//Bill Author Asm. Bocanegra Speaks Out, Urges Brown to Sign

Bill Author Asm. Bocanegra Speaks Out, Urges Brown to Sign

Wayne Huang / SEIU Local 99

Today, author of AB 621, Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra, held a press conference in front of San Fernando Elementary where he urged Governor Brown to sign the bill and end the unjust and cruel summer faced by California’s classified school employees.

“We believe what we have here is a piece of legislation that Governor Jerry Brown can sign that is financially prudent, gives dignity to workers and it will help a lot of those employees during the summer months so they don’t have to be in line at the food pantry,” said Bocanegra.

He was joined at the podium by SEIU Local 99 members Kathleen Hamm and Maria Vecerra, who both spoke about their dedication and commitment to students and public education, while enduring financial struggle every summer. Local 99 members working at San Fernando Elementary, Executive Director Max Arias, LAUSD Board Member Kelly Gonez, and Elmer Roldan of United Way of LA also participated in the conference. 

See photos from the press conference here.

Take Action Now: Tell Governor Brown to End The Cruel Summer

The Governor is listening: Time to speak-up! On September 6th the office of the governor hosted a meeting between SEIU Local 99 member representatives and his Deputy Legislative Secretary. This is the first time we’ve ever met with the governor’s staff to discuss the summer unemployment issue! In the meeting, we were told Governor Brown agrees the cruel summer is an injustice and wants to do something to address it.

This means he’s listening and it also means this is the time to make our voices heard!

Send Jerry a Message


Los Angeles- School workers, leaders of SEIU Local 99 and LAUSD School Board Member Kelly Gonez joined Assembly Member Raul Bocanegra to push for Governor Jerry Brown’s signature on AB 621: The Summer Bridge for School Workers Bill, a bill that would help school staff get through the summer months without turning to food stamps or soup kitchens.

Currently, classified school staff, including bus drivers, cafeteria workers, special education assistants and others who support student success face a catch-22. Few employers want to hire and train workers for short-time positions, but they are unfairly excluded from unemployment insurance.  With wages far too low to make ends meet in California during the school year, many face eviction and have no choice but to turn to food pantries to make it through the “cruel” summer.

“I love seeing children aspire to their fullest potential. I would not change my career for any other job, but the summers are very difficult,” said Kathleen Hamm, a Special Education Assistant with the Los Angeles Unified School District. “It’s very difficult to pay for food, utilities and medicine. People ask me how I make it. Well, I respond, “do you know what dumpster diving is?” When most people are sleeping, I’m out collecting glass bottles, cans, and whatever else is recyclable. Yet, even with these struggles, I have never thought about leaving my job. I love the kids and the students I work with. And there are many, many dedicated school workers like myself. We all urge Governor Brown to sign AB621”

Three quarters of school employees in California are women and nearly half are Latino.

AB 621 would establish a Summer Bridge Fund to which workers can contribute during the school year to earn a $2 state match for each dollar they invest.  The bill faces an October 15 deadline for Governor Brown’s signature.

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board unanimously supported AB 621, the Board’s resolution recognizes that classified employees “are an integral part of the education community” yet “struggle to provide for their families” when they go unpaid in the summer months.


Where’s the Bill?

Legislative bills move progressively in steps from one committee to another, to the assembly floor, to the senate floor, and lastly – to the Governor’s desk. This timeline plots out the key milestones the bill must go through before landing on the Governor’s desk. Follow the bill’s progression in more detail on the California Legislative Information website.

February 14
March 29
May 26
May 31
June 19
July 12
September 1
September 12
Governor’s Desk

February 14

Bill read for first time.

March 29

Heard in and passes the Assembly Committee on Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security on a 5-2 vote. Bill is referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Ayes: Bonta(D), Cervantes(D), Cooper(D), O’Donnell(D), Rodriguez(D)
Noes: Travis Allen(R), Brough(R)

May 26

Assembly Appropriations Committee passes AB 621 without amendments on a 12-5 vote.

Ayes: Bloom(D), Bocanegra(D), Bonta(D), Calderon(D), Friedman(D), Eduardo Garcia(D), Gonzalez Fletcher(D), Gray(D), McCarty(D), Muratsuchi(D), Quirk, Reyes(D)

Noes: Bigelow(R), Brough(R), Fong(R), Gallagher(R), Obernolte(R)

May 31

Assembly votes to pass the bill 53-21.

Ayes: Aguiar-Curry(D), Arambula(D), Berman(D), Bloom(D), Bocanegra(D), Bonta(D), Burke(D), Caballero(D), Calderon(D), Chau(D), Chiu(D), Chu(D), Cooley(D), Cooper(D), Dababneh(D), Daly(D), Frazier(D), Friedman(D), Cristina Garcia(D), Eduardo Garcia(D), Gipson(D), Gloria(D), Gomez(D), Gonzalez Fletcher(D), Gray(D), Grayson(D), Holden(D), Irwin(D), Jones-Sawyer(D), Kalra(D), Levine(D), Limón(D), Low(D), McCarty(D), Medina(D), Mullin(D), Muratsuchi(D), Nazarian(D), O’Donnell(D), Quirk(D), Quirk-Silva(D), Reyes(D), Ridley-Thomas(D), Rodriguez(D), Rubio(D), Salas(D), Santiago(D), Mark Stone(D), Thurmond(D), Ting(D), Weber(D), Wood(D), Rendon(D)

Noes: Acosta(R), Travis Allen(R), Baker(R), Bigelow(R), Brough(R), Chávez(R), Cunningham(R), Dahle(R), Flora(R), Fong(R), Gallagher(R), Harper(R), Kiley(R), Lackey(R), Maienschein(R), Mathis(R), Mayes(R), Obernolte(R), Patterson(R), Voepel(R), Waldron(R)

No Votes Recorded: Cervantes, Chen, Choi, Eggman, Melendez, Steinorth

June 19

Senate Rules Committee assigns AB 621 to Labor and Industrial Relations Committee.

July 12

Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee passes the bill.

Ayes: Bradford (D), Atkins (D), Jackson (D), Mitchell (D)
Noes: Stone (R)

September 1

Senate Appropriations Committee passes the bill.

Ayes: Beall (D), Bradford (D), Hill (D), Lara (D), Wiener (D)

Noes: Bates (R), Nielsen (R)

Note the party line vote.

September 12

Senate votes to pass AB 621. Bill heads to Governor’s Desk.

Ayes: Allen, Atkins, Beall, Bradford, De León, Dodd, Galgiani, Glazer, Hernandez, Hertzberg, Hill, Hueso, Jackson, Lara, Leyva, McGuire, Mendoza, Mitchell, Monning, Newman, Pan, Portantino, Roth, Skinner, Stern, Wieckowski, Wiener

Noes: Anderson, Bates, Berryhill, Cannella, Fuller, Gaines, Moorlach, Morrell, Nguyen, Nielsen, Stone, Vidak, Wilk

Governor’s Desk

AB 621 has passed all committees and the Assembly and Senate floors and now is at the governor’s desk. The deadline for the governor to sign the bill is October 15.

If he does not sign or veto the bill before the deadline, it automatically becomes law without his signature. Also, the governor must sign or veto legislation in his possession by the day the legislature adjourns or it becomes law without being signed.

2017-09-27T16:31:15+00:00 September 26th, 2017|