Releases & Statements

Speaker Atkins Offers Plan to Reject Fee Hikes for California Students and Increase Funding for Higher Education

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SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins today announced a plan that would reject proposed fee increases for in-state students at the University of California and instead provide UC with additional state funding coupled with greater UC efficiencies, higher enrollment of California students, a cap on out-of-state-students and an accelerated, reasonable fee increase for out-of-state students in line with other universities.

“The proposed fee increase of more than 25% is unacceptable—California students and their families have faced too many fee increases already,” said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). “Instead, UC should work with the Legislature and Governor to get UC the money it needs to remain one of the state’s world-class assets, without harming the California students and families the university was created to serve.”

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Speaker Atkins Discusses Elections

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SACRAMENTO – Following yesterday’s 2014 midterm elections, Speaker Toni G. Atkins spoke with reporters about striking the right balance in the Assembly.

“Despite a strong Republican headwind, a record low turnout and a historically high number of seats to defend, the Assembly still retains a huge voting majority,” said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). “California remains a very blue state, and overall voters have faith in the direction we’re headed.”

The Legislature’s biggest achievements – the water bond and the rainy day fund, were approved overwhelmingly by voters and did not depend on the Democratic supermajority. On December 1, 2014, the Democratic caucus will hold 52 seats in the Assembly.

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Over $37 million in Middle Class Tuition Assistance Still Available

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Assembly Budget Subcommittee Chairman calls upon
California Student Aid Commission to improve outreach efforts

REDONDO BEACH, CA - Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), Chairman of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, called upon the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to improve their outreach efforts to encourage more students to apply for the newly-created Middle Class Scholarship program.

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Update on Ebola

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State and local public health officials in California are monitoring the situation related to Ebola closely.  We are taking steps to keep Californians safe from the spread of this disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) criteria, at this time, there have been no patients admitted to California hospitals who are considered to be at high risk of Ebola.

State public health officials continue to believe the risk of the spread of Ebola in California is low, even as the situation is evolving.

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Speaker Atkins: California’s Homeless Veterans will be Better Served with Almost $53 Million from VA

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SACRAMENTO – California’s homeless veterans will be better served this year due to almost $53 million in Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program grant awards from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“As we work to end veterans homelessness it will take a real partnership between the State of California, the federal government, and the non-profit organizations dedicated to serving our veterans,” said Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego). “This funding from the Veterans Administration will help several outstanding organizations in California who are working hard to make sure everyone who put on the uniform has a roof over their head.”

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Speaker Toni G. Atkins Encourages Businesses to Apply for Job-Creating Tax Credits

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SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins on Tuesday reminded employers they will have one month starting next Monday to apply for a share of $45 million in tax credits to help expand and make new hires.

The program, California Competes, is available to businesses of any size, and a quarter of the money has been set aside for small businesses.

California Competes will open its application period on Monday, September 29th, 2014 for $45 million in tax credits to businesses that want to expand and create jobs.

“From San Diego to Silicon Valley, California Competes has already helped companies wanting to start, expand, and create jobs in our state,” said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). “With applications for the next funding period starting next week, I encourage California businesses and those that want to be California businesses, to seriously consider applying.”

California Competes has previously awarded $28.9 million in tax credits for businesses. While the next round of funds available is $45 million in credits, there is a total of $150 million available for fiscal year 2014-15. 

The California Competes program was created through AB 93, and its companion bill SB 90, both adopted in 2013.

In addition to the tax credits for job creation, the new program offers sales tax relief on the purchase of qualified research and development equipment and manufacturing equipment. The amount of credits available will increase each year until 2018. Twenty-five percent of the credits are reserved for small businesses, those with gross receipts less than $2 million.

California Competes is managed by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz). The application period ends Monday, October 27th, 2014. Applications will be accepted online and the awards will be announced January 15th, 2014.

Website of California Competes:

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s Paid Sick Days Legislation Signed by Governor Brown

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Gonzalez Will Work With Legislators in Other States to Bring Paid Sick Leave to All American Workers

LOS ANGELES – (Wednesday, September 10, 2014) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) joined workers and other state legislators this morning at the Ronald Reagan State Building as Governor Jerry Brown officially signed her legislation to make California the first state to guarantee paid sick leave for all private-sector employees across every industry.

Under Assembly Bill 1522, which will become effective July 1, 2015, workers employed for 90 days will be eligible to use the sick leave they earn. Workers will be able to earn a minimum of one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked and are guaranteed to be able to use at least 3 days’ worth of paid leave to care for themselves or a family member when they fall ill.

“With Governor Brown's signing of AB1522, today we made history in a California. We become the first state in the nation to guarantee paid sick days for every single private sector worker in the state – no matter what industry they work in, no matter if they are part-time or seasonal, and regardless of the size of their employer,” Gonzalez said. “This means more than 6.5 million more workers in this State will be able to take up to 3 days off when they or their child is sick without fearing the loss of income, hours or their job.”

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