(Sacramento) -- During an Assembly Insurance Committee oversight hearing Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) said she's disappointed with the Economic Development Department's (EDD) response to the delay in payment of continuing unemployment insurance claims. EDD officials say the payment delays were triggered by a major malfunction that surfaced during an upgrade to the computer system at EDD. Assemblywoman Gonzalez said, "The delay caused real anxiety and suffering among unemployed workers and their families. It's unacceptable and it caused a real black eye for how Californians view their state government." Here's more in this Assembly Access video.
SACRAMENTO, CA – (Wednesday, November 6, 2013) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, made the following statement after attending today’s oversight hearing of the Assembly Insurance Committee dealing with the Economic Development Department’s (EDD) delay in payment of continuing unemployment insurance claims.
“The delay in unemployment benefit payments that took place after Labor Day caused real harm to hundreds of thousands of California families who were missing out on their lifeline to pay for housing, food, medical care and other everyday expenses that don’t go away just because a paycheck is lost. The delay caused real anxiety and suffering among unemployed workers and their families. It’s unacceptable and it caused a real black eye for how Californians view their state government.
San Diego-area Assemblywoman’s Bills Are Part of State’s Efforts to Empower California’s Immigrants As Federal Reform Stalls
SAN DIEGO – (Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) applauded Gov. Jerry Brown’s announcement today that he signed into law legislation authored by Gonzalez to provide the state’s undocumented immigrants with consumer protections and career opportunities that will improve their quality of life and allow them to more productively contribute to California’s economy.
Brown signed into law Assembly Bills 1024 and 1159, both authored by Assemblywoman Gonzalez, as well as six other bills protecting immigrants on today’s National Immigration Day of Action, where rallies across the United States will draw attention to Congress’ inability to pass federal comprehensive immigration reform. Assemblywoman Gonzalez participated in one such rally at San Diego’s Balboa Park this morning.
By Lorena Gonzalez
In 1996, Congress passed the “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act,” which forbid a state to confer a benefit to an individual who was not here legally, unless the state acted to affirmatively to do so. In other words, Congress told individual states that they had to pass their own laws in order to allow unauthorized immigrants benefits, such as in-state college tuition, state-funded scholarship opportunities and the issuance of licenses of all sorts.
About a decade ago, California started to do just that. It started with AB 540, the landmark legislation where we first started to recognize that it is irrational and counterproductive to penalize young students who were often brought here as small children, who had worked hard, and simply wanted the opportunity to attend our public universities. We began to know these kids as “Dreamers,” brave, dedicated young people who simply wanted to normalize their existence in the only country they had ever known as home.
AB 1024 will Authorize Law Licenses for Noncitizens who Pass Bar Exam; AB 1152 Cracks Down on Immigration Reform Scams
SACRAMENTO, CA– (Friday, September 13, 2013) – Both houses of the California State Legislature overwhelmingly approved bills authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) that provide professional opportunities and consumer protections to noncitizens in California while Congress struggles to approve comprehensive immigration reform.
Both Assembly Bills 1024 (Attorneys’ Right to Practice) and 1159 (Immigration Fraud Consumer Protections) are headed to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown for signature after winning large bipartisan approval in the last few hours of legislative session on Thursday evening.
AB 1159 Empowers 2.5 Million Californians Who Seek Immigration Reform Services Under Pending Federal Law
SACRAMENTO, CA – (Monday, August 19, 2013) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) will introduce legislation today to prevent payment for immigration reform services until federal immigration reform is enacted and to ensure other basic consumer protections are provided to immigrants pursuing a pathway to U.S. citizenship under the federal immigration reform act pending in Congress.
Assembly Bill 1159 (Gonzalez) would require that lawyers and consultants performing services under the pending federal immigration reform act abide by common sense business practices that will protect more than 2.5 million potentially eligible Californians from the unauthorized practice of law by non-lawyers, fraud, and unnecessary mistakes that could jeopardize a client’s pursuit of citizenship or – worse – result in deportation.
SAN DIEGO – (Friday, August 2, 2013) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) made the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to deny the State of California’s attempt to block the court-mandated early release of prisoners.
“It is very unfortunate that Supreme Court has risked the safety of our communities in this recent decision. As the state noted in its argument, no data suggests that a sudden release of inmates with these characteristics can be done safely and no state has ever done it. I believe the state demonstrated a very strong case against early release, both in improved prison conditions but also in the negative impacts that realignment has had on public safety in California. It’s one thing to maintain a fair standard for the men and women who are incarcerated, but our state should not be expected to risk all of our essential public safety needs for the well-being of criminals. A long-term solution to prevent this false choice is needed.”
SAN DIEGO – (Friday, July 19, 2013) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) made the following statement in response to San Diego County Clerk-Assessor-Recorder Ernie Dronenburg's lawsuit challenging the State of California's order to county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
"The Courts have spoken strongly and the State of California has acted swiftly in ensuring the people will never again be discriminated against when it comes to the right of marriage equality. Mr. Dronenburg should reconsider this hurtful lawsuit and walk away from it.
"The lawsuit filed by our County clerk is an affront to residents of San Diego County who have waited too long for their equal rights to marry the one they love.
"We appreciate the clarification from County officials that this is not the official position of the County of San Diego or the Board of Supervisors but rather the action of one rogue official whose duty is to administer the law of the land, not turn back the clock on our residents' civil rights."
Chula Vista Veterans Leader Honored This Week in Sacramento for Outstanding Service to Veterans and Returning Military
SACRAMENTO – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) named Chula Vista resident Anthony “Tony” Stewart the “District 80 Veteran of the Year” this week, honoring him for his tireless community service and leadership in developing innovative programs for returning military and their families.
SACRAMENTO – (Wednesday, June 26, 2013) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) made the following statement today in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and to reject the appeal by proponents of Proposition 8 in California:
“Equality has rarely been achieved easily, but it's a value Americans know is worth fighting for. I am elated to know that same-sex couples now have the opportunity to marry and look forward to celebrating with friends who are no longer legally barred from pursuing their own happiness, regardless of who they love. Today is a great day to celebrate a renewed commitment to equal treatment and respect of one another, but I pledge to defend equal rights for all people as the injustice created by inequality still persists in many corners of our society.”