Assemblymember Quirk Receives “Promoting Justice Award” for His Work to Recognize the Contributions of Muslim Americans

HAYWARD – Earlier this year Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) authored House Resolution 59 (HR 59) to recognize the month of August 2016 as Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month.

Assemblymember Quirk decided to introduce the resolution to take a stand against the anti-Muslim rhetoric – including the ban suggested by political leaders – respond to the hate crimes and the bullying against young Muslim-American students.

A reasonable bill on lane-splitting stresses safety

Just maybe, California may finally get sensible safety rules on lane-splitting, the highway maneuver – banned in every other state – that motorists hate but motorcyclists defend to the death. After far too many detours, it's about time, and it will make our roads safer for everyone.

The state Assembly has approved a bill that would officially authorize cyclists to scoot in between lanes of traffic. But they could only go 15 miles per hour faster than the cars they're passing, and they couldn't go more than 50 mph

Bill to Improve Sexual Assault Response Training on College Campuses is Vetoed

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Quirk authored Assembly Bill (AB) 1788, a bill to improve college and university staff training and response to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. “Sexual violence against college students is a major concern, and the appropriate management and response is of utmost importance. We owe it to our students to feel safe and assured that all crimes will be properly handled,” he explained.

In June 2014, the California State Auditor released a report, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence:  California Universities Must Better Protect Students by Doing More to Prevent, Respond to, and Resolve Incidents, reviewing how California public institutions of higher learning were handling incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence. The State Auditor made a series of recommendations, including expanding staff training. “AB 1778 would have implemented one of the key recommendations of the audit,” Assemblymember Quirk stated.

Bill to Help Human Trafficking Victims Obtain T-visa is Signed into Law

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill (AB) 2027, a bill that will give victims of human trafficking a clearer path to obtaining a T-visa, was signed into law by Governor Brown. “Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery, in which traffickers lure individuals with false promises of employment and a better life,” explained Assemblymember Bill Quirk.

Congress created the T-visa out of recognition that human trafficking victims – sexual and labor – without legal status may otherwise be reluctant to help in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity they were subjected to. Assemblymember Quirk decided to author AB 2027 after chairing an information hearing last year, “Human trafficking: Identifying the Scope of the Problem and Potential Solutions,” in which witnesses testified that labor trafficking victims have not been addressed with the same vigor – this is despite the abuse (both physical and psychological) is equally egregious.

Bill to Stop Cigarette Tax Evasion Schemes is Signed into Law

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill (AB) 1901, a bill which will provide authority to the Board of Equalization (BOE) to stop tax evasion schemes involving illegally reusing cigarette tax stamps, was signed by Governor Brown.

Current law requires cigarette distributors to pay an 87-cents excise tax on each pack of cigarettes.  Prior to sales, distributors are required to affix a cigarette tax stamp as proof that the tax has been paid for each pack of cigarettes.  BOE investigators have uncovered sophisticated tax evasion schemes where the stamps were being reused on cigarette packs in order to avoid paying the excise tax.  Current law does not authorize BOE investigators to seize these unaffixed stamps during inspections, even though it is clear that the stamps are being collected to avoid paying taxes. 

California expands restrictions for phone use while driving

No more changing your playlist or checking the directions on your smartphone while driving.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed Assembly Bill 1785, significantly expanding California’s restrictions on the use of mobile phones behind the wheel. The measure forbids drivers from “holding and operating” their devices for any reason, though it does include an exception for functions that require only “the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger,” as long as the phone is mounted on the windshield or dashboard of the car.

Bill to Update Distracted Driving Law is Signed into Law

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill (AB) 1785, a bill to update the rules of the road relating to the use of electronic devices while operating a vehicle, was signed into law by Governor Brown today.

“Technology has improved so rapidly, and our cell phones are more capable of much more than just calls and text messages. Smartphones have an abundance of available features that demand a driver’s attention, leading to very dangerous driving behavior. However, such activities are not clearly prohibited by law,” Assemblymember Quirk, the author of AB 1785, stated.

Bill to Address Climate Change Challenges in Building Infrastructure is Signed into Law

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill (AB) 2800, a bill that will require the creation of a climate-safe infrastructure working group to help address the significant lag between predicted impacts of climate change on our state’s infrastructure and the efforts to mitigate those impacts through resilient infrastructure, was signed into law by Governor Brown.

“Sound and reliable infrastructure is critically important to public safety, quality of life, and California’s economy.  While California is actively engaged in developing the most up-to-date climate change science, this information is not significantly impacting infrastructure engineering and design decisions.  The state continues to build infrastructure projects that are designed and built with historic climate patterns in mind, even though the best available science predicts future patterns will be different, ” stated Assemblymember Quirk.

Bill to Improve Wireless Lifeline Service Program is Signed into Law

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Bill (AB) 2570, a bill that will give guidance to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to improve the administration of the wireless California Lifeline Program (Lifeline) was signed into law by Governor Brown.

The Moore Universal Service Telephone Act of 1987 directed the CPUC to develop Lifeline to provide basic telephone service at a discounted cost to low-income households. In January 2014, the CPUC expanded the program beyond just wireline service to allow wireless carriers to offer LifeLine service. “The enrollment process for Lifeline has experienced problems with customers enrolling in multiple service plans within a short period of time or repeatedly switching among various services,” Assemblymember Quirk stated in explaining his reason for authoring the bill. “Failure to act and create more stability would put the program at risk of being eliminated,” he continued.

Assemblymember Quirk brings vision care to Union City students

Eye examinationHAYWARD – California State Assemblymember Bill Quirk, in partnership with Union City Kid Zone and Vision to Learn, provided FREE vision exams and glasses to over 80 students at Searles Elementary and Cesar Chavez Middle School last week.

Children with impaired vision can have difficulties learning in class, which can adversely affect grades and overall academic achievement. “If a student struggles to see in class they will struggle in life, today we are making sure our children are ready to learn in class and ready to be successful in school and in life,” said Assemblymember Quirk.