At Home And Under The Dome - June 2015
I took office in December to serve you, the residents of the 62nd Assembly District. And over the first six months of my term, I have been privileged and excited to meet so many of you around our wonderfully diverse and energetic district.
I have toured state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, planted trees, and rode in parades across our district. I have also met with educators, health care workers, and environmentalists in my district and Capitol offices. I am learning from you, and now that I am halfway through my first year, I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on what I’ve been doing.
|Education is a critical issue and at the top of my agenda, both in our district and in Sacramento. In April I hosted a town hall to update the community on the status of Inglewood Unified School District, which is currently under state control. As the representative for Inglewood students and parents, I want to make sure we give them the education they are entitled to, and return the district back to local control as quickly as possible.|
|As Tax Day approached, my office partnered with State Controller Betty E. Yee to offer no-cost tax preparation help. More than two dozen constituents came into our office to sit down with volunteer tax preparers to get their taxes filed and get as much money back as possible.|
|In March, we hosted a subcontractors outreach fair in conjunction with Hensel Phelps. Hensel is the general contractor in charge of renovating Terminal 7 at LAX, a project valued at $370 million. By connecting Hensel with electricians, masons, and carpenters who live here, we can ensure that money stays in our district and the job gets done right.|
|One of the most pressing issues in the South Bay right now is the potential closure of the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo. Such a closure would result in the loss of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment in our local economy. I authored Assembly Joint Resolution 11 to show the legislature’s unity in supporting our military infrastructure and to encourage our national leaders to support it too. And in April I joined some of my South Bay colleagues to tour the base and show our support personally.|
|Senator Ben Allen and I were thrilled to meet some curious kids from Walgrove Elementary School in Del Rey, who visited us at the State Capitol in Sacramento.|
|I love having visitors from the district come to see me in my Capitol office. Monique Brandon, the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Venice, and two of her brightest girls taught me about all of the great things the Boys & Girls Clubs do for our youth.|
|The 62nd District is a hub of creativity and ingenuity in California. The perfect example of this is SolarCity, the solar panel installer which recently relocated into the heart of our district in Hawthorne. I was thrilled to take a tour and see their operation firsthand.|
|I was honored to participate in the City of Gardena’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parade. Here I met with the Courtney School of Dance from Gardena, which did a fantastic job of celebrating the life of such a great civil rights leader.|
As we move through budget season and the remainder of the legislative session, I will be working hard to advance important issues like revamping how our state contracts with information technology companies; protecting and promoting career technical education as an alternative for those students who are not college-bound, but who can develop the skills needed in a 21st century economy; and providing better access to financial aid for returning veterans. You can read more about these and other bills I have authored in the following legislative update.
I look forward to working with you on these and many more issues as we move forward.
2015 Legislation - Access & Accountability
AB 522 - California spends tens of millions of dollars on information technology (IT) contracts without adequate safeguards to protect our investments. AB 522 establishes a standard report card for IT contractors to grade past performance and guide future project awards.
Currently in the Senate Governmental Organization Committee
AB 763 - Low income seniors and adults with disabilities shouldn’t have to choose between putting food on the table and going to the doctor. AB 763 equalizes the eligibility process for all Medi-Cal enrollees so that our poorest residents can access the health care that they need.
Held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee
AB 805 - The development of IT projects big and small can be complex, and without clear contracts, the state is at risk for delays and amendments that not only increase state costs, but also leave us with a product that is outdated from the start. AB 805 ensures that the state officials responsible for drafting contracts for IT projects have the training they need.
Held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee
AB 852 - California has some of the strictest building codes in the nation, particularly for our hospitals and clinics. AB 852 requires private contractors using public financing to build health facilities to pay the prevailing wage – ensuring that we’re getting highly trained and highly skilled workers for some of our most important projects.
Currently in the Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee
AB 879 - In Los Angeles County alone, there are approximately 30 dependency court hearings each day – each hearing with notification requirements that typically depend upon first class or certified mail. AB 879 allows counties to use e-mail notifications in dependency cases, but only if all parties agree. With e-mail notifications, individuals without a permanent address have a better chance of receiving the information that can help them participate in the court proceedings and hopefully get back on track.
Currently on the Senate Floor
AB 907 - Regional occupation centers are a key resource in helping people of all ages get the skills they need to compete in a 21st Century workforce. AB 907 paves the way for centers and their students to receive federal financial aid and get on their way to the jobs they want.
Currently in the Senate Education Committee
AB 1054 - Home care services help thousands of Californians live independent lives every day. AB 1054 extends the consumer protections available to consumers of private home care and In-Home Supportive Services to those that receive care through regional center providers. With the bill, all home care agencies will be licensed, and the caregivers they employ must pass criminal background checks and complete basic training.
Currently in the Assembly Human Services Committee
AB 1129 - As California’s emergency medical services (EMS) network transitions to electronic records, consistent data collection requirements can give us an accurate picture of EMS programs across the state, and improve our coordination with national efforts. AB 1129 ensures that all EMS providers are collecting data using systems that are compliant with state and federal standards, but gives them the flexibility to purchase the systems and software that meets their needs.
Currently in the Senate Health Committee
AB 1261 - Thousands of frail Californians and their family caregivers depend on the adult day health care services provided through the Community-Based Adult Services program. AB 1261 preserves access to care and services in state law and gives providers a reliable rate structure that will help them sustain programs over the long run.
Currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee
AB 1306 - Certified nurse-midwives (CNM) provide care to childbearing women during pregnancy, labor and birth, and during the postpartum period; and in communities where obstetricians and gynecologists are not available, they can be a critical part of the primary care team for women’s health. AB 1306 updates the practice requirements for CNMs to better reflect their training and capacity to manage normal pregnancies and births.
Currently in the Senate Business and Professions Committee
AB 1361 - When our veterans are leaving active duty, we have a responsibility to help them transition into civilian life. For years, we’ve offered veterans access to Cal Grants and financial aid for higher education, but the Cal Grants have only been available for veterans until their 28th birthday. AB 1361 gives all veterans, regardless of their age, an opportunity to pursue a college degree.
Currently in the Senate Education Committee
AB 1393 - California has ambitious goals to reduce our carbon emissions over the next few decades – goals that require all of us to make changes. We all want to do the right thing, but for many small businesses and families, the biggest obstacle in transitioning to cleaner fuels and green technology is the price tag. AB 1393 will help small businesses and individuals afford cleaner vehicles and various green energy investments by providing financial assistance through the Treasurer’s California Pollution Control Financing Authority.
Currently in the Senate Governance & Finance Committee
AB 1436 - The In-Home Supportive Services program has a long history of providing care to seniors and people with disabilities. While many consumers direct their own care, others prefer to have an authorized representative manage the details of the care, whether it’s assisting with the program application or scheduling caregiver hours and services.
Currently in the Senate Human Services Committee
AJR 11 - AJR 11 calls upon President Obama and Congress to recognize the unique value of California’s defense installations and the disproportionate sacrifices the state has made in previous base realignment and closure rounds. The defense industry is a major economic force in California. Statewide, there’s more than $71 billion in direct spending in the industry, and more than 350,000 jobs.
Passed the Legislature