Assemblymember Marc Levine on the Issues

Assemblymember Marc Levine is focused on the issues that matter most to Marin and Sonoma, including the quality of our schools, the health of our environment, the sustainability of our State finances, and the vibrancy of our economy. He is known as one of the most independent minded members of the Assembly, a leader who is focused on serious solutions and substance, not politics or special interests. Marc’s policy positions and accomplishments are summarized below. 

Improving the Quality of Public Education 

Marc Levine believes that education is the highest priority for California.

In the Assembly, Marc has worked with his colleagues to reinvest in our schools and ensure that the new funds voters approved in 2012 are dedicated to schools as promised. Marc is working to improve the quality of K-12 education, give local school districts the support they deserve, and equip our kids with the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow. 

Going forward, Marc believes we must increase support for K-12 education, and restore the budget cuts that have been made to and increase funding for the UC, CSU, and our community colleges.

Marc is a strong supporter of California’s public higher education system. He first held elected office when he was a State university student and his peers elected him Chair of the California State Student Association. In the Assembly, he has promoted legislation expanding access to higher education for our veterans, supported a budget increase for the UC system, backed legislation to protect Cal-Grant eligibility for low income students, and co-authored legislation increasing CSU funding, to enable increased access for qualified students. Governor Brown signed into law AB 386, Marc’s bill requiring online courses at CSU campuses be made available for students throughout the system.

In his first term in the Legislature, Marc strongly supported the Middle Class Scholarship Act, which provides working families with a helping hand in affording the promise of public higher education. Marc also supported the Local Control Funding Formula, placing more power in the hands of locally elected school board members, instead of Sacramento.

Marc also strongly supports investing in early childhood education—including universal preschool, arts and music programs, and physical education. We must do everything we can to make sure our public education system prepares our students for the careers and the world of tomorrow.

Marc is endorsed for re-election by the University of California Employees Local 3299, by members of the Marin County and Sonoma County Boards of Education, and by local teachers and school board members across the 10th Assembly District.  

Protecting Our Environment

The 10th State Assembly District includes beautiful open spaces and coastlines, and has a rich and proud history of protecting its treasured natural resources. Issues like climate change, environmental justice, renewable energy, and sustainability are among Marc’s very highest priorities.

As our Assemblymember, Marc has been creative and determined in seeking environmental solutions. He has championed efforts to eliminate single use plastic grocery bags, increase the usage of recycled water and renewable energy, promote and reward green practices by companies doing business with the State, and create new infrastructure for electric vehicles.

In 2013, Marc supported a moratorium on fracking in California. When the moratorium bill did not pass, Marc worked with local environmental groups and his fellow legislators to place new restrictions on the practice of fracking, which had been proceeding in a largely unregulated fashion in California. In the current legislative session, Marc is part of a renewed effort to impose a fracking moratorium.

In the next term, Marc will work to ensure AB 32—California’s landmark global warming law—is fully implemented, and that we develop long term, effective policies for combatting climate change, which will involve partnering with other states and nations to expand the scope of greenhouse gas reduction.

When it comes to our state’s water, Marc believes we have to recognize that we are in a severe drought, but also that we cannot build our way out of our water challenges. At the end of the day, we need an approach that protects the Delta and conserves and uses water more efficiently. 

Marc will work with Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins—an endorser of his re-election—to pass her legislation empowering the California Coastal Commission to levy fines on those who pollute along our coast.

Marc will support advances in battery technology to more efficiently store the energy that is generated from solar and wind, so we can move away from our dependence on traditional sources of energy and use solar and wind energy when it is wanted and not just when it is generated. 

And Marc will work to examine antiquated State policies that rely on old technologies. For example, with the ever-increasing availability of renewable energy sources, it is foolish to require the use of diesel back-up generators in public facilities. There are much better alternatives available.

Marc is proud to be endorsed for re-election by the California League of Conservation Voters.

