“Overdose deaths far outpace COVID-19 deaths in San Francisco” was a recent headline from the Associated Press highlighting the troubling fact that while COVID-19 is the most immediate threat facing Californians, it is not the only one worthy of our attention. COVID-19 has claimed the lives of about 1.8 million people worldwide, approximately 27,000 of which are right here in California. The virus has captured our attention through much of the past year, with good reason. But the heavy focus on COVID-19 has left too many other issues either overlooked or ignored. Many of these issues… read more
On January 1st, hundreds of new laws went into effect. Many are non-controversial or have limited impact, but some will directly affect the lives of thousands of Californians.  Among these are laws impacting businesses and employees. California’s minimum wage will increase to $14 for companies with 26 or more employees and $13 for smaller companies. California companies with 5 or more employees (instead of 50 or more) will now be required to provide 12 weeks of family leave. All publicly owned companies based in California will be required to have at least one woman on their board of… read more
On January 11th, 80 Assemblymembers and 40 Senators will return to Sacramento for the new 2021-2022 legislative session, which convened Dec 7th. Hundreds of bills will be introduced over the coming weeks.  Most won’t be controversial, and many will probably never become law. Most bills must be submitted to the Office of Legislative Counsel by January 22, and February 19 is the final bill introduction deadline for this year. Bills will be referred to their respective committees for hearings in March or April, and many will be amended significantly. Legislative deadlines throughout the year… read more
The holiday season is traditionally a time of giving. It’s also appropriate at this time of the year to support organizations in our area that reach out to help those in need. Locally, many organizations are available to provide assistance, but these groups depend on all of us for their support, especially during the current pandemic.  These organizations include Western Eagle Foundation of Temecula, which assists people throughout Southern California with food, clothing and personal items, and Community Mission of Hope, which also provides food for those in need. Charity for Charity, my… read more
I introduced AB 1031 in 2017 to establish the Native California Wildlife Rehabilitation Fund. The bill allows taxpayers filing their returns to voluntarily ‘check off’ a specified amount to fund wildlife rescue programs. AB 1031 had bipartisan support and was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.  California’s non-profit animal rehabilitation organizations rescue sick, injured and orphaned wildlife and provide them with medical treatment, care, protection and nourishment with the ultimate aim of reintroducing them back into the wild.  Since they are nonprofits, these organizations rely on… read more
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