WISHING YOU A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This special year end edition of my eNewsletter will give you an overview of what I have been doing this past year to represent you and your interests in the Capitol and throughout the state. It will also highlight my Legislative success this past session as well as my efforts in the Legislature and the community to promote the growth and success of small businesses.
Governor Brown signed or vetoed hundreds of bill this past session, many of which just couldn't meet the financial test. The ongoing economic downturn in California and throughout the country has forced the Capitol to place revenue restrictions on legislation that makes sense but simply costs more than the state budget can afford.
Still, I am happy to report that 80 percent of my bills were signed into law by the Governor and I will give you an overview later in this newsletter.
I would also like to share with you my continued focus on small businesses. We must ensure opportunities for the businesses and communities in this state that need a voice the most. I intend to lead the efforts to ensure that the strength of emerging businesses is a continued focus to assure maximum participation of our communities and constituents.
As a strong advocate for small businesses, I introduced nearly a dozen bills this year that will positively impact small businesses, including a legislative package aimed at guaranteeing participation for California businesses in all stages of building the California High Speed Rail.
These bills will, among other things, set standards for small business involvement in High Speed Rail contracting, require the California High Speed Rail Authority to specifically outline efforts pertaining to small business in its business plan and specify the role that local employees will play in segments of the project.
I also convened numerous forums, symposiums and advisory committees throughout the community to provide guidance, information and access to small businesses that will insure that they get a fair share of the economic pie such as public contracts and procurements. As Chairman of the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, I've been the keynote speaker at several Chambers of Commerce events throughout the state including those hosted by the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Korean-American Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles.
In conclusion, I believe in policies that spark economic growth, encourage innovation, open the doors of opportunity for all, create jobs and stimulate our state's economy.
I encourage you to visit my official Senate website on a frequent basis to follow the progress of budget negotiations and my legislation as it moves through the legislative process. My website will also provide you with information on my legislative efforts in the Capitol and the District and any community events taking place in your neighborhood.
Please don't hesitate to contact my office staff or me whenever you have issues of concern or problems that warrant attention. Also feel free to email my eNewsletter to your neighborhood contacts and urge them to sign up to receive future issues.
Thank you for the privilege of serving as your State Senator.
SENATOR CURREN D. PRICE JR.
Senator Price Presides Over Senate Session.
Senator Price's 2011 Legislation Signed into Law by Governor Brown
I am proud to announce a successful 2011 Legislative Session. Governor Brown signed into law 12 of my bills. Of the 15 bills sent to the Governor, only three were vetoed.
Collectively these bills expand opportunities for small businesses, protect consumers, ensure that our neediest students receive the resources necessary for success in the classroom, and promote the public safety.
Legislative bills signed by the Governor:
SB 100 - provides for greater oversight and regulation of surgical clinics, and other types of clinics such as fertility and outpatient settings. This bill will ensure that quality of care standards are in place at these clinics and checked by the appropriate credentialing agency.
SB 294 - requires the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) to develop a five-year strategic plan to expand participation of emerging investment management firms in investing and managing state pension funds.
SB 220 - authorizes dependent children to be eligible for coverage under group life insurance policies up to age 26 and maintains protections for older dependents with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
SB 451 - requires the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to develop and regularly update the areas of occupational or technical training for which students may utilize Cal Grant C awards, and would require CSAC to give priority in granting the awards to students pursuing occupations or technical training in high growth, high wage or high demand jobs sectors.
SB 509 - allows school districts to purchase the most recently adopted materials for the neediest schools without the financial burden of purchasing for the entire district.
SB 594 - improves overall efficiency by consolidating certain disclosure and policyholder notices into a single mailing, thereby reducing numerous customer communications that often confuse customers.
SB 706 - reforms the Department of Real Estate's Enforcement Program and the Office of Real Estate Appraisers. This bill states that protection of the public shall be the highest priority for the Department and the Office in exercising their licensing, regulatory, and disciplinary functions.
SB 756 - provides local jurisdictions the ability to prosecute sex offenders who fail to register as currently required by California law. This legislation also requires sex offenders to provide proof of residence when requested by law enforcement officers.
SB 107 - extends the authority of the California Interscholastic Federation.
SB 539 - extends the sunset date of the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT) to January 1, 2016, requires employers of vocational nurses and psychiatric technicians to report resignations for cause, and allows the BVNPT the option to review vocational nursing schools and psychiatric technician schools for compliance.
SB 540 - extends the sunset date of the Dental Board of California (DBC) to January 1, 2016, adds one additional public member to the DBC, and makes other programmatic changes
SB 541 - authorizes the boards and bureaus within the Department of Consumer Affairs, as well as the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, and the Osteopathic Medical Board to continue to utilize expert consultants, as done in the past, without having to go through the formal contracting process.
In The District
INFORMATIONAL FORUM FOR BUSINESSES SEEKING TO DO BUSINESS IN AFRICA
African Diaspora Marketplace Road Show.
In keeping with my commitment to develop international trade opportunities with sub-Saharan Africa, I co-hosted the African Diaspora Marketplace Road Show (ADM), an informational forum that will help educate interested parties about a business plan competition and financial support available for businesses seeking to develop innovative enterprises on the African Continent. The forum was held Dec. 6th in the Wallis Annenberg Building in Exposition Park.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Western Union Company is sponsoring the second ADM, which offers support to U.S.-based African diaspora entrepreneurs with ideas for start-up and established businesses in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2010, the ADM awarded more than a dozen matching grants of $100,000 to winning business entries in seven countries.
The second round of the ADM will focus grants toward high-priority, high-impact sectors in Africa, including agribusiness, renewable energy and information and communication technology, according to the USAID.
I developed an interest in international trade, particularly enhancing trade and commerce with Africa when I traveled throughout the sub-Saharan continent and subsequently working with the SBA. It was there that I embraced the idea that American businesses could help themselves, while helping to spur growth and opportunity and freedom in the rest of the world. Many regions of Africa are rising to the challenges of the 21st Century and in the process of helping to transform African into a global hub for progress and prosperity.
California Legislative Black Caucus Policy Conference
Senator Curren Price, Assembly Member Holly Mitchell, Bernard Tyson, President, COO Kaiser, Assembly Member Isadore Hall, Assembly Member Mike Davis.
As Chairman of the California Legislative Black Caucus, I was happy to work with our Co-Chair, Assembly Member, Mike Davis and the other six members to host a Policy Conference to address the disparities that exist for African Americans in the areas of employment, health, education and the criminal justice system to develop a CLBC legislative package for next year.
Panels of experts addressed these issues during the two-day conference that was held at LAX Westin Hotel. Among the keynote speakers were Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congresswoman Karen Bass and former Assemblywoman Gwen Moore. Business leaders participating in the conference included Bernard J. Tyson, President & COO, Kaiser Permanente and Ken McNeely, President, AT&T. Members of the CLBC participated in a lively and informative Town Hall and numerous members of the Business Community were feted including.
"The members of the Legislative Black Caucus must focus on the areas where our community is hurting and create policy that will empower our community and alleviate the suffering," said Senator Curren D. Price, Jr., Chair of the Caucus
Special Advance Screening Of "Thundersoul"
Charles D. Segars, CEO, Ovation; Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Chair of Board, CA Arts Council, Senator Curren D. Price; Craig Watson, Director, CA Arts Council; Kimber Smith, Director, Community Engagement & Strategic Partnerships, Thunder Soul; Mark Landsman, Filmmaker, Thunder Soul THUNDERSOUL
I had the opportunity to partner with the Museum of Tolerance, Ovation the California Arts Council, and the California Alliance for Arts Education, Music Center: Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles Arts Commission/Arts for All to host an advance screening of the documentary, “Thunder Soul" at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The special screening brought together community and faith leaders, educators, business leaders and arts advocates who recognize the value of arts in the classroom. “Thunder Soul" is a moving documentary, which demonstrates how one teacher, Professor Conrad O. Johnson, made a positive and often life changing difference in the lives of his students through the power of music.
Healthy Lifestyles Initiative Conference
In April, as Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, I convened a Healthy Lifestyles Initiative Conference co-sponsored by the California Legislative Black Caucus and Kaiser Permanente at the California Science Center.
The health conference addressed the persistent health disparities facing African Americans and other minorities.
Health care is a social justice issue and we must find ways for African Americans and other minorities to access quality health care and improve their health outcomes.
Internationally recognized heart expert and author, Dr. Richard Allen Williams, Gary A. Puckrein, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Minority Quality Forum were among the many health experts who presented important studies and related information to legislators and community members in attendance.
Dr. Williams provided a comprehensive power point on the historical background of healthcare disparities that showed the current health problems of minorities are rooted in slavery, demonstrated evidence of healthcare disparities across multiple medical disciplines, and made recommendations for the elimination of healthcare disparities which all doctors can utilize.
Hands Across the Waters:
Meeting with International Trade Delegations
Nambia Trade Delegation
Senator Price with African Union Ambassador to the US, Amina Salum Ali
As a strong advocate for small businesses and international trade, I was proud to introduce the African Union Ambassador to the United States, Amina Salum Ali, on the floor of the California State Senate in, May.
Ambassador Ali addressed the State Legislature on behalf of the African Union and its Member states on opportunities for international trade and commerce between California and Africa. She also discussed efforts by the African Diplomatic Corps to strengthen partnerships with both the executive and legislative branches of the United States. “I want to emphasize the importance of us reaching across the waters to work together for our mutual benefits," said Ms. Ali, who hold degrees in economics and marketing and has held several ministerial positions in Tanzania.
