Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez
Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez (D-51) attended the SEIU 121RN December Executive Board meeting where he spoke about his legislative accomplishments in Sacramento. This year, he passed a law that will revamp the Paid Family Leave Act to make it more accessible for all Californians. Gomez related how PFL in California pays residents 55 percent of their income when they are out of work for PFL.
However, low-income earners who are barely making ends meet with their full income are often unable to take leave because 55 percent of their income is not enough to live on. This bill would change the percentage of PFL pay for low-income earners to enable these workers to take advantage of the program. This law is the first of its kind in the country.
Assemblymember Gomez also spoke about his extensive experience with nurses and the profession. Prior to being elected to the State Assembly, he served as the Political Director for the United Nurses Associations of CA (UNAC) for three years. He pledged to continue fighting for nurses, our patients and the healthcare industry as a whole.
Thanks in part to the efforts of SEIU 121RN members and staff, Proposition 56 (the Tobacco Tax) successfully passed. Our local alone volunteered over 1,600 hours informing 121RN nurses of the importance of passing the proposition. In addition, we identified over 1,500 members who pledged to vote.
With passage of Proposition 56, the state estimates it will bring in an additional $1.2 to 1.8 billion annually to help curb teen smoking, raise money for cancer treatment and research, and help offset some of the Medi-Cal costs that all taxpayers incur as a result of tobacco related diseases.