In the News

To spur workforce housing construction, speed reviews

April 19, 2017

California is home to one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation, and it is no secret that many Californians are unable to afford to rent or own a home. One-third of renters in California spend more than half their income on housing; California has 22 percent of the country’s homeless population while only 12 percent of its total population; and homeownership rates are at their lowest since the 1940s.

Access to housing is a basic human need, and ensuring Californians have access to an affordable place to live is critical to every Californian’s quality of life. That’s why I have authored Senate Bill 540, which streamlines California’s Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to spur housing construction in areas identified by cities and counties as Workforce Housing Zones.

Currently, housing construction projects are subject to individual environmental reviews even if they would be undertaken in the same underlying zone. This can result in costly project delays and serve as a disincentive to housing construction.

Brown administration pressures lawmakers to support road-repair funding plan as support lags for tax hike bill

March 17, 2017

With a road-repair funding plan lagging in support among Democratic lawmakers, the Brown administration is stepping up pressure on them to reach a deal before the Legislature goes on spring break April 6.

A bill that would raise the gas tax and vehicle fees to provide $5.5 billion annually to fix crumbling roads and improve mass transit needs a two-thirds vote, which would require all Democratic senators to support it given that the Republicans oppose the tax increases.

But two Democrats — Sens. Richard Roth of Riverside and Henry Stern of Woodland Hills — did not vote for the bill, Senate Bill 1, in committee, and a third, Sen. Steve Glazer of Concord, indicated Friday that he is not yet on board.

How a state senator refuses to give up funding fight for four cities in Riverside County

March 16, 2017

Getting a bill passed to restore funding that four recently incorporated Riverside County cities lost in a 2011 state budget maneuver has proven to be a task of Sisyphean proportion.

Repeatedly, area legislators have pushed bills through the state legislature that would return the approximately $16 million per year taken from Jurupa Valley, Eastvale, Menifee and Wildomar -- only to see them vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown despite bipartisan support.

State Sen. Richard Roth, however, remains undaunted. The Riverside Democrat wrote SB 37, which, like SB 817 last year and SB 25 the year before, seeks to reverse the losses the four cities sustained when the state stripped their motor vehicle license fee revenue.

"This is an issue I have been fighting for since before I was elected to the state Senate and one I will continue to fight for until we have secured a victory," Roth said in written statement.

Travis AFB's new tankers won't hurt March Air Reserve Base

January 13, 2017

Officials say a fleet of new refueling tankers headed for Travis Air Force Base near Fresno will not affect March Air Reserve Base’s prospects of adding such planes to its current complement of tankers.

March has 14 KC-135 tankers assigned to its base. The planes were built in the early 1960s. They are being replaced by a new generation tanker, the KC-46A Pegasus. The planes are currently in production, with 179 expected to be rolled out in the next 15 years.

Competition for the new planes has been stiff. March missed getting any of the planes in the first round of allocations for reserve bases in 2015. It’s hoping to make the list in the next round.

Base supporters believe that if March were to secure some of the new tankers, it could protect the base from possible military downsizing in the future.

Richard Roth isn't giving up on this effort to help Inland cities

December 12, 2016

It’s a new legislative session in Sacramento, which means it’s time for state Sen. Richard Roth’s annual quest to help four Riverside County cities.

Once again, Roth, D-Riverside, has filed a bill to restore vehicle license fee funding to Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Wildomar and Menifee. The four relatively new cities lost that money 2011, when state lawmakers diverted the fees in the face a budget shortfall.

More than once, similar bills offered by Roth have sailed through the Legislature, only to be vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who cities the need to keep money in the state’s general fund.

A previous state budget forgave a Riverside County fire debt to provide financial relief for the four cities. But local officials still want their vehicle license fees, and Roth is determined to deliver.

Gov. Brown will (again) consider restoring funds lost in 2011

August 31, 2016

BY JEFF HORSEMAN / STAFF WRITER

A bill by state Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, that would restore vehicle license fees to the cities of Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Menifee and Wildomar has been forwarded to Gov. Jerry Brown.

The state Senate sent the bill to the governor Wednesday, Aug. 31, after approving it on a 39-0 vote, Roth stated in a news release. Last week, it passed the Assembly on a 77-0 vote.

The cities have been trying to get the funding restored after legislators reallocated the fees from newly incorporated cities during a 2011 budget crunch. Brown has vetoed previous bills by Roth attempting to aid the cities.

“Justice for Victims Act” Heads To Governor’s Desk

August 31, 2016

SACRAMENTO – Without a single “No” vote in the Senate or Assembly, an important bill authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) that would eliminate the statute of limitations for rape and related crimes in California cleared its final legislative hurdle earlier today.  SB 813 now advances to Governor Jerry Brown for consideration.

Seeking to ensure justice for victims and survivors of felony sexual offenses, SB 813 would allow the indefinite criminal prosecution of rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation, and sexual penetration.  California law presently generally limits the prosecution of a felony sexual offense to only 10 years after the offense is committed, unless DNA evidence is found which then offers a victim additional time.

Funding bill for cities clears Assembly

August 23, 2016

A bill by state Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, that would restore vehicle license fees to the cities of Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Menifee and Wildomar won approval Tuesday, Aug. 23 from the state Assembly.

It passed on a 77-0 vote and now goes back to the Senate for a procedural concurrence vote, a news release from Roth’s office stated. The state Senate had already cleared the bill on a 38-0 vote in June.

The cities have been trying to get the funding restored after state legislators reallocated the fees from newly-incorporated cities during a 2011 budget crunch.

Legislature OK's bill to help female veterans who were sexually abused

August 12, 2016

State Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, is hoping Gov. Jerry Brown will sign a bill he authored calling for affordable veterans housing specifically for women. The goal, he said, is to provide an environment where female veterans who have suffered sexual trauma feel safer.

The bill passed both the Senate and Assembly without any opposition and was sent to the governor on Thursday, Aug. 11.

Roth, who sits on the Senate’s Veterans Affairs Committee, was a co-author of Prop. 41 in 2014, which provided money for affordable housing for low-income and homeless veterans. Since then, Roth said, statistics showing that one in four women in the military report experiencing sexual assault, have troubled him. Those women, he said, may feel intimidated in a housing situation where they are surrounded by male veterans.

Bill to help four cities passes again

May 31, 2016

The governor has vetoed similar legislation to help Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Wildomar and Menifee.

By JEFF HORSEMAN / STAFF WRITER

Once again, California’s Senate has passed legislation that would restore vehicle license fee revenue to four cities in Riverside County.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, passed 38-0 on Tuesday, May 31. It would restore license fee money to Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Wildomar and Menifee, all of which have gone without the funding after state lawmakers re-allocated the fees in 2011 to solve a budget crunch.

Similar bills have been repeatedly vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, citing the need to protect the state’s general fund. A compromise offered by the governor’s office in the last state budget gave Riverside County a fire services credit intended to provide financial relief to the four cities.