(Sacramento) – A bill by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, to ban single-use carryout bags in California headed for a vote by the full Assembly this week with the unprecedented support of stakeholders, the author announced today at a news conference.
The California Grocers Association and the United Food and Commercial Workers joined a long list of supporters of AB 1998 today, taking a sound, fair and effective approach to eliminating single-use bag litter, which pollutes oceans, beaches, parks and communities and endanger wildlife.
“We have achieved a historic agreement on a nearly cost-neutral measure with broad support from environmental groups and businesses,” Assemblywoman Brownley said. “By passing AB 1998, California will signal to the nation its commitment to wean itself from a costly single-use carryout bag habit that is threatening marine life and spoiling our waterways. Communities across the state have already started this process, but it’s time for a uniform, statewide policy.”
AB 1998, amended last week, bans all single-use bags sold in supermarkets, drug stores, convenience stores and liquor stores. If shoppers forget to bring their re-useable bags, AB 1998 allows them to purchase recycled paper bags, made from 40 percent post-consumer material, for a reasonable cost not less than 5 cents per bag.
Single-use plastic bags are a major contributor to marine debris, which has injured or killed at least 267 species worldwide, primarily through ingestion and entanglement. These bags cost Californians $25 million a year to collect and bury in landfills.
"California taxpayers waste millions of dollars every year cleaning up plastic pollution off our streets, and from our rivers and beaches," said Mark Gold, Heal the Bay President. "AB1998 is a common sense solution that promotes the green business of reusable bags, breaks our addiction to single use bags, and puts California at the forefront in solving the global marine debris crisis."
Dan Jacobson, legislative director for Environment California, said the state should act now to help shoppers switch to re-useable bags.
“Nothing that we use for 5 minutes should pollute the ocean for 500 years,” Jacobson said. “Cities in California have been taking the lead on this issue – now it’s time for the state to get on board.”
The Assembly Appropriations Committee approved AB 1998 on May 28, and it is scheduled for a vote by the full Assembly this week.
Assemblymember Brownley was joined at today’s news conference by a trio of actresses/environmental activists Amy Smart, Rosario Dawson and Rachelle LeFevre.
LOS ANGELES – Kicking off Memorial Day Weekend today, California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) held a Veterans’ Resource Fair to connect California veterans and their families with benefits available to them because of their courageous service and sacrifice.
“Californians have a great responsibility to aid veterans and National Guard members and their families,” Pérez said. “At a time when our country is at war, veterans are returning home and are finding themselves without access to jobs, job training, affordable housing, and mental health support. This resource fair is part of California’s broader effort to fill gaps in the federal government’s support of these men and women who have sacrificed so much. In Sacramento, we’re promoting this effort by pushing state agencies and departments to provide better services to these brave Californians.”
The Veterans’ Resource Fair included representatives available to provide access to educational/vocational rehabilitation benefits such as VA/CAL-VET home loan guarantee programs, medical care, the State of California dependent college fee waiver program, benefits for surviving spouse and children, and many other related benefits.
In Sacramento, the California State Assembly continues to make a priority the needs of California’s over 2 million veterans and their families. This has included aggressive oversight of California’s state agencies and departments in regard to how well state government programs deliver services to veterans, in addition to the use of the legislative and budgetary oversight to address the needs of California’s veterans.
Highlights of this effort include:
Implementing the findings and recommendations from a 2009 audit of the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CDVA) that confirmed that California state agencies and departments need to provide better services and programs to our veterans and National Guard;
Addressing California’s low participation rate in federal veteran disability compensation and pension benefits, which harms our veterans and negatively affects the state’s economy;
Directing the Department of Motor Vehicles to assist the CDVA in identifying veterans if they desire to be informed of their eligibility to collect these federal benefits.
Promoting Veteran Employment and Job Training – Both the federal government and the State of California/Assembly have identified employment as a key issue for returning veterans. Some of the Employment Development Department’s (EDD) existing programs serving veterans include the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) and the Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER), both administered and funded by the US Department of Labor.
Encouraging the state to authorize the establishment of what are referred to as “Vet Courts,” which would permit superior courts to take into consideration and place into community treatment and supervison programs mentally ill offenders who are military veterans, including those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma, substance abuse, or any mental health problem stemming from military service, so long as it is feasible and consistent with public safety. Two separate, but complimentary measures have been introduced to support this concept (see below).
The Assembly has also held the following Oversight/Budget Hearings on Veterans Issues:
Joint Hearing of the Assembly Veterans Affairs and Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy (JOBS) Committees (March 2nd) Examination of EDD’s administration of its veteran job training and employment programs and how they will be integrated with the Governor’s proposed Operation Welcome Home (OWH) veterans’ initiative.
Joint Hearing of the Assembly Veteran Affairs and JOBS Committee (April 27) Examination of OWH and whether the design of the program is capable of delivering the stated outcomes. Also, how is the program integrated with existing veteran job training and employment programs?
Assembly Budget Subcommittee #4 on CDVA &EDD (May 4th) Report from EDD and questions derived from previous hearing regarding the nine workforce development programs administered by EDD, how they will be integrated with OHW, and what are the current outcomes and are these programs integrated in anyway.
Assembly Budget Subcommittee #5 (May 12) Requiring DMV to assist CDVA in identifying veterans who desire to be informed of their eligibility to collect veteran benefits.
Key 2010 Assembly Legislation for Veterans:
AB 1378 (V. Perez) – Would enact the Veterans Workforce Accountability Act, and is intended to serve as the primary vehicle to accommodate the statutory reforms needed to ensure the state’s veteran employment and job training programs are integrated and effectively performing.
AB 674 (Salas) – Would institute a series of changes designed to address the treatment of veterans convicted of criminal offenses as a result of post-traumatic stress-related disorders by establishing a deferred entry of judgment program and a pre-conviction drug diversion program for veterans who suffer from PTSD of TBI.
AB 1925 (Salas) – Would authorize superior courts to develop and implement veterans courts for eligible veterans of the U.S. Military.
AB 1569 (Veterans Affairs Committee) – Would create the California Interagency Council on Veterans Services and Programs.
AB 1729 (Yamada) – Extends, from six months to 12 months, the time that a veteran is eligible to receive preference points on civil service exams following the establishment of an employment list.
AB 2365 (Lieu) – This bill would prohibit the court from charging a service member any filing fee or court costs for a petition for relief from an obligation or liability incurred prior to the member's period of military service, or from a tax or assessment falling due prior to or during the period of service. This bill would also grant service members an expedited review of a certain petition for relief, which would potentially help resolve the dispute before the service member must ship out for deployment and becomes unavailable to participate in the action
AB 2455 (Nava) – Authorizes members of the military to defer payment on up to 2 loans on vehicles. This bill would also provide that a spouse or legal dependent, or both, of a member of the military is entitled to the deferral of payment benefits accorded to a member, if the member is eligible for those benefits.
AB 2455 (Nava) – Authorizes members of the military to defer payment on up to two loans on vehicles. This bill would also provide that a spouse or legal dependent, or both, of a member of the military is entitled to the deferral of payment benefits accorded to a member, if the member is eligible for those benefits.
AB 2783 (Veteran Affairs Committee) – Address and expands upon audit finding that the CDVA and Dept. of Consumer Affairs have ignored 1994-enacted law that requires state licensing boards to consult with CDVA to ensure that the education and training veterans obtain in the armed forces can be used to meet the licensure requirements for DCA regulated businesses, occupations and professions.
AB 2784 (Veterans Affairs Committee) – Address audit finding relative to CDVA strategic planning process by increasing size of Veteran Board to include member that have served in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom, adds requirement that one of the members have professional mental health experience, and requires CDVA to conduct a formal assessment of veterans needs relative to the development of its strategic plan and, in consultation with the board, develops measurable goals, objectives, and performance measures.
AB 2785 (Veteran Affairs Committee) – Addresses audit finding by annuallydirecting CDVA to identify other state agencies and departments that offer or provide services to veterans, for the purpose of entering into formal agreements that specify the respective roles and activities of the entities.
