SACRAMENTO – Joining an esteemed list of other symbols such as the state flower, state animal, and state bird, the California State Legislature has taken the first step towards adding a dinosaur to that list. The legislation, AB 1540, by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) would designate Augustynolophus morissi, a duck-billed dinosaur that roamed California 66 million years ago, as the official state dinosaur.
SACRAMENTO – Today, the Assembly Committee on Public Safety approved AB 411, legislation by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) that provides statutory authorization for the use of therapy and facility dogs during witness testimony in certain cases. AB 411, which passed unanimously on a 7-0 vote, authorizes vulnerable victims and witnesses, including certain child witnesses, to be accompanied by a dog trained in providing emotional support while testifying at a preliminary hearing, trial, or juvenile court.
SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) announced the creation of the Select Committee on Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention. The committee, which he will Chair, is tasked with examining the epidemics of type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, tooth decay, and other associated health outcomes.
SACRAMENTO - In an effort to protect California’s climate change successes from potential attempts to weaken the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Chair of the Budget Subcommittee on Resources and Transportation, has announced a series of hearings over the next three weeks. The hearings are intended to help Californians understand the impact of proposed rollbacks of federal environmental regulations and budget cuts aimed at climate change and clean air programs. The hearings will focus on research, investment in green infrastructure, and enforcement of pollution violators – all of which could soon be severely curtailed or eliminated.
SACRAMENTO – This morning, Governor Jerry Brown announced his proposal to spend $437 million on dam safety improvements and flood control infrastructure. Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Chair of the Budget Subcommittee on Resources and Transportation, released the following statement in response to the proposal:
“Just as the California Legislature accelerated hundreds of millions of dollars over the last two years to assist communities impacted by the historic drought, we stand ready to make any and all emergency repairs to our dams and flood control infrastructure. Moving forward, I expect to see comprehensive and detailed plans from those agencies charged with monitoring and inspecting our water systems so that we can identify weaknesses, target our resources on critical needs, and swiftly get to work on fixes. By doing so, we will better ensure that we are preventing another ‘Oroville’ next year rather than responding to one.”
City Council Deal Brings an End to a Decades-Long Effort
SACRAMENTO - Today on January 28, 2017, the Santa Monica City Council announced an agreement with the U.S. federal government to close the Santa Monica Airport and return control of the airport to the city’s residents on December 31, 2028. The agreement brings an end to a longstanding, decades-long battle to close the airport.
“I congratulate the city council, manager, attorney, and all of the city staff who have doggedly pursued a successful strategy and brought an end to a decades-long effort,” said Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica). “As the former Mayor of Santa Monica, I worked on this issue for the nearly 14 years of my council tenure and recognize the tenacity, courage, and resilience that it takes to go up against a massive federal agency that had dug in its heels for decades. Today’s settlement is a watershed moment in Santa Monica history that benefits the city and many surrounding communities”.
SACRAMENTO – Today, California State Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), who authored the Orca Welfare and Safety Act that ended orca shows and captive breeding in California, released a statement on the passing of Tilikum:
"I am saddened to learn of the passing of Tilikum, the orca whose life was the centerpiece in the documentary Blackfish and the efforts to end orca captivity. Tilikum embodied all that is wrong with having orcas in captivity. He was ripped away from his mother from his wild, natural environment when he was only two years old - a pod he would still be with today had he never been captured, lived a life of solitude, developed health problems at a young age, and exhibited aggressive behaviors towards other orcas and humans ultimately leading to the deaths of three people. Sadly, his life was needed for us to realize this tragedy had to stop. My heart goes out to all who have cared for him over the years and the countless individuals who have worked so hard to put an end to orca captivity."
SACRAMENTO – Yesterday, Governor Brown signed AB 2480, a bill authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D - Santa Monica) that will unlock funding for watershed restoration and infrastructure projects.
“California’s watersheds serve as this state’s natural infrastructure,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “Restoring and conserving these watersheds is therefore essential to improving water security and reliability. AB 2480 will help facilitate restoration and conservation projects and in doing so, protect our natural resources and water supply.”
AB 2501 Will Remove Barriers to the Construction of Affordable Housing
SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2501, which clarifies state Density Bonus Law and removes barriers to the creation of affordable housing. Authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D – Santa Monica), AB 2501 passed the legislature with bipartisan support and is backed by a coalition of local, social justice, and housing organizations.
“The State Density Bonus Law is one of the most powerful tools we have to incentivize developers to build affordable housing,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “Unfortunately, the law’s efficacy is currently hampered by ambiguous provisions and local regulations. By clarifying Density Bonus Law, AB 2501 will facilitate the construction of affordable housing units and help increase housing supply throughout the state”