Armenian Advocacy Day press conference on April 18
(Sacramento, CA) Assemblymembers Katcho Achadjian, Adrin Nazarian, and Scott Wilk are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s essay contest for the 2016 California Armenian Legislative Caucus’ commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
Assemblymembers Katcho Achadjian, Adrin Nazarian, and Scott Wilk are holding an essay contest for the 2016 California Armenian Legislative Caucus’ commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. California high school students in 9th-12th grade are invited to participate in the essay contest to increase greater awareness of the Armenian Genocide on its anniversary.
The winners will be awarded scholarships and acknowledged at the California Armenian Legislative Caucus’ annual Armenian Advocacy Day during a press conference on April 18, 2016 and receive special recognition from the Assemblymembers.
LA Metro Board Members Call for a San Fernando Valley Customer Service Center
(Los Angeles, CA) On February 4th Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian hosted a forum with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to discuss current and future transit projects in the San Fernando Valley.
At the forum, residents expressed frustration with the lack of a customer service center in the San Fernando Valley. A Metro customer service center allows riders to apply in person for reduced fare applications for seniors, students, and the disabled community.
AB 1191 Clarifies that Interest Collected by Quimby Fees Can Be Used to Build or Repair Park Land
(North Hollywood, CA) Last Week, Governor Brown signed into law legislation championed by Assemblymember Nazarian that recognizes the interest generated off Quimby Fees can now be used for park development. State law did not explicitly grant cities the statutory authority to use interest generated from Quimby fees.
California Legislature’s Special Session on Transportation must also include public transit funding to ensure an integrated, multi-modal transportation system that keeps L.A. moving
(Los Angeles, CA) State Senator Ben Allen and Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian and Richard Bloom joined officials from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) as well as key regional transit advocates to call for over $900 million annually for critically needed public transit funding in California. Hundreds of millions of dollars would flow to L.A. County to help expand public transit options and maintain the existing transit system in a state of good repair.
Governor Brown has called for a Special Session on Transportation that focuses on increasing funding to repair streets, bridges, and freeways. Legislators and public transit advocates are calling for a more balanced approach that repairs roads but also invests in public transit that accounts for more than 1.4 billion passenger trips annually in California.
(Sacramento, CA) Today, Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian (Sherman Oaks) and Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) introduced Assembly Bill 9, the Tobacco-Free Schools Act. AB 9 requires all schools to adopt and enforce a tobacco-free campus policy and requires schools to post “Tobacco use is Prohibited” signs at all entrances to school property.
Currently, there is no uniform, statewide prohibition against smoking in K-12 school campuses.
“We must do everything we can to keep tobacco products out of the hands of our children,” Assemblymember Thurmond stated. “We know tobacco products are incredibly addictive and are a leading cause of cancer. At the very least we should keep these products off of school grounds. If we, as a state, cannot make investments that protect the health of our youth, then our future is in question.”
AB 374 Allows Doctors to Determine Treatment; Not Insurance Companies
(Sacramento, CA) Today, Assembly Bill 374, Step Therapy Reform, passed the Assembly with bipartisan support. “Step therapy” or “fail-first” allows insurance plans to deny coverage of effective medications until patients try older, cheaper options first. AB 374 gives doctors exemption options to override Step Therapy.
“We need to bring balance back to our healthcare system. Patients should not have to ‘fail-first’ to get the medicine they need. Step Therapy Reform provides doctors the opportunity to get the right medicine to their patients,” stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian.
30% Seismic Retrofit Tax Incentive and Brace + Bolt Expansion will Protect Property, Save Lives, and Create Jobs
(Sacramento, CA) Today, Assembly Bill 428 and 1440 passed the Assembly and will head to the State Senate. Assembly Bill 428 is historic legislation which would provide a five-year 30% state seismic tax credit to property owners for safety improvements to their “at-risk” or vulnerable buildings. Assembly Bill 1440 expands seismic retrofit grant program. The Brace + Bolt program provides a $3,000 subsidy to qualified single family, and multi-residential (4 units or less) property owners for basic seismic work.
“We need to get serious about earthquake preparedness now. My earthquake resilience package protects property, saves lives, and creates jobs,” stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian. “I strongly encourage the State Senate and the Governor to make earthquake preparedness a priority; before it’s too late.”
AB 428 provides a powerful financial incentive for property owners to make the seismic upgrades within the next five years at a substantially reduced cost.
The key components of Assembly Bill 428 are:
Recent findings by UC Berkley researchers identify 1,500 concrete buildings that are seismically vulnerable in just the Los Angeles area. The researchers state that in the event of a huge earthquake 75 are likely to collapse.
Assembly Bill 1440 aims to expand on Brace + Bolt a program to cover tens of thousands of California homeowners.
The Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program was created by the California Residential Mitigation Program, which is a joint power authority between the California Earthquake Authority and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.
The program was established to assist homeowners in decreasing the potential for damage to their houses during an earthquake. A residential seismic retrofit strengthens an existing house, making it more resistant to earthquake activity such as ground shaking and soil failure, by bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space.
The mitigation program provides homeowners up to $3,000 to strengthen their foundation. A typical retrofit may cost between $2,000 and $10,000 depending upon the location, the size of the house, and the amount of work involved. Houses that meet the state building code retrofit criteria typically were: