Assembly member Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) is the new chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus for 2015-16, which met for the first time on Wednesday. He succeeds Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell).
The caucus, made up of 18 assembly members and three senators, focuses primarily on improving the quality of life for families in California, with its emphasis on Latino families.
“As the new chair of the California Latino Caucus, I will make it my priority to facilitate legislation that helps Latino communities,” Alejo said in a written statement. “Over these last few years, I’ve made California’s economic recovery my priority and I’ve come to realize that when our state’s fastest growing demographic thrives, California thrives.”
In his 10 years in the legislature, Alejo’s major legislation includes:
- AB 60 in 2013, which allows undocumented residents to obtain California drivers licenses;
- AB 900 in 2013 which sought to reverse a 10% reduction in Medi-Cal payments to hospital skilled nursing facilities; and
- AB 160 in 2012, which sought to exempt 20,000 local and regional mass transit workers from a new law which increased employee contributions to pension funds while reducing retirement benefits.
Alejo was vice chairman of the Latino caucus last year. This year he is also chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials.
Sen. Ben Hueso (D-Chula Vista) is vice chairman of the Latino caucus this year.