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State of California June 3, 2014 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for John A. Pérez

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John A. Pérez has dedicated his career to improving the lives of Californians and advancing the prosperity of our state.

Growing up in the working class communities of East Los Angeles, John's parents taught him the value of hard work and community service. He served in the private sector labor movement prior to joining the state legislature, and has also served on numerous boards and commissions focused on public policy at the city, state and national level.

John was first elected to the State Assembly in 2008, at the height of the nation's economic recession and a time of great financial peril for California. In 2010, he became the nation's first openly gay Speaker when he was selected to lead the California Assembly.

Since that time, John's leadership of the State Assembly has helped California make significant strides in strengthening opportunity for the middle class and restoring fiscal responsibility, including:

  • Passing On Time and Balanced State Budgets

John has led the State Assembly in passing balanced and on-time budgets three years in a row + a first in 30 years. The budgets have eliminated the state's structural deficit, balanced its books and improved California's credit rating + as the nation's credit rating declined. As a result, California has spent $480 million less in debt financing this year alone. The Assembly also laid the groundwork for a November 2014 ballot initiative to create a Rainy Day Fund that will protect the state budget during boom and bust cycles.

  • Helping Businesses, Creating Jobs

John introduced and led the passage of legislation creating GoBiz, to improve the state's efforts to attract new businesses and investments in California. Under his tenure, the legislature also strengthened key industries like tourism and trade that employ millions of Californians, provided tax credits for emerging industries like green manufacturing, and made reforms to state efforts to encourage business activity in distressed communities.

  • Making Work Pay

Under John's leadership, the legislature raised the state minimum wage to $10 per hour, which will boost an individual's earnings by $4,000 per year and put $2.6 billion into the hands of California workers.

  • Passing Middle-Class Scholarships

Landmark legislation by authored by John will put higher education within the reach of more California families, cutting student fees at UC and CSU by up to 40% for middle-class families.

  • Expanding Access to Health Care

John helped lead California's implementation of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, including the expansion of Medi-Cal coverage to over one million low-income and uninsured Californians. He also authored legislation that created Covered California, the first health benefits exchange in the nation, offering health insurance at a lower cost to more than two million California families and small businesses.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 5, 2014 15:28
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