Press Releases

Governor Brown Signs AB 2679 to Establish Standards for Medical Cannabis Manufacturers

(Sacramento, CA) – Governor Brown has signed AB 2679 to establish important standards for medical cannabis manufacturers, Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) has announced. In 2015, the legislature passed AB 266, AB 243, and SB 643 – collectively known as the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA). While the MCRSA is being implemented, there is confusion as to what type of cannabis manufacturing is allowed. AB 2679 clarifies which safety standards medical cannabis manufacturers must follow as well as requiring local approval and inspections of the facilities. It deals with critical issues facing local governments regarding the safe manufacture of cannabis products and which guidelines should be used in establishing local permits and authorization.

AB 2679 also proposes that the University of California study marijuana’s effects on motor skills to better assist law enforcement in dealing with drugged driving.

Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s Bill to Expand Foster Youth Access to Court Appointed Special Advocates Signed by the Governor

RANCHO CORDOVA – Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s (D-Rancho Cordova) AB 2417 was signed in to law by Governor Brown this afternoon.  AB 2417 expands foster youth access to court appointed special advocates, known as CASAs. These are volunteers who are appointed by a judge to provide one-on-one mentorship and advocacy to abused and neglected children who are under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Children with court appointed special advocates have demonstrably better long-term outcomes: they are more likely to find a safe permanent home, half as likely to reenter the foster care system, and have far greater success in school.  However, there are currently not enough CASA volunteers to advocate on behalf of the foster children in need of their services.

CASA programs are required by law to fingerprint each volunteer to screen for a criminal background before allowing them to mentor and advocate for youth. Non-profit organizations that serve children do not have to pay the California Department of Justice fees for background checks, but CASA programs are currently excluded from this benefit. This places an undue financial burden on this critical child advocacy program.

Governor Signs Gonzalez Bill to Streamline Expansion of Community Health Clinics

AB 2053 will eliminate redundant licensing procedures for existing clinics 

SACRAMENTO – (Monday, September 26, 2016) – A bill by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to streamline the process for expanding licensed primary care clinics was signed into law by the Governor today.

Assembly Bill 2053 will help community health centers meet the growing demand for medical care by allowing them to add an additional facility that is maintained and operated by the same health center under its existing license, rather than go through a duplicative process to go through full licensing again from scratch.

Cooley Bill to Protect Historic State Park Names Signed into Law by Governor Brown

RANCHO CORDOVA – The California Heritage Protection Act (AB 2249) was signed into law today by Governor Brown, Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) has announced. AB 2249 ensures park concessionaires in California’s state parks cannot trademark historic place names simply due to their status as a concessionaire. The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Cooley and Assemblymen Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) and Adam Gray (D-Merced) in response to the U.S. National Park Service’s controversial renaming of several landmarks at Yosemite National Park due to a dispute with their ex-concessionaire. 

“This bill makes clear that trademarking of historic names in state parks by concessionaires without any independent basis for a claim is unacceptable and our state Department of Parks and Recreation cannot sign off on the type of trademarking conduct that produced the Yosemite dispute,” said Assemblyman Cooley. “With AB 2249’s signature, that kind of behavior will disqualify a concessionaire from receiving a concessions contract in California, which makes the bipartisan unanimity of the Legislature especially impressive.”

Cooley Legislation to Bring Transparency to Public Pension Fund Fees Passes Assembly – Heads to Governor’s Desk

Rancho Cordova - Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s AB 2833 relating to public retirement system’s disclosure of fees paid to alternative investment vehicles was passed off the Assembly Floor today 69-0 and now heads to the Governor’s desk for signature. 

AB 2833, sponsored by State Treasurer John Chiang, creates greater transparency and accountability by requiring all public pension funds to publicly disclose the various fees paid to their private equity general partners, hedge fund partners, and other alternative investment partners on an annual basis.

Assemblyman Cooley Honors Local Non-Profit CEO as 2016 Veteran of the Year

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) honored Kevin Cameron as the 8th Assembly District’s 2016 Veteran of the Year. Each year, the Assembly Veterans Committee hosts the Veteran of the Year Awards to recognize veterans with distinguished military careers or those who have continued to serve making significant contributions to their communities.

“Following his distinguished service in the U.S. Army, Kevin founded a one-of-a-kind non-profit that honorably serves the nation,” said Cooley. “He uses his expertise in dog training, as well as military ethical standards, to provide for Americans in need” continued Cooley.

Assemblymen Cooley, Gray, Bigelow Encourage Other States to Follow California’s Lead and Protect Their Historic State Park Names

RANCHO CORDOVA – Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) and Assemblyman Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) announced today their efforts to encourage other states to protect their historic state park landmarks in light of the U.S. National Park Service’s controversial renaming of several landmarks at Yosemite National Park due to a dispute with their concessionaire.

They have introduced AB 2249, the California Heritage Protection Act, to ensure park concessionaires in California’s state parks cannot trademark historic place names simply due to their status as a concessionaire. The authors are now urging their colleagues in the other 49 state legislatures to take similar action.

Assemblyman Ken Cooley Honors American River Brewing Company as 2016 Small Business of the Year

RANCHO CORDOVA – Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) honored David Mathis, Owner of American River Brewing Company, (ARBC) in Rancho Cordova as the 8th Assembly District 2016 Small Business of the Year for California Small Business Day in Sacramento. The event was held at the Sacramento Convention Center, giving Mathis and his wife, Claire an opportunity to be acknowledged on a statewide stage during the daylong event Salute to Small Business.

“Dave has continually shown a passion for beer and for our community as evidenced by the continuing support of the Firefighters Burn Institute through proceeds from sales of their Firebreak Red Ale,” said Assemblyman Cooley. “This made American River Brewing Company an obvious choice for my Small Business of the Year for the 8th Assembly District,” continued Cooley.

Cooley Legislation to Bring Transparency to Public Pension Fund Fees Heads to Assembly Floor

Rancho Cordova - Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s AB 2833 relating to public retirement system’s disclosure of fees paid to alternative investment vehicles was unanimously voted out of the Assembly Appropriations committee Friday and now heads to the Assembly Floor.

AB 2833, sponsored by State Treasurer John Chiang, creates greater transparency and accountability by requiring all public pension funds to publicly disclose the various fees paid to their private equity general partners, hedge fund partners, and other alternative investment partners on an annual basis. 

Cooley Legislation to Reduce DUI Recidivism Passes First Assembly Committee

Rancho Cordova - Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s AB 2367 passed unanimously out of the State Assembly’s Public Safety Committee this week.   AB 2367 creates a statewide “24/7 Sobriety” program designed to give counties who wish to participate another mechanism to address DUI recidivism.

In California, forty percent of all traffic-related fatalities involve alcohol—this is higher than the rate nationwide. Critically, nearly one-third of those convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) re-offend. More than half of convicted impaired drivers continue to drive on a suspended license and only a small fraction of DUI episodes result in arrest. In an effort to add to the toolkit of options available to judges, this bill authorizes a court to order a person convicted of multiple DUIs to successfully complete a qualified “24/7 Sobriety” monitoring program.  24/7 Sobriety programs require individuals to abstain from alcohol for normally 90-180 days and participants are subject to frequent testing. If they test positive for alcohol use, there are swift, certain and modest sanctions—typically a day or two in jail.