage at reasonable rates, beginning January 1, 2014. “Today the Assembly has moved our state one step closer to making sure that people who become sick or injured are not denied health insurance,” said Dr. Pan, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Health. Assembly Bill 1x2 implements the federal Affordable Care Act goal of providing every American with quality, affordable health care by ending the denial of coverage for any reason, including any pre-existing conditions. Here’s more from Dr. Pan in this Assembly Access video.