The Legislative season is over, but there remains work to do with our Governor.
Here are updates:
Thanks to you we were able to get an increase in SSI funds for those on disability – a small Cost of Living Allowance. That was in the budget, so it does not require further action from us.
We also got the cap on the Maximum Family Grant lifted. Now, babies born to families already on CalWORKs will receive an addition $133 per month for that child. This, too, went into the budget and is a reality.
We did not even know that Assembly Member Cheryl Brown (D-San Bernardino) was pushing a resolution, AJR 35, that told Congress to remove the prohibition on food stamps for those on disability. This resolution changes nothing immediately – that is a federal action – but it passed unanimously, both parties, both houses, and is now being sent to Congress. This is a significant step in righting the wrong of cutting food stamps from people who most need them.
What does require action are:
AB 1066 – Overtime for farm workers. This is an historic and path-breaking bill giving farm workers parity on overtime pay with all other workers. This has been a central focus for National Farmworkers Ministry and for people of faith. That it passed is almost miraculous since we’ve been working on this for decades.
AB 1761 and 1762. These bills assist the victims of human trafficking. 1761 permits the victim to use the fact of enslavement to protect against charges of non-serious, non-violent crimes committed under that duress and to have records sealed. 1762 vacates records of prostitution and the like when the person so charged was trafficked. These bills correct horrible wrongs done to victims of human trafficking who are victimized again by the indifference of the judicial system to their plight.
SB 1107 (Allen, D-Santa Monica) – This bill would permit local governments to create public financing for elections. It passed, at the 11th hour with a small bi-partisan vote. The Governor needs to hear from us that signing this into law is the will of the people. There is a Constitutional issue since some years back voters declared we could not do this, but Common Cause and Clean Money Campaign believe it does not violate that directive. Let the Governor know we think this is a critical first step for ending the power of money in elections.
NOTE to those of you in Sen. Hueso’s district, San Diego 40: he refused to vote on this. After Republican Sen. Huff did, Hueso first put up an Aye vote, then took it back. He needs to hear from you that this cowardly behavior is not acceptable. His offices are:
Chula Vista 619-409-7690. El Centro: 760-335-3442.
SB 1349 (Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys) This bill directs the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Fair Political Practices Commission to create a user-friendly record of all political donations to any campaign, local, state, federal, candidate or ballot issue. Bringing transparency to our election donations system is critical as more money enters the system, then hides under obscure committee names – “Americans For” or “Californians Against”. This requires full disclosure that we, the voters, may see.
The contact site for Governor Jerry Brown is compromised. Firefox has determined your contact information could be stolen, so we are bypassing the site in favor of calls or FAX numbers.
Capitol – 916-445-2841 and FAX 916-558-3160. This is the preferred number, often busy. Be persistent!
Los Angeles – 213-897-0322 and FAX 213-897-0319.
San Francisco – 415-703-2218 and FAX 415-703-2803.
Please let your voices be heard at the Governor’s office. No one can take his acceptance of our work for granted, not even the AB 1066 farm worker overtime bill. His past association with the farm worker movement and Cesar Chavez has proven very unreliable in his decisions, so lift your voice for justice, for putting people ahead of profits.