I hope you have enjoyed Spring. Much of the discussion at the Capitol this time of year settles around the budget. I am proud to be authoring one of the key components of the balanced budget solution – Senate Bill 116, which closes a massive corporate tax loophole, adding $1 billion to our state coffers saving us from even further devastating cuts.
In addition to the budget, I’ve been busy on several other key issues.
Currently, I am authoring legislation ranging from reducing workplace hazards for housekeepers to investing in the neighborhoods that continue to suffer from higher levels of pollution. It is my intent to keep you updated on both what I am doing at the Capitol and what I am working on at home in the district.
If my office can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact us.
Senator Kevin de León
In this Issue:
Echo Park Organic Garden Project & Community Clean Up
Senator Kevin de León joined forces with the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council and Kaiser Permanente, the largest hospital serving the Echo Park neighborhood to install 18 organic gardens in front of homes selected by theEl Centro del Pueblo community service organization.
200 Kaiser Doctors, nurses, their families and Echo Park Residents installed the organic gardens. Thank you to the Home Depot Foundation and the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council for their generous donations to make this project happen and to Big Sunday Weekend for donating water and t-shirts for all the volunteers.
Senator Kevin de León presents a certificate of appreciation to Hutson Morris-Irvin, Director of Public Affairs at Kaiser Permanente.
Protect Yourself from Fraud
On Thursday, May 26, our office collaborated with the Expediente Rojo Project to present a Senior Citizen Scam Stop Townhall at the Lincoln Heights Senior Center. The attendees got safety tips by bilingual experts representing the Federal Bureau Investigation, U.S. Social Security Administration and the Los Angeles Police Department. Each speaker provided information how to protect from fraud, schemes and scams that specifically target senior citizens.
Here are some of the safety tips to avoid being a victim of fraud:
- Do not carry your Social Security Card with you – Leave your card at home in a safe place
- Do not give your credit card or bank information to telemarketers over the phone—ask for a call back number
- Do not carry around your bank account or PIN number information
- Use a shredder to destroy all bank statements and personal information with your social security number.
- You can get up to 3 free credit reports each year through credit report agencies to check on any fraud activity on your credit cards.
- If you’ve been a victim of a scam please file a police report with your local police department
Legislative Update--Senate Bill 116
Budget talks in Sacramento are intensifying, and in order to save the state upwards of $1 Billion a year and promote local job growth, Senator De León is carrying Senate Bill 116 to repeal an existing tax loophole.
This reform would end tax breaks to companies that move their operations elsewhere and could generate 40,000 jobs in the state, according to the Legislative Analyst's Office. We can’t afford to reward Texas Tycoons and stick California taxpayers with the tab.
Legislative Update--Senate Bill 238
Former UCLA and NFL wide receiver J.J. Stokes speaks during the hearing, which focused on ways to prevent student athletes from accepting benefits from unscrupulous agents. (Nick Ut / Associated Press / May 12, 2011)
Many college student athletes live in poverty as they try to keep up with the intense demands of their academic and athletic schedules. These same student athletes and the institutions for which they compete are often put at jeopardy by the actions of unscrupulous and unregulated athlete agents who seek to exploit the situation.
In order to protect student athletes, and universities, from unscrupulous sports agents, as chair of the Select Committee on Sports and Entertainment, Senator Kevin de León convened a hearing at the University of Southern California Coliseum commissioners' boardroom.
There to give insight as to how California can best enact meaningful legislation to protect our student athletes were JJ Stokes, UCLA Hall of Famer and former NFL Player; Josh Luchs, former agent and subject of HBO’s Real Sports show; Marc Eisenberg, author of Money Players and Student Athlete Consultant; Ramogi Huma – Founder, National Collegiate Players Association; David Roberts, Vice-President of Compliance at University of Southern California and the Hon. Carmen Trutanich – City Attorney, City of Los Angeles.
Senator Kevin de León has introduced Senate Bill 238 which would implement a new, and harsher, penalties for agents violating the Miller-Ayala Athlete Agents Act.
Legislative Update--Senate Bill 432
The 2010 study in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine concluded that: “Immediate action is needed with respect to the control of hazards to housekeepers.”
