Op-Eds

The Employment Development Department (EDD) has clearly not been up to the task of providing unemployment benefits to the millions of Californians thrown out of work when the COVID-19 pandemic struck That’s why I joined several of my Republican colleagues on December 7th, the first day of the new session, to introduce a package of bills aimed at making EDD more efficient and more secure. My bill, AB 24, will ensure that claimants quickly receive decisions about their applications by requiring a response from EDD within 30 days, or within 15 days when follow-up information is requested. Other… read more
On December 7th, the organizational session for the State Assembly’s 2021-2022 convened in Sacramento. But this year, things looked a lot different than normal.  Though a few bills were introduced, the Speaker and other Assembly officers were sworn in, and resolutions related to operating the House were adopted, the event was not held at the State Capitol building as usual. Because of COVID restrictions, the new session began at Golden 1 Center, the first time since 1907 that the organizational session was held at someplace other than the Capitol.   All members entering the Golden 1 Center… read more
By Assemblymember Marie Waldron November 28 is ‘Small Business Saturday,’ a day to patronize local small businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Without them, our state and national economies will never recover. My husband and I have owned our own small business for over 25 years, I know how hard it is to keep a business going in California. Costly, overbearing regulations, high taxes and fees, high rents, energy bills, all make doing business in this state a challenge. Now the pandemic has struck, with a disproportionate impact on small businesses throughout the state… read more
By Assemblymember Marie Waldron  The state could owe you money. The holiday season is fast approaching and many are suffering from severe economic distress resulting from the COVID-19 shutdowns, so take a few minutes to see if you have some money coming to you. The State of California is sitting on almost $10 billion in unclaimed properties. Some of that money could be yours. Under California’s Unclaimed Property Law, banks, insurance companies and other businesses are required to transfer property to the Controller’s office if it goes unclaimed over a specified period of time, usually… read more
The Legislature will open on December 7th with the swearing in of all members and start the 2021-2022 session. Though a few bills are likely to introduced, the day is largely ceremonial, and the new session will begin in earnest on January 6th. Next year my priorities will continue to be on the needs of this region. We must ensure that we have sufficient resources and response to disasters like COVID and prevention of wildfires, that we have a secure, reliable water supply for people and agriculture alike, that our education system is funded with operational certainty for students and… read more
This has been a tough year for all of us. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in business shutdowns, growing unemployment and extreme economic distress, along with related public health/mental health impacts for thousands.  And now, the drawn-out election aftermath and the fast approaching holiday season will be adding to what’s already been one of the most stressful years in decades. Stress and anxiety levels are going through the roof. We all cope with stress differently, but there are generally agreed upon methods we all can use to keep stress in check. Among these are limiting the… read more
California’s small businesses employ over 7 million people, and make up 95% of all businesses in this region. Most employ less than 100 workers, and businesses with 4 employees or less comprise 65% of the total, like our neighborhood grocery or restaurant. The problems I encountered running my small retail business are what first led me to run for public office. Before the pandemic, business in California was booming. Now small businesses are suffering. Many have shut down, completely or partially, and thousands of workers have lost their jobs. This session the Legislature adopted measures… read more
Throughout my term in the legislature I have advocated for those most vulnerable. I authored a bill to safeguard children who witness domestic violence incidents, and to allow counties to provide court approved mental health treatments for persons who have completed their sentences if they are a danger to themselves or others.   I have introduced legislation to increase penalties for those convicted of child pornography-related offenses when those crimes take place on government owned computers Other co-authored legislation requires background checks for adults in youth sports, increased… read more
One of the most important lessons from the pandemic is the need to prioritize reliable prescription drug manufacturing. California, especially this region, has long been a center for medical research, and one of our top priorities should be to encourage more drug research, innovations, and manufacturing, especially for generic drugs. That’s why I support Senate Bill 852. While the main benefit of SB 852 will be to make medication available for thousands of Californians at a more reasonable cost, as we emerge from the pandemic-induced recession we can also create thousands of new jobs to help… read more
Since joining the Legislature I have authored and supported many bills protecting pets and native wildlife, most of which are now law. This session, I co-authored AB 128, which prevents the sale of wild horses for slaughter when purchased at auction. I also supported SB 469, which allows the California Horse Racing Board to quickly suspend events when necessary to protect the health and safety of horses or riders, along with AB 1565 to speed adoptions of kittens in animal shelters. SB 397 facilitates the evacuation of pet owners and their animals during emergencies. Unfortunately, SB 64 to… read more