SACRAMENTO--Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez today announced the California Jobs Budget, a new proposal to solve California’s budget deficit while creating private sector jobs and preventing economically harmful cuts to schools, public safety and the state’s safety net. Joining Pérez was Assembly Budget Committee Chair Bob Blumenfield, who will preside over the public hearing and review process for the California Jobs Budget.
“California has to produce a budget that promotes job creation and makes economic sense,” Pérez said. “We shouldn’t make budget decisions that cut jobs and short change our overall recovery and long term growth. The California Jobs Budget will protect and create 465,000 jobs in the private sector and local communities while also protecting funding for schools, public safety, and a basic safety net.”
“The California Jobs Budget will be presented to the Legislature and the public for a full and transparent review,” Blumenfield said. “The Jobs Budget matches the priorities of the people of California, and it reflects the contributions of thousands of Californians who have testified and participated in over 50 Budget Subcommittee hearings, 12 full Budget Committee hearings, and seven Budget Forums held throughout the state.”
The California Jobs Budget closes the state’s $17.9 billion General Fund shortfall and ends the year with a $1 billion final reserve. The centerpiece of the California Jobs Budget is a $10.1 billion Jobs and Economic Stability Fund that will protect against the loss of 430,000 private sector, local community and school jobs in the Governor’s May Budget Revision, and which will also generate tens of thousands of new jobs. The California Jobs Budget provides $1.5 billion for targeted Jobs Initiatives, repays debts to local governments and schools to avoid massive local government layoffs, and maintains critical employment services and training programs that get people back to work and keep them on payrolls and off government aid.
“This is a creative approach at solving the two most urgent problems facing our state: creating jobs and closing our deficit,” Pérez said. “The California Jobs Budget gets us through a difficult period and puts us much further ahead on the path to economic recovery by focusing on jobs.”
The Jobs Package:
Puts job creation and protection first. With a $10 billion Jobs and Economic Stability Fund that promotes and protects 465,000 private sector jobs, school, and local government jobs
Invests in critical job training programs at California community colleges for job training and retraining programs for unemployed job seekers
Jump starts California's clean and green industries and other targeted jobs investments.
Protects Critical Education Dollars. Rejects $3 Billion of the Governor’s devastating cuts to education and instead meets the Proposition 98 guarantee and puts a stop to the endless cuts to K-12 and Higher Education in order to protect California's future.
Rejects Phony Cuts to Safety Net. Rejects the Governor’s slashing of safety net programs, which would actually cost the state more, and instead maintains welfare to work, childcare, and cost effective alternatives to expensive nursing homes.
Includes No New Broadbased Tax Increases. Makes no broadbased tax increases, and instead delays corporate loopholes and closes the California Oil Severance Tax loophole.
In order to maximize the immediate impact from creating and protecting jobs, the Jobs and Economic Stability Fund borrows $8.7 billion from the California Beverage Recycling Fund and, similar to the Governor’s plan, $500 million from the Disability Insurance Fund.
An Oil Severance Tax, required by law in every other oil producing state—including Texas and Alaska—will generate $900 million in 2010-11 and billions more each year for the Jobs and Economic Stability Fund. While the oil severance fee will generate job-creating revenue, numerous studies have found that oil companies in California are not highly taxed compared to other states. Because the oil market is global in scope, it means there should be no impact from closing the severance loophole on the price of oil. The Oil Severance Tax in the California Jobs Budget is subject to approval by a majority vote of the Legislature. Governor Schwarzenegger signed a similar majority vote tax mechanism into law in March.
The California Jobs Budget would also delay the implementation of corporate tax loopholes that were created in previous budget solutions, which would generate an additional $2.1 billion.
Funds from the Jobs and Economic Stability Fund will be allocated as follows:
$1.1 Billion Targeted Jobs Investment to develop and strengthen California industries, including green and clean tech industries. This also provides a potential funding source for numerous Democratic and Republican jobs bills making their way in the Legislature.
$900 million Repayment to Local Governments. Protects thousands of local police, fire, and other local jobs by repaying $900 million owed to local governments for past mandates.
$3.8 Billion Repayment to Local School Districts. Protects tens of thousands of jobs for teachers, aides, and counselors by fully funding Proposition 98 and eliminating portions of the “Education Credit Card” rather than the Governor's proposal to cut schools by $2.8 billion, which leads to thousands of lost jobs.
$900 million to Protect Higher Education's Role in Our Economic Future. Provides $1 billion to restore recent education cuts and fully fund the UC and CSU to prevent the devastating economic and jobs impact of decimating Higher Education. Also protects access to higher education by reducing the Governor’s student fee hike by 50 percent, which will save UC students $628 and CSU students $202.
$1.9 Billion Keeping Working Poor Parents in Workforce. Maintains necessary childcare programs funded through CalWORKS and Prop 98 to ensure working parents can stay employed and over 50,000 small business childcare providers can stay in business.
$1.4 Billion Getting Californians Back to Work. Invests in critical employment services to move people from welfare to work and to retrain workers at Community Colleges.
$100 Million for Oil Producing Communities. Provides $100 million to local communities impacted by the new Oil Severance Fee. Experts project the Oil Severance Fee will have little impact on jobs statewide, but there may be localized impacts. Therefore, an ongoing $100 million allocation is included to offset any negative impacts of the fee.
$200 million for the Bottle Bill. Separate from the Jobs and Economic Security Fund, the package increases funding by $200 million for the Beverage Container Recycling program to strengthen and stabilize the state's recycling program. California's recycling program was nearly bankrupt due to the downturn in the economy, and this increase in support will provide long term secure funding for the program, which will protect local conservation corps, protect bottle manufacturing jobs through processing fee relief and drive green technology investment through product development grants.
Speaker John A. Pérez Unveils California Jobs Budget
New California Jobs Budget Will Spur Private Sector Jobs, Boost Education, Protect Teachers and Cops and Pay Down Debt
(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez has announced the California Jobs Budget, a new proposal to solve California’s budget deficit while creating private sector jobs and preventing economically harmful cuts to schools, public safety and the state’s safety net. Joining Pérez for the announcement was Assembly Budget Committee Chair Bob Blumenfield, who will preside over the public hearing and review process for the California Jobs Budget. “California has to produce a budget that promotes job creation and makes economic sense,” Pérez said. “We shouldn’t make budget decisions that cut jobs and short change our overall recovery and long term growth. The California Jobs Budget will protect and create 465,000 jobs in the private sector and local communities while also protecting funding for schools, public safety, and a basic safety net.” Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.
Below are links to audio from today’s news conference. Speaker Pérez’s opening remarks at today’s news conference. (5:48) mp3
Speaker Pérez says the Assembly Democrat’s budget proposal is focused on jobs,jobs,jobs.(:15) mp3
Speaker Pérez says this budget proposal does not include any new general tax increases.(:15) mp3
Speaker Pérez says this budget plan reflects the priorities voiced by Californians during the interactive budget forums held throughout the state over the past six weeks. (:28) mp3
Speaker Pérez says this budget saves thousands of jobs that would be lost under the Governor’sbudget plan and allows for repayment of past obligations to education. (:39) mp3
Speaker Pérez says all of the budget proposals will be reviewed in an open, public, transparent process. (:41) mp3
Assembly Budget Committee Chair Bob Blumenfield’s opening remarks at today’s news conference.(4:01) mp3
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) issued the following statement today regarding the White House state dinner for Mexico, which featured guests of honor President Felipe Calderón and First Lady Margarita Zavala of Mexico:
“I was honored to be invited by President Obama to attend the State Dinner celebrating President Calderon of Mexico. California is the world’s eighth largest economy, and that is in no small part due to our long history of trade and cooperation with our Mexican neighbors. As Speaker of the California Assembly, it is my duty to help strengthen those ties of cooperation and history to ensure continued growth and prosperity for both the people of California and the people of Mexico.”
Speaker Pledges to Continue Assembly's Work to Produce On-Time Budget that Saves and Creates Jobs
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Budget Chair Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) today discussed how measures contained in the Governor's May Revise budget proposal threaten hundreds of thousands of California jobs and pledged the Assembly will continue working to the help the economy recover by producing an on-time budget that saves and creates jobs.
“Quite frankly, I'm deeply troubled by the Governor's proposal to close our deficit because it relies on drastic reductions in core services – including education - that are vital to stabilizing California's economy and moving us forward on the pathway towards economic recovery and job creation,” Pérez said. “At the most basic level, our economy cannot rebound and unemployment cannot be reduced by cutting billions from schools and eliminating tens of thousands of teacher jobs and undermining education's central role in the growth industries of the 21st Century.”
Among the other measures in the Governor's proposal that the Speaker described as harmful to the economy and job creation are:
Eliminating childcare and putting thousands of small business childcare providers out of business and forcing working parents to quit their jobs
Defunding state programs that receive federal matching funds, effectively saying “No” to billions in federal safety net funds that are immediately spent in our economy
Eliminating CalWORKS and the working pathways into the middle class it creates for those in poverty
With Assembly budget subcommittees scheduled to finish their hearings by the end of May to help produce an on-time budget, Blumenfield was confident that working with federal officials and everyday Californians will help the Assembly produce responsible solutions that save and create jobs.
“This proposal from the Governor is not a credible plan and it leaves more than $5.5 billion of federal funds on the table,” Blumenfield said. “We're now, as the Speaker said, going to continue the systematic process where we've gone out, past the capitol bubble, into the state to hear people and we're going to systematically build on what we've done so far with our hearings and put together a real budget plan.”
The Speaker also pointed out that many measures contained in the Governor's proposal are ideological policy changes unrelated to the budget.
“This job killing proposal reflects the absolute wrong approach to our budget—as does his habit of insisting that he won't sign a budget without extraneous, non-budget policy changes,” Pérez said. “I want to be absolutely clear on this point—the Governor is once again engaging in the kind of Sacramento business as usual approach to politics. We will approve a budget—and only a budget. He can threaten to veto all he wants, but the Assembly will not engage in policy discussions that aren't related directly to the budget.”
VIDEO | Speaker Pérez: Major Job Killers in Governor's May Revise Budget Proposal
SACRAMENTO Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Budget Chair Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) discussed at a capitol news conference how measures contained in the Governors May Revise budget proposal threaten hundreds of thousands of California jobs and pledged the Assembly will continue working to the help the economy recover by producing an on-time budget that saves and creates jobs. Here is more in this Assembly Access video.
Below are links to audio from today's news conference:
Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez's opening remarks at today’s news conference. (5:01) mp3
Speaker Pérez says cuts to education hurt the job market immediately and in the future. (:59) mp3
Speaker Pérez says non-budget related policy issues should not be part of any budget agreement. (:32) mp3
Speaker Pérez says pension issues should be dealt with in the collective bargaining process. (:33) mp3
Assembly Budget Committee Chair Bob Blumenfield’s (D-San Fernando Valley) opening remarks at today’s news conference. (:42) mp3
(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and the Assembly Democrats are delivering on the promise to have an open, transparent budget process this year. Assembly Democrats have hosted a series of budget forums throughout the state that were webcast live on the internet. About two thousand people attended the first six forums held in Palm Springs, Fresno, Reseda, San Diego, Orange County and Sacramento. Dozens of committee and sub-committee hearings on the budget are also being held. Assembly Democrats believe an open, inclusive dialogue with as many Californians as possible will help produce a final spending plan that reflects the values of Californians. Here’s more in this Assembly Web Report.
SACRAMENTO – California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) issued the following statement today regarding Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed May Revise to the state budget:
“With the release of the May Revise, the Legislature now knows the exact scope of the deficit we must close, and while I cannot say what the exact solution will be, I can say that the process in finding that solution will be open, honest and transparent.
The Assembly’s focus is on adopting a budget that promotes job creation and continues to fund the vital services California needs to ensure a strong and lasting economic recovery. The Assembly will not play politics with the budget—and we will specifically not engage in the politics of extraction. The Governor’s suggestions are clearly more reflective of a hyper-partisan political agenda than in finding real solutions to our problems. Putting Californians back to work is the fundamental priority for Californians, and we do not have the luxury of another bruising summer of ideological warfare.”
Boosts Bill to Help Law Enforcement Protect CA Transportation Systems
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) today said public safety jobs should be viewed as a priority in crafting the state budget, reiterating his commitment to review the governor’s upcoming budget proposal in terms of its impact on jobs in our hard-hit state. Pérez made the comments at a Capitol news conference where he was joined by public safety leaders to call for passage of his legislation to protect Californians and tourists as they use public transportation systems.
“In spite of the enormous budget challenges facing our state, we need to ensure that public safety officials have adequate resources to perform their critical work,” Pérez said. “Recent budget debates have seen proposals that would reduce the number of law enforcement officers in California. I am deeply troubled by these proposals because reducing the number of police will result in communities that are less safe for people to live, work and start businesses and that will result in long term economic harm to our communities and our state.”
At the news conference Speaker Pérez pushed support for his AB 2324, noting the attempted car bombing in Times Square reminds us of the need to be vigilant and the recent Moscow bombings remind us that transit systems remain prime targets.
“AB 2324, which is sponsored by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, creates ‘weapons free zones’ at public transit stations,” Pérez said. “The people of California deserve to know that when they walk into a transit station, they are safe and secure and that law enforcement has adequate tools and resources to maintain that security.”
AB 2324 would make it a crime to bring most weapons aboard public transit vehicles and into vulnerable areas of bus depots and train stations. The bill will also make it a crime to knowingly avoid security screenings and strengthen penalties for repeat offenders engaging in certain dangerous crimes. AB 2324 is scheduled for a vote on the Assembly floor Thursday, May 13.
Speaker Pérez: Keeping Public Safety Jobs Key in State Budget
(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) says public safety jobs should be viewed as a priority in crafting the state budget, reiterating his commitment to review the governor’s upcoming budget proposal in terms of its impact on jobs in our
hard-hit state. Pérez made the comments at a Capitol news conference where he was joined by public safety leaders to call for passage of his legislation to protect Californians and tourists as they use public transportation systems. “In spite of the enormous budget challenges facing our state, we need to ensure that public safety officials have adequate resources to perform their critical work,” Pérez said. Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.
Below are links to audio from today’s news conference.
Speaker Pérez’s opening remarks at today’s news conference. (1:56) mp3
Speaker Pérez says the ongoing budget hearings and forums are keeping Democrats closely connected to real Californians. (:33) mp3
Speaker Pérez says explains how he will view any proposed cuts to public safety programs. (:24) mp3
Speaker Pérez says he does not want to make cuts in state programs that will hurt local government. (:19) mp3
Assembly Effort to Focus on Jobs Impact of Governor’s Proposed Budget
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) reiterated today that the state budget will be developed on-time through a public process, not in closed-door meetings of the Big 5.
“We will develop the budget through a public process that includes full subcommittee and committee review,” the Speaker said. Assembly budget hearings will be webcasted live, along with other types of committee hearings, as part of the Speaker’s efforts to increase transparency and promote public participation. The Speaker said the hearings will focus closely on the impact the Governor’s budget has on jobs in California. Speaker Pérez made his remarks at a Sacramento news conference where he reported on six public budget forums recently held throughout the state.
“Nearly 2000 people attended our budget forums,” the Speaker noted, adding, “The public recognizes the difficulty that exists in getting a two thirds majority and they are very frustrated with the choices before them.” The Speaker hosted the budget forum held in Fresno. Other forums were held in Orange County, Palm Springs, Reseda, Sacramento and San Diego.
The budget forums were also webcasted live and were led by Next 10, a non-partisan organization. Click onto the link below to learn more about the budget forums.
Speaker Pérez Says Budget Will Be Developed Through Public Process
(Sacramento) – During a capitol news conference Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) reiterated that the state budget will be developed on-time through a public process, not in closed-door meetings of the Big 5. “We will develop the budget through a public process that includes full subcommittee and committee review,” the Speaker said. Assembly budget hearings will be webcast live, along with other types of committee hearings, as part of the Speaker’s efforts to increase transparency and promote public participation. The Speaker was joined at the news conference by Assembly Budget Committee Chair Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley). They said the budget hearings will focus closely on the impact the Governor’s budget has on jobs in California.