Senator De León has moved to take that action by introducing Senate Bill 432. He has proposed the use of long-handled tools for mopping and sweeping and the use of fitted sheets to allow housekeepers to make beds without lifting heavy mattresses.
Housekeepers are extremely prone to high risk lower back injuries. In each room, housekeepers lift mattresses often weighing more than the housekeepers to change flat sheets. This repetitive motion puts housekeepers at increased risk for back and shoulder injuries. Other injuries are caused by the lack of a long-handled cleaning tools, like mops. Where these basic tools are not provided, housekeepers clean up to 32 bathroom floors on their hands and knees in only a single, grueling, shift.
Nenita Ibe, a hotel housekeeper, demonstrates at a state Senate committee hearing how she cleans a bathroom floor on her knees. The panel approved a bill that aims to cut hotel worker injuries. (RANDY PENCH/Sacramento Bee/4/14/11)
Nenita Ibe talks to Sen. Kevin de León, author of SB 432, which calls for hotels to use fitted sheets and long-handled cleaning tools to help workers avoid injuries from lifting and kneeling.
(RANDY PENCH/Sacramento Bee/4/14/11)
Legislative Update--Senate Bill 535
Our children and the hard-working families of our state must have clean air and job opportunities in the new clean tech economy. As we move our state beyond the current fiscal crisis, we must make sure that everyone is empowered to participate and contribute.
In order to mitigate the direct impacts of climate change that are largely affecting the disadvantaged communities who are already suffering from adverse health impacts, Senator De León has proposed Senate Bill 535 to create the California Communities Healthy Air Revitalization Trust (CHART).
The projects funded through SB 535 will ensure that our communities have access to:
- Energy Efficiency Programs
- Retrofits, Weatherstripping, Caulking, HVAC systems
- Green Job Training and Placement
- Renewable Energy Projects
- Funding for climate change adaptation programs
Senate Bill 535 ensures that as California takes steps to address global warming, we invest in the neighborhoods that continue to suffer from higher levels of pollution and those are least able to confront the expected impacts of the climate change crisis.
Help Arrives for Small Business
Help is on its way for many California small business owners as the federal government takes action to cut unnecessary bureaucracy and provide needed support. President Obama signed legislation repealing a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requiring businesses to file a 1099 form with the IRS any time they spend more than $600 a year with another business. The President recognized that the requirement “would have been an undue barrier to small business growth.”
Some California businesses can look forward to help from the federal government through the Small Business Jobs Act (HR 5297) that Congress passed last year. According to The Los Angeles Times, California received $56 million under the Act last year and could receive a total of $168 million this year. Funds are used to back small businesses that can’t qualify for conventional loans.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has also launched a new website, Benefits.gov, to help small business owners survive the unexpected. There are a series of loan opportunities to help weather the current economic times and to keep businesses afloat. The SBA offers short term Microloans for equipment, supplies or inventory; Economic Disaster loans for businesses in disaster areas; and Military Reservist Injury Disaster loans for businesses having difficulty when key employees are deployed.
2011 Latino Spirit Awards
I had the distinct honor of introducing Professor Joaquin Avila when he received the 2011 Achievement in Civil Rights Latino Spirit Award. For over 35 years Professor Avila has been instrumental in dismantling discrimination and making the electoral process more accessible to the Latino Community. His most significant accomplishment in the legislative arena was the passage of the 2001 California State Voting Rights Act--the only state voting rights act in the nation. Please join me in congratulating Professor Avila as he has been selected to lead a major national initiative at Seattle University School of Law to address issues of minority vote dilution.
Click here to see the other Award recipients.
Please contact my district office (213-612-9566) for help with...
- Professional licenses
- Community recognition
- Dept. of Motor Vehicles
- Consumer complaints
- State Franchise Tax Board
- Government forms and applications
- Unemployment claims
- Short-term disability claims
- Calif. Veterans' Affairs
- Child support and child care
- Small business assistance
June 2011 Calendar
WHAT: Free Event - LA Taco & Music Festival
WHEN: Sunday, June 26 from 12pm - 8pm
WHERE:1st Street and Boyle Avenue @ Mariachi Plaza Station
WHY: Raises Funds to help Jovenes, Inc. a local non-profit that helps homeless youth
MORE INFO: LA Taco & Music Festival Website