Kevin de León has worked hard to improve public education, to protect funding for our neighborhood K-12 public schools, to improve school safety and make sure California’s public schools are wired for modern technologies. His work was instrumental in the passage of the California Dream Act, which allows undocumented and nonresident documented students to apply for and receive private scholarships funded through public universities, state-administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers and Cal Grants.
College Access Tax Credit
After a three-year effort on behalf of Senator de León, Governor Brown has signed the College Access Tax Credit bills (SB 174 and SB 798). These bills will use an innovative method to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for Cal Grants by leveraging federal and private donor money at zero cost to the state government. The Governor’s signature means we will be able to increase Access Awards to help California’s neediest students afford textbooks, childcare, transportation and all the extras that come with being a student.
Protecting California’s Environment
Senator de León is tackling climate change head-on. With his environmental bill package including the landmark SB350, de León is working tirelessly to drastically reduce our carbon footprint. With this legislation, California has taken a global lead in the efforts to reduce emissions, invest in alternative forms of energy, and divest from coal. De León’s leadership has helped create a greener and clearer California. The ultimate goal is that whether you live in Boyle Heights or Beverly Hills; Modesto or Marin; Sacramento or San Diego; you will have the same access to clean electricity and clean air. Soon, those communities living in the shadows of smokestacks and freeway overpasses will breathe a little easier.
Senator Kevin de León is a champion for parks for underserved communities. His law secured $400 million to fund 127 park projects across the state, including in Elysian Valley, Echo Park, Highland Park and many other neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
While moneyed interests try to combat him, Senator de León jointly authored SB 270, a plastic bag ban that will not only help keep Los Angeles’ river clean, but it will also protect California’s pristine environment while preserving jobs in our state. This will help eliminate millions of pounds of plastic waste from our oceans.
Fighting for the Los Angeles River
Signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 2012, Kevin de León authored SB 1201 which amended the Los Angeles County Flood Control Act to ensure public access for recreational and educational use of the river.
Senator de León, secured $25 million in state funding to purchase the G-2 parcel of land by the Los Angeles River. This area of land is pivotal in the revitalization of the river and is key in creating a flourishing environment and pristine nature in the middle of our large city. As we prepare to enter the 5th year of a historic drought, there is no better time to think about the role of the L.A. River as a resource for our communities, both in terms of its potential for regional water reclamation and conservation, and the important creation of natural recreational spaces for urban communities.
Clean Energy and Green Jobs
Senator Kevin de León served as Co-Chair for Proposition 39 (2012) the California Clean Energy and Jobs Act. Proposition 39 closed a corporate tax loophole that only benefited out-of-state corporations. It will generate more than $1 billion annually for California in new tax revenues, with money designed to create jobs and save energy for the next five years.
Combatting Sexual Assault
Kevin de León wrote the strongest law in the nation requiring that campuses establish “affirmative” policies in regards to sexual assault. While it seems like it should be common sense, California is now the first state in the country to have a “yes means yes” policy. The law now requires conscious and voluntary agreement, by each party, to engage in sexual activity.
In conjunction with this no tolerance “yes means yes” policy, Senator de León established a program that educates high school students on the dangers of sexual assault and provides a curriculum to combat "rape culture." This program was the first of its kind in the nation and targets younger students in order to instill the no tolerance “yes means yes” policy in young minds to help prevent future attacks. All high school students who must take a health class to graduate are required by de León’s new law to receive this training to combat sexual assault.
Kevin de León has always stood up to the NRA and championed common-sense gun safety measures to help protect our communities. He authored legislation SB 53, which requires anyone wishing to purchase ammunition to first obtain a California Ammunition Purchase Permit issued by the Department of Justice, which would require a background check. Background checks would restrict the severely mentally ill, convicted felons and affiliated gang members from purchasing ammunition.
Film Tax Credit
Senator de León was instrumental in revamping the Film and Television Tax Credit program which has already brought thousands of film jobs to Los Angeles. Major television shows are returning to L.A., bringing with the not just the jobs they directly create, but the millions of dollars in economic stimulus they create from people spending money in the region.