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Notes from Toni

Guest Editorial: Building more homes and jobs

By Toni G. Atkins | Notes from Toni

As this column, derived from my newsletter “Toni Times,” was being prepared, my top-priority bill, SB 2, was still under consideration in the Assembly — the deadline for Senate bills to pass “the other house” is Sept. 15.

SB 2 — the Building Homes and Jobs Act — is part of a package of bills aimed at addressing California’s severe housing crisis. Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon all pledged to make the package a priority during this session’s home stretch.

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Guest Editorial: Extending ‘cap and trade’

By Toni G. Atkins | Notes from Toni

There was reason for celebration on July 17 when the Senate and Assembly worked with Gov. Jerry Brown to pass a package of bills that will extend California’s Cap and Trade program, clean up the air in our communities and continue our leadership role in the fight against climate change.

But what made it even better was that it passed with bipartisan support — Democrats and Republicans coming together to move California forward.

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Support small businesses

Posted: June 16th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Notes from Toni | No Comments

By Toni G. Atkins | Notes from Toni Small businesses, if you think about it, enrich our own personal quality of life and enhance our neighborhoods and communities — from my nail salon in Mission Hills, my massage therapist in Hillcrest, my auto mechanic in Normal Heights, my veterinarian in Kensington, and the wine bar in my own community of South Park/Golden Hill to the network of independently owned endeavors throughout my Senate district and […]

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Why California should adopt single-payer health care

Posted: May 19th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Notes from Toni | No Comments

By Toni Atkins | Notes from Toni On May 4, the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives were finally successful in voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is yet unclear whether the Senate will pass the repeal bill and replace it with their own bill, but we’ll have to be ready. There are also things the president can do to reduce funding for health care in California that don’t require legislation. […]

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Notes from Toni: Battling climate change

Posted: October 21st, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Notes from Toni | No Comments

By Toni G. Atkins | Notes from Toni When I boarded a plane bound for Paris in late November 2015, where I would participate in an international climate-change summit, my pride was still fresh from the Legislature recently passing Senate Bill 350, which expanded renewable energy and increased energy efficiency. However, we still had work to do on SB 32 to advance our targets for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

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Notes from Toni: Pride for our LGBT caucus

Posted: September 9th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Notes from Toni | No Comments

By Toni G. Atkins Every year in June, the state Assembly holds an LGBT Pride ceremony on the Assembly floor. This year, a visit from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama pushed our ceremony to Aug. 8, when we celebrated the formation of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus. California’s LGBT Caucus was the first of its kind in the nation, founded in June 2002 by legislators Sheila Kuehl, Carole Migden, Jackie Goldberg and Christine Kehoe. […]

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Notes from Toni: Interpreter pilot program in works

Posted: August 12th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Notes from Toni | No Comments

By Toni G. Atkins | Notes from Toni As I visited constituents and community groups throughout my district during the legislative recess in July, one of the pieces of news from the Capitol that I was most excited to share was a development that didn’t make headlines around California. That bit of news was regarding a single line item in the new state budget that we passed in June. It was a $3 million appropriation for […]

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Notes from Toni: Explaining the new budget

Posted: July 15th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Notes from Toni | No Comments

By Speaker Emeritus Toni G. Atkins | Notes from Toni Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state budget June 27. It is good news for Californians because it continues to invest in our future and our people. Gone are the stressful days of late budgets, borrowing, and IOUs. This budget is on time, fiscally prudent, and forward thinking. It bolsters our reserves and restores programs that help Californians who are struggling to make ends meet. We […]

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Notes from Toni – Wage increases good for all

Posted: May 20th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Notes from Toni | No Comments

By Toni G. Atkins Last month, some observers remarked that the new minimum wage in California went from idea to legislation to law with lightning-fast speed. But really, the wave that crested with the bill signing had been swelling for quite some time, as activists, union groups, and just plain regular working citizens up and down California and across the country agitated for higher minimum wages and protested against growing income inequality.

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