SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez’s (D-Los Angeles) AB 781, which is a companion bill to the Speaker’s disincorporation bill (AB 46), passed through the Senate Governance and Finance Committee today. Pérez addressed issues raised by the business community, labor, and others with regards to the city of Vernon—a city that would be affected by AB 46—with a history of corruption allegations, indictments and convictions for offenses including voter fraud.
“I am pleased the Senate approved my bill to establish a successor government to take the place of the corrupt and unaccountable city council that has run Vernon like a fiefdom for decades,” Speaker Pérez said. “Today’s action takes us one step closer to protecting the jobs and ending the corruption in Vernon.”
AB 781, which must be passed by the Legislature for AB 46 to go into effect, protects the jobs of city workers and local businesses; preserves current business friendly practices, services, and policies; expands civil service protections; and extends the role of governing to include local residents, businesses, employees, and neighboring communities by creating a Community Services District comprised of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to provide municipal services in the territory of the former city. The Community Services District will provide the same quality services that were provided by the former city, including fire protection, water, telecommunications, electric and gas utilities, and street maintenance.
“AB 781 protects businesses and workers by replicating the good parts of Vernon’s government, while eliminating the mechanisms that have enabled a toxic level of corruption to continue unabated for decades, and provides for the guarantees that businesses and workers need to keep their businesses contributing to our economy,” Pérez added.
Vernon is the smallest city in California by population with only 96 residents, virtually all of whom live in heavily subsidized, city owned housing; and are either employed by the city or connected to city officials. This has effectively created a situation where the city is both the landlord and the supervisor for the residents of Vernon, giving Vernon officials an unprecedented level of economic control over the electorate and removing any semblance of an independent electorate to hold city officials accountable. News reports have documented the many incidents of corruption in Vernon, including rampant cronyism, illegal uses of public funds, voter fraud, and bloated salaries and pensions, including awarding a Vernon official the largest public pension in the state.
AB 781 will next be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
CONTACT: John Vigna, Robin Swanson (916) 319 2408
Website of Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez: www.asmdc.org/speaker