Tax reform, improving voter turnout, earthquake safety and helping the poor dominate Sen. Bob Hertzberg’s agenda for 2015

Measures are priorities when session resumes Monday

April 3, 2015

SACRAMENTO – When the 2015 session resumes Monday, the nearly 1 million residents of the San Fernando Valley represented by Sen. Bob Hertzberg will find him pushing laws to reform state taxes, turn around abysmal voter turnout, improve protections of water systems from earthquakes and help the poor receive free legal help.

“When I returned to the Legislature after a 12-year tour of duty in the private sector, my goal was to make California’s notorious tax system more reliable while lessening the overall tax burden on working Californians,” said Hertzberg, who served in the Assembly from 1996-2002, including as Assembly Speaker.  “At the same time, I want to make it easier for people to participate in our election process, help ensure a stable water supply in the event of an earthquake and help them get no-cost legal services for critical life decisions.”

Here, in bill-number order, are some of the top bills the Van Nuys Democrat hopes receive final passage prior to the Legislature’s scheduled adjournment in September:


SB 8 – Upward Mobility Act 

This reform measure would impose a new, modest tax on services, decrease overall taxes for many Californians and give a new tax refund to low-income families and at the same time increase funding for education, public universities and local infrastructure.

SB 134 – Public Interest Attorney Loan Assistance 

Uses private contributions to help new attorneys repay loans if they commit to working with low-income clients, child support services or other areas of practice that benefit the public.

SB 155 – Streamlining Wills 

Streamlines the legal process for certain types of wills, allowing inheritances to be transferred faster, lessening the administrative burden when there are no disputes.

SB 163 – Making Voting Easy 

Helps ensure all registered Californians receive a vote-by-mail ballot in advance of any statewide election while allowing voters to still choose to vote in person if they prefer.

SB 272 – Local Government Open Data  

Takes a needed step in ensuring greater access to public records at the local level.  

SB 286 – Electricity Choice 

Gives commercial and industrial customers greater options when buying renewable energy separate from local utility companies to help the state meet goals for renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions. 

SB 306 – Work Opportunity and Recession Relief 

Ensures the working poor are not cut off from food aid or employment training opportunities during federally declared recessions. 

SB 405 – Driver’s License Amnesty 

Citing the loss of the ability to drive as a threat to economic security – especially among the working poor, this plan would reduce the number of motorists who have their driver’s licenses suspended for violations that don’t affect public safety.

SB 500 – Mobile Workforce 

This business-friendly bill would allow out-of-state employers to send their workers to California for conferences and other short-term work – less than 20 days – without triggering income-tax payments.  

SB 540 – Taxpayer Advocate  

Reestablishes a taxpayer advocate program at the state Franchise Tax Board to help ensure taxpayers who are overcharged or penalized for administrative mistakes by the FTB can receive assistance and refunds.

SB 621 – Mental Health and Public Safety 

Allows counties to apply for funds from the Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction Grant program for diversion programs that provide a cost-effective strategy to reduce the rate of recidivism and re-incarceration of certain mentally ill offenders.

SB 791 – College Savings Accounts 

Requires California’s 529 college savings plan, called Scholarshare, to make a credit card available that allows the automatic deposit of credit card reward points into the 529 savings account.


For more, visit Hertzberg’s Web site at the address below.

Bob Hertzberg, chair of the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, represents nearly 1 million San Fernando Valley residents of Senate District 18, which includes part of Burbank and the following communities in Los Angeles: Arleta, Granada Hills, Hansen Dam, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, part of Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, part of Sun Valley, Sylmar, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, the City of San Fernando and Universal City. See a district map HERE or at  After serving in the Assembly from 1996-2002, including two years as Speaker, Hertzberg built an international renewable energy business; invested in solar, wind and electric-car projects; and worked for structural changes in government through two civic groups: California Forward and the Think Long Committee of California. More HERE or at


Communications Director
Sen. Bob Hertzberg, Senate District 18
Capitol Building, Room 4038
Sacramento, Calif. 95814
(916) 651-4018 office; 916 834-1128 cell



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