Speaker Rendon plans more oversight work this year – Orange County Register

Editor’s Note: Sacramento Snapshot is a weekly in-law series detailing what Orange County representatives are working on in the Assembly and Senate—from committee work to legislative passages and more.

According to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, it may be time for the Legislature to slow down.

The legislature has been “incredibly effective” over the past decade, Rendon said in an interview at his Sacramento office. As this year’s session begins — and as lawmakers prepare to consider the governor’s motion to punish big oil companies that reaped profits while gas prices soared — Rendon has his sights set on oversight.

“I want to make sure we slow down and don’t pass reform after reform without knowing whether or not what we’re doing is effective,” said Rendon, D-Lakewood.

This oversight includes monies being spent on important issues such as broadband, utilities, wildfire prevention and housing.

“We’ve spent a lot of money on the counties and local governments (for housing),” Rendon said. “I think now is a really good time to take oversight and figure out how they’re spending that money, to the extent that it’s been effective, to the extent that it’s been ineffective, and how we do some of the things can correct that we do. what I have done on this subject.”

Rendon, whose district included just a patch of cypress before his redistricting, said he plans to retire as speaker this summer after about seven years in the congregation’s powerful leadership position. He will leave office in 2024.

Under his tenure, Rendon granted committee chairmen greater authority over the fate of legislation before them. It’s this system – where committee chairs “can tackle the issues however they want” – that allows the legislature to be effective and prioritize a wide range of issues, Rendon said.

Housing and homelessness, a massive budget deficit, climate change and transport are the main issues Rendon is expected to push in the legislature this year.

And then there’s the special session where the governor asks lawmakers to focus on a single, specific issue: In this case, it’s oil companies, which have made profits while gas prices have soared.

While members of the governor’s team recently met with the Democratic caucus, details on how lawmakers plan to potentially penalize or fine oil companies — or even how excessive profits will be defined — are still a work in progress. As with any other law or issue, lawmakers will hold hearings.

“We’ll do the work,” Rendon said.

relief by natural gas

Aside from fuel costs, several Orange County legislators have denounced extraordinarily high natural gas costs, which are driving energy bills astronomically high.

To offset some of those costs, the California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to accelerate the rollout of a loan that is expected to net customers about $50.

The move was announced by Senate Republicans, including Janet Nguyen, chair of the Huntington Beach Minority Caucus.

“My colleagues and I will continue to stand up for our constituents and continue to work to ease the burden on Californians who are still recovering from the economic impact of the pandemic and rising inflation,” Nguyen said.

And Assemblyman Avelino Valencia, D-Anaheim, said the loan will provide “much-needed but temporary relief.”

“Too many Californians are struggling to afford basic necessities like gas and electricity with recent increases in costs,” Valencia said. “These payments alone will not address ongoing concerns about rising gas costs. Californians continue to pay higher utility bills than other states. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature to develop a more durable solution to address rising energy costs.”

In other news

• In response to the recent mass shooting that has rocked California, Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta and Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-Burbank, introduced legislation last week to limit the carrying of firearms in some public places and impose stronger restrictions on concealed carry permits. Concealed weapons would be banned in churches, hospitals, parks and private businesses.

• Sen. Dave Min, D-Irvine, is working to expand current legislation to give victims of abuse free access to copies of photos or digital evidence.

• Fullerton Senator Josh Newman, chairman of the Board of Education, introduced a bill that would require schools to provide at least 30 minutes of daily break time for K-8 students — and that could not be taken away as a form of punishment unless , there would be an imminent threat to a student’s safety.

• Assembly Republicans last week unveiled their list of public safety proposals, including legislation by Laguna Niguel Member of Parliament Laurie Davies to strengthen California’s APPS database, which matches gun buyers with other records to catch people deemed to be in possession of a Firearms may be prohibited. There is also a bill by Newport Beach Assemblyman Diane Dixon that would require the Office of Emergency Services to maintain a website with resources for victims of domestic violence.

• Rep. Tri Ta, R-Westminster, wants to increase penalties for non-California residents — or newcomers to the state — who have committed petty theft or shoplifting for less than $950. His bill would make it a criminal offense punishable by up to three years in a county jail.

https://www.ocregister.com/2023/02/06/sacramento-snapshot-speaker-rendon-looks-to-more-oversight-work-this-year/ Speaker Rendon plans more oversight work this year – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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