Rodriguez Statement On 2016-17 State Budget

(SACRAMENTO)- Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez released the following statement today in response to the legislature passing the 2016-17 state budget:

“Once again, we delivered an on-time, balanced and fiscally responsible budget for California. We deposited over $6 billion into the Rainy Day Fund to prepare for a future economic crisis. During the recession, important programs had funding stripped and too many Californians suffered the consequences. Investing in the Rainy Day Fund will help keep us on track if the economy takes another turn.

Stone Releases Statement on State Budget Passage

SACRAMENTO — Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) has released the following statement on the passage of the state budget:

“This balanced, on-time, fiscally responsible budget invests in public schools, makes college more affordable, and truly prioritizes the needs of the most vulnerable Californians.

Assembly Approves Stone Bill Improving Transparency in Coastal Commission Proceedings

SACRAMENTO—The California Assembly has approved legislation by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) to require that people who lobby the Coastal Commission register as lobbyists subject to public disclosure laws.

“This bill makes a necessary change to the law to ensure that decisions made by Commissioners have appropriate standards of disclosure and public scrutiny.  The actions of the Coastal Commission have a profound impact on the lives of Californians, so Californians should be able to find out who is working to influence decisions that Commissioners make,” said Stone. 

Assembly Approves Stone Legislation

SACRAMENTO—The California State Assembly has approved several bills by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) that would stimulate regional economies, improve the lives of impoverished and vulnerable Californians, address threats to the environment, promote transparency for consumers, and improve public safety.  The following bills will be sent to the Senate for consideration in policy committees:

AB 2002 (Stone/Atkins/Levine) Coastal Commission Transparency: As evidenced by the decision to remove Dr. Charles Lester as the Executive Director, the actions of the Coastal Commission have a profound impact on the lives of Californians.  It is without question that decisions of such gravity should be held to the highest standards of public disclosure. However, current law lacks the transparency that Californians clearly expect and deserve regarding who is working to influence decisions that commissioners make.  This measure requires that people lobbying Coastal Commissioners become registered as lobbyists and become subject to public disclosure laws, and it helps ensure that future commissioner decisions have higher standards of disclosure and public scrutiny.

Assembly Approves Student Loan Borrowers’ Bill of Rights

SACRAMENTO –The California State Assembly has passed legislation by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) to create a Student Loan Borrowers’ Bill of Rights.  AB 2251 would help ensure that student borrowers have reliable information, receive quality customer service, and have meaningful access to repayment and loan forgiveness programs.

“With so many Californians struggling to repay loans or even defaulting on them, it is critical that loan servicers communicate loan terms effectively with their customers,” said Stone.  “By requiring accountability and oversight of the loan servicer industry, California will create critically needed protections to student loan borrowers.  I’m pleased that the Assembly has approved this measure.”

Assembly Fiscal Committee Approves Stone Legislation

SACRAMENTO—The Assembly Appropriations Committee has approved several bills by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) that would stimulate regional economies, improve the lives of impoverished and vulnerable Californians, address threats to the environment, promote transparency for consumers, and improve public safety.  The following bills will be sent to the Assembly Floor for consideration by the full Assembly:

AB 2002 (Stone/Atkins/Levine) Coastal Commission Transparency: As evidenced by the decision to remove Dr. Charles Lester as the Executive Director, the actions of the Coastal Commission have a profound impact on the lives of Californians.  It is without question that decisions of such gravity should be held to the highest standards of public disclosure. However, current law lacks the transparency that Californians clearly expect and deserve regarding who is working to influence decisions that commissioners make.  This measure requires that people lobbying Coastal Commissioners become registered as lobbyists and become subject to public disclosure laws, and it helps ensure that future commissioner decisions have higher standards of disclosure and public scrutiny.

Stone Issues Statement on Audit of State Bar

SACRAMENTO –Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) has issued a statement regarding the audit released today by the California State Auditor regarding the State Bar of California:

"The primary duty of the State Bar is to protect the public from dishonest attorneys, and our job as legislators is to ensure that the Bar is adequately performing that job.  Unfortunately, the audit found that the Bar fails to properly inform the Legislature about its activities in a manner that is transparent and fully accurate.   As a result, it is extremely difficult for the Legislature to perform its critical oversight functions.  Moreover, the public has suffered very real harm as a result of the Bar's unreasonable delays in reimbursing losses due to attorney misconduct.  This apparently has been a problem for years, yet the Bar did not fully inform the Legislature of the magnitude of the problem -- $16.7 million shortfall at the end of 2015 --  leaving thousands of Californians to wait years for any hope of reimbursement.