I’m very proud to jointly author Assembly Bill 22 (AB 22) with Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D – Sacramento). AB 22 will phase in Transitional Kindergarten for all California four-year-olds by the 2032-33 school year. Transitional Kindergarten (TK) programs have a major positive impact on all participating students, including language skills for English learners and math skills for low-income students. Too many children enter kindergarten unprepared, but research shows that access to early learning opportunities will enhance social and emotional development for preschoolers, improve… read more
The Appropriations Committee can be a place where good bills go to die. But despite its reputation, some important legislation made it through Appropriations before the May 21st deadline. That includes two of my bills, AB 653, which creates a grant for substance use treatments in county jails and for those on supervised parole, and AB 22, a bill I jointly authored to phase in Transitional Kindergarten eligibility for all four-year-olds. Another important education bill, AB 498 (Quirk-Silva) establishes a program to increase the number of teachers trained to instruct students in computer… read more
Access to broadband service is vital in today’s world and our rural north county area has a great need to improve access to the internet. Having a high-speed internet connection can make the difference when it comes to getting an education, a job, seeing a doctor or simply staying connected with family and friends. That’s why my caucus and I have long supported efforts to close the digital divide throughout California. A study commissioned by the California Public Utilities Commission found that the cost of providing high-speed internet to every underserved Californian would be $6.8 billion… read more
COVID-19 has had a disproportionately severe impact on California’s low income, African American, Latino and Pacific Islander communities, as well as on essential workers such as those in the healthcare, grocery and cleaning service industries. That’s why I am proud to support Assembly Bill 1038 (AB 1038), introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D – Carson). The bill establishes the California Health Equity Program within the Department of Public Health (CDPH) to provide grants supporting local health departments, non-profit organizations, community clinics and tribes that have been on the… read more
California is known for its innovative, entrepreneurial, think-different spirit that has born some of the most important industries and companies in the modern era. But California’s great attributes must be tethered by nuts-and-bolts basics and foundations that allow all Californians to enjoy living and working in this state. In other words, there is a time for dreaming and a time to be practical. With the governor set to unveil his revised budget proposal, we urge him to remember that now is a time to be practical. California now has tens of billions of dollars in excess funds between a… read more
May is National Military Appreciation Month, with several observances honoring our veterans and their families, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day on May 7th, Armed Forces Day on May 15th and Memorial Day on May 31st. Honoring the service and sacrifice of our active-duty military and our veterans is important, but supporting them means more than holidays or national commemorations. This session I am very pleased that members of my Caucus have introduced important legislation that will help improve the lives and livelihoods of California’s veterans. AB 291, introduced by Assemblyman… read more
As the constitutionally mandated June 15th deadline for passing a balanced budget nears, discussions in Sacramento about spending priorities are ramping up. California is facing a variety of challenges. First of all, we must get the economy up and running again, and we can use our budget surplus to help bring back jobs. Through additional investments in the Small Business Grant Program, and by targeting surplus revenues to reduce unemployment insurance debt for employers, we can get people back to work. Our streets and roads are increasingly inadequate – we have a $6.1 billion annual… read more
Devastation from California’s wildfires has been at record levels in recent years. Last year our wildfire season resulted in over 4 million acres burned in 9,600 fires -- 31 people died. The economic costs to homeowners, utilities, ratepayers, insurers and local governments has been catastrophic. While electric utility infrastructure has accounted for less than ten percent of wildfires historically, downed power lines have been responsible for about half of California’s most destructive fires. As a result, in 2012 the California Public Utilities Commission granted electric utilities… read more
This year I am joining Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D – Arleta) to author Assembly Joint Resolution 5 (AJR 5), to urge the federal government to place a roundup moratorium on the state’s free-roaming horses and burros. Wild horses and burros can trace their North American origins way back, though current populations originated with more recent European settlement.  From the 1600s to the early 1900s, California was an ideal habitat for hundreds of thousands of these magnificent animals. In 1971, the United States Congress unanimously passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, currently… read more
Arbor Day is April 30th, an observance that began in 1872 when the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture adopted a resolution creating a day set aide to plant trees. The holiday spread throughout the United States and is observed in many countries around the world. California’s observance is March 7th, and coincides with the birthday of botanist Luther Burbank. Today, many communities organize tree-planting and litter-collecting events to coincide with the holiday. But whichever day we observe, it’s a call to action.  In California, the Legislature first proclaimed California Arbor Day on… read more