Below are links to audio from today’s news conference:
Speaker Pérez’s opening remarks at today’s news conference. (3:19) mp3
Speaker Pérez says the legislature will be looking to see what the Governor’s revised budget’s impact is on the job market. (:20) mp3
Speaker Pérez says the inclusive, open budget process that’s being used this year will allow Republicans to participate fully. (:21) mp3
Speaker Pérez says he does not want to negotiate a budget behind closed doors in Big 5 meetings. (:38) mp3
Assembly Budget Committee Chair Bob Blumenfield’s opening remarks at today’s news conference. (2:22) mp3
(Sacramento) – Legislators held a State Capitol News Conference today to announce the introduction of a package of bills to close “fat cat” tax loopholes and corporate giveaways.
Assemblymembers Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara), Tom Ammiano (San Francisco), and Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles), were joined by educators, healthcare providers, nurses, and California’s Workers.
Assemblymember Nava tossed Governor Schwarzenegger’s budget into a recycling bin to represent the dismay of Californians over his proposed budget that will cost upward of 300,000 California jobs.
“We have introduced modest, common sense bills that will help ensure that California’s hard working families are not getting ripped off by corporate tax loopholes,“ said Nava. “At a time when classrooms are getting more crowded, when more and more people are losing their health insurance due to unemployment, and numerous programs affecting seniors, and the disabled are facing more cuts, we cannot afford these giveaways to big business and lose more than 300,000 California jobs.”
While average Californians pay their taxes, corporations are avoiding paying more than a billion dollars each year. As a result, California’s classrooms are more crowded, police and fire services are being reduced, care for the disabled and elderly is being eliminated, children will be left without health insurance, community clinics and state parks will be closed and college tuition could go up.
“For over thirty years, California has allowed corporate landowners to benefit from tax loopholes while shifting the real tax burden to individual homeowners and reducing California’s tax base,” said Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D, San Francisco) “We cannot continue to cut funding from our schools, our parks and our vital human services without addressing the need for new revenue and an equitable tax system.”
“Seniors have borne the brunt of these draconian budget cuts; we have seen a reduction in adult day health care programs that allow seniors to stay in their homes, the elimination of Alzheimer’s research, and aid to low income seniors has been slashed,” said Gary Passmore of the Congress of California Seniors. “The Fair Share Act will bring much needed revenues to support these essential programs.”
“With $18 billion in cuts to education, this could be an important source of revenue to save important services for our students,” said Jai Sookprasert the tax policy analyst for the California School Employees Association.
“Recent budget cuts are harming nurses’ ability to provide for the critical health needs of people in our state,” said Elizabeth Pataki, RN of the California Nurses Association. “An oil severance tax could provide much needed revenue to help pay for Californians’ healthcare needs.”
“The last round of budget cuts has affected every Californian,” said Willie Pelote of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. “We are dismantling programs and need to ensure that sufficient revenue is available to mitigate the State’s fiscal crisis.”
Governor Schwarzenegger is scheduled to release his revised state budget on May 14th.
Information and Resources on Specific Revenue Bills:
2010 REVENUE LEGISLATION
WHAT IT MEANS
AB 1604 (Nava) & (Salas)
Would impose a 10% oil severance tax that would be deposited all into the General Fund. Generate $1.5 Billion Annually
AB 1935 (de León)
Would save the state over $600 million annually through repeal of the special option for corporations to choose the formula each year by which they are taxed.
Generate $135 million in ‘10-‘11, $450 million in ‘11-‘12, $600 million in ‘12-‘13
AB 1936 (de León)
Would repeal loss carry-back, which allow corporations to get refunds for taxes they paid two years earlier if they take losses, thereby making it impossible to count on revenue even when taxes are paid. $25 million in ’10-’11, $450 million in ’11-’12, $145 million in ’12-‘13
AB 2492 (Ammiano)
Would make sure that corporations and commercial properties are reassessed when changes of ownership occur, ending the use of complex transactions to avoid reassessment.
Unknown - up to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Total Revenues Generated will be more than $2.5 - $2.9 billion Dollars
“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."