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Assemblymember Reyes’ committee appointments point to progressive agenda in 2019, CSUSB professor saysThe Sun/Inland Valley Daily BulletinJan. 11, 2019 Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez Reyes’ new job in Sacramento could prove key for the state’s most vulnerable residents — and her appointment says a lot about the direction of the state legislature. Late last month, Reyes, a Democrat from Grand Terrace in her second term representing the 47th Assembly District, was named Chair of the Committee on Human Services. Her committee has jurisdiction over child welfare services, foster care, homelessness and other social services, including some that touch on of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s biggest campaign promises. Reyes’ appointment, announced by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, aligns with a more progressive agenda outlined by Newsom during his campaign. It’s also in line with many state Democrats who now have complete control of the Assembly and Senate, according to Christina Villegas, assistant professor in Cal State San Bernardino’s political science department. “It seems like the legislature is gearing up to take a more progressively liberal action in the coming year,” Villegas said. “And Reyes’ appointment to the Committee on Human Services is a strong indication of that.” A budget surplus and a robust economy means there is more money to support Newsom’s and state Democrats’ progressive causes. But Villegas noted — and former Gov. Jerry Brown repeatedly warned — surpluses can disappear, especially during economic downturns.Most of California’s revenue comes from income taxes, which are already among the highest in the country and can be volatile during a downturn, Villegas said. Also, programs soon could lose money to increased pension costs, which are expected to eat into future budgets. When it comes to Reyes’ policies, they’re not necessarily business friendly, in a district where jobs and the economy are priorities — something Brown recognized while representative, Villegas said. “More of the district is made up of blue-collar workers who, for the most part, can be negatively affected by policies that are anti-business, or, maybe decrease the incentive for businesses to hire or expend,” Villegas said. In a state where Republicans out of power, the fight in the legislature will be between moderate and liberal Democrats, with Reyes falling into the latter category. “Coming in with this budget surplus, I think progressives are going to have high expectations for Gov. Newsom, (and) progressives like Reyes,” Villegas said. “Then, the fact that Rendon appointed her as chair of the Committee on Human Services, shows that the thinking of the legislature will be increasingly progressive in nature to carry out many of those promises Newsom made.” Read the complete article at “Next up for 47th Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez Reyes: Helping the vulnerable.”
Hate incidents against Mormons on the rise as crimes against religious minorities increase The Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah)Jan. 11, 2019 Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are on the rise, but so are crimes against members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to hate crime statistics from the FBI released in December. 'Across the board, hate crimes against religious minorities are rising,' said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. Levin attributes the national rise in hate crimes to expanding population and diversification in the United States. 'People are fearful witnessing cultural and demographic changes,' he said. Read the complete article at “The FBI has been tracking crimes against Latter-day Saints for 3 years. Here's why.”
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