SACRAMENTO—A bill by Speaker Toni G. Atkins that would make it easier for communities to hold outdoor markets that feature locally sourced seafood – similar to farmers markets – passed the Senate floor today. AB 226, the Pacific to Plate bill, would keep red tape from preventing consumers from buying seafood directly from the local men and women who caught it.
“As we’ve seen by the massive growth of farmers markets across the state, allowing direct sales of produce benefits farmers and consumers,” said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). “These small-business owners and coastal communities throughout California deserve these same opportunities. Pacific to Plate does this by removing unnecessary hurdles in state law.”
The Pacific to Plate bill allows fishermen’s markets to operate as food facilities and fresh fish to be cleaned for direct sale, and it streamlines the permitting process so that commercial fishermen can organize under a single permit—just like certified farmers markets.
“The success of San Diego’s own Tuna Harbor Dockside Market shows that people want access to fresh and sustainable seafood,” said County Supervisor Greg Cox, whose efforts last year aided in the launch of the market, the first of its kind locally. “This legislation will make it easier for fishermen to open more dockside markets in San Diego County and throughout the state.”
The Pacific to Plate bill also establishes guidelines, including compliance with the California Retail Food Code and food-safety requirements.
San Diego’s market celebrated its anniversary in August. It has expanded to include 17 vendors selling their catch, made up of 22 species caught in local waters, including swordfish, yellowtail, squid and white sea bass.
“This law that streamlines the establishment and functioning of fishermen's markets will benefit the environment, fishermen and consumers,” said Peter Halmay, one of the founders of the Tuna Harbor market.
SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) announced today that the Assembly Democratic Caucus has selected Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) to become the 70th Speaker of the Assembly. The leadership change will occur after a floor vote in January and a transition period to be determined by the Speaker and the Speaker-designate.
“With the crush of business facing us in the coming final week of the legislative session, I decided it’s time to end all the suspense and speculation so we can focus our undivided attention on the critical issues before us,” Speaker Atkins said. “The Caucus has made an excellent choice, and I’m delighted to see everyone uniting behind Assemblymember Rendon. I know he will find the job as rewarding and challenging as I do.”
“I am deeply honored to have the support of my colleagues to become the next Speaker,” Assemblymember Rendon said. “I also know I have a very tough act to follow, which is why I’ll be working to learn as much as I can from Speaker Atkins as she leads us through the end of session and into next year. I am proud to be part of the Speaker’s team as we finish a very productive year and prepare for more successes in 2016.”
Rendon currently serves as Chair of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee. Prior to serving in the Assembly, he was an educator, non-profit executive director, and environmental activist.
SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) issued the following statement after being selected to be the next Speaker of the California State Assembly:
“I am deeply honored to have the support of my colleagues to become the next Assembly Speaker.
“The Assembly remains focused on doing the people’s work over the last week of this legislative session and finding solutions to the challenges Californians face every day.
“I thank Speaker Toni Atkins for her incredible grace in leading this house and continuing California’s role at the forefront of the nation and the world.”
Assemblyman Anthony Rendon is serving in his second term representing the 63rd Assembly District, which includes the cities and communities of Bell, Cudahy, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, North Long Beach, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, and South Gate.
LOS ANGELES—Declaring the urgent need to keep California moving, Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins and a large coalition of local government officials, business leaders and transportation advocates today provided an update on the Legislature's special session on transportation infrastructure. They emphasized the reasons why new infrastructure funding is vital to the state.
“Currently, the state has $59 billion in deferred maintenance for transportation projects,” said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). “We've been working with a broad bipartisan coalition that includes business and labor leaders, transportation experts and officials from the state, cities and counties. Our next steps will be working with Republicans in the Legislature. It may be a bumpy road, but we believe that we can find a solution that will concretely and tangibly make Californians' lives better by making safer roads that keep goods and people moving.”
OAKLAND—Declaring the urgent need to keep California moving, Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and a large coalition of local government officials, business leaders and transportation advocates today provided an update on the Legislature’s special session on transportation infrastructure. They emphasized the reasons why new infrastructure funding is vital to the state.
“California cannot have a strong middle class or a thriving economy if our roads are congested and people and goods aren’t moving efficiently,” said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). “That’s why in the special session, I am hopeful we can set aside rigid ideology and consider serious proposals that provide a new, fair funding stream that benefits all California communities.”
AB 162 by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) was signed into law by Governor
Brown on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. This bill instructs that the California Department of
Transportation to study wrong-way driving accidents-which has not been done in California since
1989-and look at safety measures pursued by other states that could prevent wrong way driving
accidents. Contact: Shanna Ezzell, (916) 319-2052. Press release
here. Audio PSA available here.
AB 47 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) passed out of the Senate Education
Committee and has been re-referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Preschool for All
Act requires the state to provide funding for all children who are eligible for the state preschool
program, who do not have access to Transitional Kindergarten or Head Start, with the opportunity to
enroll in the program. Contact: Bryan Singh, (916) 319-2007. Press release
(Sacramento) – A new law, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), which guarantees at least three paid sick days to every California private sector employee took effect July 1, 2015. “For years, hardworking men and women fighting for decent working conditions told me paid sick days was what they were most excited about at work. So, when I had the opportunity to join the Assembly, passing a paid sick days law for Californians was at the top of my priority list,” Gonzalez said. California is the first state in the nation to pass such expansive paid sick days legislation. Under the new law all full-time, part-time, per diem, and temporary employees in California’s private sector will accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty hours worked. Employers can limit the time off to 24 hours or three days. Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.
SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Obergefell v. Hodges:
“This is a very emotional day. We feel relief, of course, that the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the fundamental right of same-sex couples to legally commit their lives to each other. We feel admiration for the couples and the advocates who have fought for marriage equality through election after election and court after court, never giving up. And we feel pride in a movement that has helped inform public opinion and bring about justice in what, historically, is a relatively swift period of time. But most of all, we feel joy for every couple in every state who now have the opportunity to share their lives with the respect, dignity and legal protections that marriage brings.”
Below are audio links of Speaker Atkins’ comments about the marriage ruling:
Speaker Atkins reacts to today’s marriage ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. (1:03)
Speaker Atkins says has a personal understanding of what today’s ruling means to same sex couples. (:48)
Speaker Atkins says she will celebrate the ruling with friends, family and supporters in San Diego this evening. (1:38)
SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on King v. Burwell:
“I’m pleased the Supreme Court made the right decision and upheld the Affordable Care Act subsidies in states that have not set up their own health care exchanges. While California would not have been impacted had the subsidies been struck down, since we were the first state to establish an exchange, the ruling prevents chaos in the country’s health care system and protects millions of our fellow Americans who would have lost their health coverage. With this ruling showing that court challenges to Obamacare are as tenuous as the Congressional repeal efforts have been politically ineffective, maybe cooler heads can now prevail and the focus can be on how to make health care coverage even more accessible and affordable in every state in the nation.”
“This bill brings California’s election recount process into the 21st century. Elections are a fundamental democratic principle and we must make every effort to ensure their integrity. I believe AB 44, will do just that.”
As Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, I know the importance of college affordability and safety. We must ensure students are provided with safe learning environments. In addition, students need transparency in higher education costs in order to make informed financial decisions for college."
"We know that students in foster care are more likely to achieve their full potential when they are provided services designed to meet their particular needs. It's imperative that foster youth get the support and resources they need to succeed academically."