Winter 2015 – It’s a new session!
It’s a new year and a new legislative session, and my staff and I are hard at work. This year, I look forward to approving another balanced state budget, finding solutions to challenging public policy issues, and responding to the concerns of my constituents.
Proposed New Laws
This year, I have introduced a pair of bills that reflect my top priorities of protecting our precious natural resources and lifting families out of poverty. I will keep you updated about other new laws I propose this session.
AB 43 – Improving the Economy and Lifting Californians out of Poverty: This bill addresses poverty among working families and boosts California’s recovering economy. The measure would create a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for families already eligible for the federal EITC. The federal EITC reduces the amount of taxes owed, and sometimes provides a refund for working people with low to moderate incomes. The federal EITC is a tool that measurably reduces poverty, and it has been proven to improve the local economies of communities where credits are received. It’s time for California to join the twenty-five states that already have a supplemental EITC to help vulnerable low-wage workers and their families escape poverty.
AB 48 (Stone) - Banning Cigarette Butts: This bill would protect wildlife, preserve California’s coast and waterways, and save taxpayer dollars by banning cigarette filters. Filters, commonly known as cigarette butts, do not protect smokers from cancer, emphysema, or other diseases associated with smoking; however, discarded filters create a costly and prevalent source of litter in California communities and recreational areas. They leach dangerous chemicals into the environment, kill wildlife, and force communities to spend millions of taxpayer dollars for clean-up. California has many laws in place to curtail cigarette litter, but people continue to illegally discard tons of cigarette butts each year. The current laws aren’t sufficient to address this major problem, which is why I’ve reintroduced this bill.
Announcing: New Committee Assignments!
New Chairmanship: I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been appointed to serve as Chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. As Chair of the Judiciary Committee, I look forward to protecting civil rights, advocating for consumers, and ensuring that all Californians have access to justice. The Assembly Judiciary Committee reviews legislation on a broad range of issues, including family law, product and tort liability and immunity, immigration, commercial contracts, court and jury procedures, civil practice and procedure, and other topics. Notable policies that have recently been considered include same sex marriage rights, classes of individuals protected from discrimination, whistleblower protections, elder financial abuse, and homeownership and foreclosure law.
Other Committee Assignments: In addition to my chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee, I have been re-appointed to the Natural Resources Committee, which considers several environmental issues, and the Human Services Committee, which considers legislation to help the most vulnerable Californians. I’ve also been appointed to the Banking & Finance Committee. I am excited to have the opportunity to make my voice heard in these committees on legislation that addresses consumer protection, serves vulnerable Californians, and protects the environment, and I look forward to working on issues that are essential to making the future brighter for California.
Save the Date: Public Protection Town Hall
Please join me at a special Public Protection Town Hall. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from experts about ways to protect yourself from identity theft, real estate and rental scams, consumer concerns, and more.
Friday, March 27, 1:30 p.m.
Highlands Park Senior Center
8500 Highway 9
Ben Lomond, CA 95005
Speakers include experts from the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association, the Bureau of Real Estate, the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s office, and other consumer protection experts. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my staff. I hope to see you there!
Contacting My Office: Sharing Your Views, Getting Assistance, and Visiting My Office
Do you need assistance with a state agency like the DMV, Employment Development Department, or Franchise Tax Board? Do you have questions about state legislation? Would you like to share a concern or suggestion with one of your state representatives?
I have two district offices to serve Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, as well as drop-in office hours in Santa Clara County.
Santa Cruz County District Office
701 Ocean Street, 318-B
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Tel: (831) 425-1503
Fax: (831) 425-2570
Monterey County District Office
99 Pacific Street, Ste 555D
Monterey, CA 93940
Tel: (831) 649-2832
Fax: (831) 649-2935
Email: To contact me via email, please fill out the comment page on my website.
Office Hours: My office holds Neighborhood Office Hours several times a month in San Jose. During Neighborhood Office Hours, you will have the opportunity to meet with my staff to receive assistance with state-related matters, gain information about upcoming legislation and to learn about other ways my office may assist you. No RSVP is necessary. Assistance will be given on a first come, first-served basis. If you cannot attend during the listed hours, staff may be able to meet with you by appointment. Please call (831) 425-1503 to set up an appointment to meet with a member of my district staff.
South San Jose
Southside Community Center - Multipurpose Room
5585 Cottle Rd. San Jose, CA 95123
Every 1st Tuesday of the month, 11am-1pm
Almaden Community Center - Community Meeting Room
6445 Camden Ave. San Jose, CA 95120
Every 2nd Wednesday of the month, 8:30am-10am