Senator Roth Sworn In for Second Term; Introduces Legislative Package

December 05, 2016

(Sacramento, CA) – Sworn in today for a second term, Senator Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside) introduced four proposals aimed at restoring funding to Riverside County’s newest cities, improving access to justice and protecting victims of domestic violence. 

Senator Roth said: “It is truly an honor and privilege to continue serving the residents of the 31st Senate District.  From saving our newest cities, to improving access to justice for all Californians, to protecting some of our society’s most vulnerable citizens, we have important work to do over the next four years, and I am looking forward to delivering even more for Inland Southern California in my second term.”

Below are the measures Senator Roth introduced today:

Senate Bill 37 – Saving Riverside County’s Newest Cities

In 2011, one of the steps the Legislature took to close the State’s massive budget gap was to pass Senate Bill 89 which eliminated Vehicle License Fee (VLF) revenue allocated to newly incorporated cities and annexed areas. Senate Bill 37 by Senator Roth and co-authored by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Eastvale) restores this funding, which every other newly incorporated city in California had received, to the cities of Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Menifee and Wildomar.  Each of these cities lost funding through no fault of their own, and this funding is critical for these cities’ residents, especially for residents in California’s newest city, Jurupa Valley.

Senator Roth said: “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.  These cities, through no fault of their own, lost this funding which every other city in California has received.  I am proud to have a strong partner in Assemblymember Cervantes, and I am confident that together we will secure this long overdue funding for our cities.”

Senate Bills 38 & 39 – Improving Access to Justice

Senator Roth has introduced two measures to address the State’s dire and ongoing judge shortage.  The first of these measures, Senate Bill 38, directs the funding of 10 trial court judges of the 50 total authorized by the Legislature and one appellate justice in Riverside County.  It ensures the positions are funded based on the Judicial Council of California’s need-based standards; over half the number of judges funded by this measure would be placed in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties where the shortage has been especially devastating.  The Legislature will continue to work to fund the remaining unfunded, previously authorized judgeships.

The second of these measures, Senate Bill 39, reallocates up to four vacant judgeships from those courts which have more judges than their assessed judicial need to courts with fewer judges than their assessed need.

Senator Roth said: “The delivery of justice in a timely and equitable manner is a critical issue, not only for Inland Southern California, but for the entire state.  As California weathered the global economic crisis, it was forced to make drastic cuts to the court system, resulting in costly delays and courtroom closures.  Funding these judgeships will begin to reverse the substantial loss incurred by our justice system.

“By funding additional judges to meet a critical and growing need and by reallocating judges to underserved parts of the State, SB 38 and SB 39 are an important first step in ensuring justice is delivered in a timely and equitable manner.  I am looking forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature as these measures moves forward.”

Senate Bill 40 – Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence

Research has shown that a survivor of strangulation is eight times more likely to be the victim of a homicide, with nearly 1 out of 4 domestic violence cases involving strangulation.  Strangulation violence is one of the most lethal forms of violence in domestic violence cases but despite this, current law does not separate acts of domestic violence that involve strangulation from those that do not, making it difficult for law enforcement to identify and prosecute these cases.

Sponsored by the Riverside County District Attorney, SB 40 ensures the law makes this important distinction, ensuring law enforcement has the legal tools it needs to effectively prosecute and prevent domestic violence and homicide.

“I am proud to stand with the survivors of domestic violence,” said Senator Roth.  “Providing law enforcement with the tools they need to protect survivors of these horrific crimes is critical to ensuring our homes and neighborhoods are safe, and I will continue standing up for survivors throughout our region and state.”

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