International trade is a top priority for me and I have created a 26th District Advisory Committee on African Trade. I was also recently appointed to Chair the International Trade Committee of the Council of State Governments and was invited to serve as a member of the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on Trade, which provides trade policy advice to the United States Trade Representatives.
In July I met with the Chinese State Ministry of Culture Delegation which consisted of 27 members. Those members included the Deputy Director General of Personnel, Ministry of Culture of China; the Director of Personnel Division, National Library of China; the Section Chief of the Personnel Division, National Museum of China; and Department of Culture representatives from most of the Chinese provinces.
The delegation was visiting California to enhance their knowledge of California's art and culture programs. In addition to meeting with the California Arts Council, the delegation received a general overview of the Joint Committee on the Arts, which I chair.
ENDEAVOR SPACE SHUTTLE TO ARRIVE AT CALIFORNIA SCIENCE CENTER
Senator Price with Endeavor Astronauts
I was pleased to hear that NASA Administrator General Charles Bolden's announcement that the California Science Center, in the 26th Senate District, is one of four institutions chosen to receive a Space Shuttle Orbiter for permanent display. I was proud to be a member of a group of California legislators who lobbied strongly for the Shuttle to come to the Science Center. This is a great win for Los Angeles and California. Millions of Californians for generations to come will be able to get an up-close look at the Space Shuttle Orbiter Endeavor. Having this important piece of science, engineering and technological history on display at our California Science Center will motivate our youth and secure a roll for us in future space explorations. The California Science Center has a gallery dedicated to air and space artifacts and the addition of the Space Shuttle supports the goals of its 25-year Master Plan, which includes building an entirely new gallery devoted to aeronautics and space exploration.
PRESIDENTS AWARD FROM THE CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF MUSEUMS
Senator Price recieves award from the CA Association of Museums
I was honored to be presented with the President's Award from the California Association of Museums (CAM) for my support of the state's museums and cultural institutions in a ceremony on at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County at 900 Exposition Boulevard.
As Chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts, I championed a bill last year that now allows taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to the California Arts Council on their state personal income tax returns. It is an innovative approach to raise additional funding for the California Arts Council at a time when the arts community in California is hurting.
I also received recognition from Friends of the William Grant Still Community Art Center at the 11th Young Artists Award Ceremony & Concert.
TOWN HALL MEETING ON THE CALIFORNIA HIGH SPEED RAIL
Senator Price and assemblymember Galgiani on High Speed Rail
As Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, I convened a Town Hall in March on the California High Speed Rail. The event was co-sponsored by the Black Caucus, the California Latino Legislative Caucus, the California Asian-Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus and Assembly Member Cathleen Galgiani, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on High Speed Rail. Hundreds packed a Town Hall meeting on the California High Speed Rail Project at the California Science Center in March to hear about contracting disparities and opportunities for California businesses.
The meeting brought together elected officials, business leaders and stakeholders to explore the issues surrounding public contracting, including implementation of the California High Speed Rail Project. Dozens of interested parties also took advantage of the public forum. Discussions explored the disparities that exist in current contracting practices and ways to bolster opportunities for the thousands of small businesses throughout the state. The meeting also gave the business community the chance to hear directly from Roelof van Ark, executive director of the California High Speed Rail Authority, about its outreach efforts to local, small and minority based firms.
Panelists also included Thomas Hart, VP, Government Affairs and General Counsel for the US High Speed Rail Association; Olivia Fonseca, Deputy Director of Business and Economic Opportunity for the California Department of Transportation; and Tashai Smith, Director Small Business Programs, LA County Metropolitan Authority.
We are talking about $40 billion in contracting opportunities for Californians and we want to make sure that the pool of contractors are not only skillful, but also diverse.
INFORMATIONAL HEARINGS AND FORUMS
Throughout the year, I held numerous forums to benefit the small business communities in my district and throughout Southern California.
In April, I hosted a “Small Business Access to Capital and International Trade Forum" at West L.A. College. Speakers included representatives from the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED), the federal Small Business Administration and the Port of Los Angeles. The forum was designed to help businesses looking for financial assistance, technical solutions and contracting opportunities to help start or grow their enterprise and possibly even expand their business services overseas.
In June, I convened a Piracy Hearing in Hollywood to examine the ongoing threat of piracy and counterfeiting to California's economy. I invited industry experts, from California and across the country, to participate in the panels and address piracy and counterfeiting “In the Air" (internet, software, games) and “On the Ground" (illegal copying of goods). They identified trends, looked at the economic losses and identified the tools and technology that has been effective in dealing with piracy
Our creative sector continues to grow and holds the greatest promise for our future statewide as a jobs engine. However, this vital and substantial part of our economy finds itself severely impacted by piracy and counterfeiting which poses serious economic consequences to our state.
