Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Amidst all the dreary news of sexual harassment and assault coming out of Hollywood, the Golden State got some good news. On Thursday, Oct. 12, California became the latest state to pass the Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights, giving much-needed protections to survivors of sexual assault. The bill provides a number of provisions that are designed to make the process of reporting an assault to authorities and pursuing criminal cases easier.

Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto), one of the bill's joint authors, tells Elite Daily, "Now, when people go through this experience, they’re going to be supported a lot more, and it’s going to be clear for them what their rights are."

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Knowledge is power. When a person meets with us, argues for or against legislation, and asks for our votes, we and our legislative colleagues insist on knowing who they are representing, because that’s critical in helping us assess the credibility of the arguments.

But when voters do the same thing we do – vote to make laws through ballot measures – it's not always clear who’s asking for their votes. Special interests often hide on campaign ads behind happy-sounding committee names that leave voters in the dark about their real agendas.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Here’s a nifty little scam for you: Someone knocks on the door after turning your water main off. He says he was just checking your neighbor’s water pressure and was wondering if you would like yours checked. You let him in, he “checks” it and it’s quite low. He offers to fix it for $200. You agree, he turns it back on, checks it again, you pay him and he’s on his way.


That’s just one of the smaller scams that over 100 seniors who attended a seminar designed to help seniors spot, avoid and report scams sponsored by Assemblyman Marc Berman at the East Palo Alto Senior Center the morning of 9/25/17 heard about. Featured speakers were Jane Kreidler from the State Contractors Licensing Board (800-321-2752), and Bill Zemblidge an inspector with the US Postal Inspection Service (877-876-2455.) Nicole Fernandez from San Mateo County Aging & Adult Services (800-675-8437.) also spoke about senior abuse.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

California lawmakers advanced key housing legislation late Thursday, clearing the most substantial hurdle for a package of bills aimed at addressing the state’s housing affordability crisis.

Legislators in the Assembly passed Senate Bill 2, a $75 fee on mortgage refinances and other real estate transactions except for home and commercial property sales. The measure is expected to raise $250 million a year to help finance new and rehabilitated developments for low-income residents — a key step, lawmakers said, in beginning to get housing costs under control.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The state Assembly yesterday passed a bill that could help resolve the battle over public access to Martins Beach, just south of Half Moon Bay, which was closed when a billionaire bought property along the beach.

The bill, authored by State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and co-authored by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, would allow the state to seize the road to the beach that billionaire Vinod Khosla closed in 2009. The bill would create a new account for the State Lands Commission so that it could accept outside donations to pay for the road, which would be seized through eminent domain. Khosla has said he wants $30 million in exchange for public access to the beach.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

State Assemblyman Marc Berman convened a first hearing this week for the committee planning the future of higher education in California. The Assembly Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California will update a master plan dating back to 1960 that guides policy at institutions ranging from Foothill College to UC Berkeley.

“Our systems of higher education are envied and emulated throughout the nation, and are critically important to both the upward economic mobility of hundreds of thousands of Californians as well as the state’s economic vitality as the sixth largest economy in the world,” said Berman, a Democrat who represents Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Berman said that while the master plan “has served us well” for the past 57 years, “we owe it to both current and future generations to make sure that the master plan is updated so that it benefits students and the state for another 50 years.”

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) hosted the first hearing of the Assembly Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in Sacramento, California this passing Wednesday.

“Much has changed in California during the ensuing decades. From population growth, to increased diversity, change in leading industries and their need for talent, as well as in the field of education itself,” said Berman. “I am very encouraged by the level of engagement from my colleagues, the leaders of the higher education institutions, faculty, students, and other stakeholders.