By Toni G. Atkins | Speaker of the Assembly
This past year has seen some big successes for California workers.
We passed a historic water bond that not only addresses water infrastructure needs, but puts people to work in good paying jobs. The water bond also creates the opportunity for apprentices who can work to become journeymen and move ahead on the path to the middle class.
We extended and expanded the film-production tax credit — to keep industry jobs in California and bring back those that have left.
We provided protections for temporary and contract workers who work in agriculture, warehouses, and goods movement, so that large corporations can’t walk away from liability when their contractors don’t pay their workers or provide meal and rest breaks.
We also passed a law that will shed light on California employers who have workers who earn so little that they qualify for Medi-Cal.
And California became only the second state in the country to provide millions of workers with the right to paid sick days. No longer will a single parent have to make the choice of caring for a sick child or going without pay or, worse, losing their job.
This year, the Assembly has continued creating policies to fix the future. The budget passed in June reflects core goals we fought for, including the Assembly Democrat-championed state Earned Income Tax Credit, which will benefit 2 million working Californians and their families. We keep college affordable through our Middle Class Scholarship and by directing more funds to community colleges and California State University and University of California campuses, as well as expanding Cal Grants by 15 percent.
The Legislature and the governor must ensure that as the economy continues to grow, it’s not at the expense of working people. Economic growth has to flow to working people and to those struggling to make ends meet.
As we celebrate Labor Day, we can celebrate all the progress that’s been made to make life better for California’s working people. It’s important to remember that all the changes have been made possible by all groups working together to achieve better parity for workers — and that creates a stronger California!
Around the District: The “I Love a Clean San Diego” cleanup takes place from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 19 and I will be a part of it with our Team Toni. Please join us at one of the 100 sites where thousands of volunteers will clean our beaches, canyons, rivers and creek beds. To be part of Team Toni, email us at email@example.com. We’d love to have you! For more, see cleanupday.org … Happy 25th anniversary to Mama’s Kitchen! The charity has provided meals to those with HIV, AIDS or other serious ailments throughout our communities and I’m proud to join with our entire San Diego state legislative delegation in congratulating their staff and volunteers on this milestone.
—Toni G. Atkins is the Speaker of the California State Assembly. For more information, please visit her website, asmdc.org/speaker where you can sign up for her e-newsletter or get the latest news on legislation and other activities. You also may follow her on Twitter, @toniatkins.