In July, I convened a follow-up informational hearing by the Select Committee on Procurement and the California Public Utilities Commission that focused on contracting obstacles and opportunities relating to emerging investment managers, who operate in historically disadvantaged firms. The purpose was to determine what barriers exist between entrepreneurs obtaining state contracts and if so, what steps should be taken to remove those barriers.
Representatives of diverse and emerging firms, utility leaders, public pension fund administrators, and investment consultants shared contracting barriers of emerging investment managers from their company's perspective as well as plans to mitigate inequities.
SHEROES OF THE 26TH DISTRICT
During the month of May, I was pleased to honor the Sheroes of my district. A Shero is a woman who has demonstrated leadership, pride, volunteerism and commitment to their community. This year’s Sheroes came from a wide array of backgrounds representing different communities from throughout my district.
CASH FOR COLLEGE
Senator Price - Cash For College
In January, I hosted a Cash for College workshop for high school students interested in attending a four-year, two-year or vocational/technical education institution. I am pleased to host this event each year in order to ensure students receive the necessary resources and funding opportunities to go on to receive a higher education.
BOOKSIGNING WITH DR. JULIANNE MALVEAUX
Noted economist, author and speaker Julianne Malveaux discussed her latest book, “Surviving and Thriving: 365 Facts in Black Economic History," at a special event hosted by the California Legislative Black Caucus in collaboration with FAME Corporation and the Special Needs Network, Inc. on Saturday, June 25 in my district headquarters.
Surviving and Thriving: 365 Facts in Black Economic History, has proven to be an instrumental piece in confronting our current economic situation and Dr. Malveaux has been touring the country to spread her knowledge as a part of the Black Economics History 101 Tour.
Dr. Malveaux, who contributes to the public dialogue on issues such as race, culture, gender, and their economic impacts, has been described by Dr. Cornel West as "the most iconoclastic public intellectual in the country."
In 2007, Dr. Malveaux became the 15th President of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina where she has continued to shift, change, and mold the lives of many young women.
CALIFORNIA ARTS LEADERS ROUNDTABLE
Early this month, I met with a distinguished and diverse group of leaders in the arts and education community which included Malissa Feruzzi Shriver (Board Chair-CA Arts Council), Danielle Brazell (Exec. Director-Arts for LA), and Mark Slavkin (V.P for Education-Music Center: Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County).
During our meeting each participant shared their organization's accomplishments in 2011. We reviewed key issues relating to the Creative Economy and the status of Arts Education in our state. Concerns with the increasing curriculum inequities for K-12 students were discussed, along with other priorities, and ways we can bring about constructive change.
Senator Price with Water Company Representatives and Culver City Officials for Operation Gobble
During the Thanksgiving month, I was able to distribute over 300 turkeys to local nonprofit organizations for low-income families residing throughout the 26th Senate District. Known as “Operation Gobble," the initiative is a joint venture with the Golden State Water Company and California American Water. Also, I partnered with the non-profit organization, Positive Results Corporation, to distribute more than $1000 in gift cards that were donated by major grocery chains as well as local Culver City business, Bunnin Chevrolet.
For Your Information
Los Angeles Food Bank Commodity Supplemental Food Program
If you or someone you know is a Senior (60 YEARS AND OLDER) AND MEETS THE Senior Income Guidelines of $1,180 per month (1 person) of $1,594 per month (2 persons), they may qualify to participate in the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank Commodity Supplemental program. This program will provides Seniors with a free food kit once a month, prepared with specific nutritional needs in mind, and will include meats, canned fruits and vegetables, dry milk and related products, cereals and other grain products. For more information on this program, please call 1-800-510-2020 or go to the Los Angeles Food Bank website at www.lafoodbank.org.
Freedom Sisters Exhibition At Museum Of Tolerance
Be sure to visit the Freedom Sisters exhibition showing at the Museum of Tolerance. This exhibit honors the Legacy of African American Women who had helped shaped the spirit and substance of the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit is slated to run from now until January 8th, 2012. For more information, please visit the Museum of Tolerance website at www.museumoftolerance.com.
January 5, 2012 - High Speed Rail Draft Report “Small Business and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Programs" State Capitol Room 112, 1-3 p.m.
January 20, 2012 - Town Hall Meeting, Senator Curren Price, CPUC; 1-3 p.m. LA Location to be announced. Please call Lisa Martin for details 916 651-1569
At Your Service
|Senator Curren Price with his Capitol and District office staff on the Senate Floor.|
My capitol and district office is dedicated to helping my constituents. If you need help filling out government forms, information on legislation, or assistance in dealing with state agencies, please contact my district office at 213-745-6656 or my capitol office at 916-651-4026 feel free to stop by or click here to submit an on-line form that goes directly to my district office. My office is here to serve you.