Ensuring a Sustainable Budget

Marc and his colleagues have balanced the State budget and reduced the dysfunction that has surrounded the budget process in years past. 

He believes that we still have much more work to do to invest in our schools and ensure our state moves forward in a fiscally sustainable manner. That means making smart choices as the economy rebounds, supporting Governor Brown’s efforts to pay down long term debt and create a Rainy Day Fund, and ensuring the State’s pension system is sustainable.

Marc wants to continue to maintain the public trust, so that there is long term support for revenues to fund vital public services. The public needs to see that their tax dollars are being spent effectively and efficiently before they will support further revenue increases. 

Creating Jobs and Strengthening our Local Economy  

The 10th Assembly District is home to some of the most innovative minds in America. In the North Bay there are companies engaged in high tech, entertainment, healthcare and biotech, energy and clean tech, information technology, web-based businesses, communications technology, software design and development, agriculture, and much more. 

Many of these companies are focused on business strategies that prioritize economic growth, community service, and protection of the environment. This sustainable approach to business is manifested in product development, marketing, manufacturing, research, and all aspects of the business model. These companies provide the jobs and economic engine that help California thrive. Public policies being debated and pursued in Sacramento need to support this approach to business.

As our Assemblymember, Marc is focused on stimulating our state and local economy and promoting sustainable jobs.

Marc authored Assembly Bill 963, which supports companies that exhibit sustainable business practices. The legislation provides companies with a proven environmentally friendly record with a bid preference when they are seeking contracts with the State.

He has also supported policies to help attract new businesses from out of state, create good jobs in California, generate millions in new revenue, and reduce or eliminate the interest rates on loans for affordable housing developments.

Going forward, Marc is committed to taking a holistic, long term approach to our economic challenges, one that takes into consideration the mutually beneficial relationship between the public and private sectors. That means focusing on strengthening our education system, kindergarten through college, investing in job training programs, transportation, and infrastructure, and making California more competitive in research, development, and manufacturing.

Marc is endorsed by the San Rafael and Santa Rosa Chambers of Commerce. 

Public Safety and Justice

Assemblymember Marc Levine has worked hard to promote access to justice and protect public safety. His legislation, AB 1136 is cracking down on drugged drivers. Assembly Bill 767, which Marc authored, is helping to fund vehicle theft prevention programs. Levine’s AB 1352 is lowering court costs to make funds available for essential court services. And AB 65—which Marc co-authored—strengthens protections for would be rape victims from attacks by those impersonating a spouse or partner.

Going forward, Marc will continue to support fully funding the courts and increasing citizen access to justice. Marc knows that our prison system is facing a systemic problem in need of long term solutions, not temporary fixes. Marc has worked and will continue to work with Democrats and Republicans to support legislation that is smart on crime and doesn’t overburden our criminal justice system.

Marc is proud to run for re-election with the endorsements of California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Marin County Sheriff Robert Doyle, and Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas. 

Protecting Public Health

One of Assemblymember Levine’s top priorities is improving public health in California.

Marc authored legislation that would ban smoking in multi-family housing. While workplaces, schools, businesses, and public facilities are smoke-free environments, children and adults continue to be exposed to dangerous second-hand smoke in their own homes due to shared ventilation systems and air spaces in and around multi-family housing. Marc’s legislation would provide the same protection from second-hand smoke in the home that is already provided in public.

Marc also co-sponsored SB 640, which would restore a portion of the cuts made to Medi-Cal, to allow those who provide service to the neediest to stay afloat.

Marc is a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act, and in 2013 he hosted several community events to make the public more aware of the benefits of the law and the new local healthcare services available to them. Marc believes the Affordable Care Act goes a long way in leveling the healthcare playing field, but he supports going further, and implementing a truly universal healthcare system, because nobody should become impoverished because they get sick. Going forward, Marc will continue to support efforts to improve quality, expand care, and reduce costs.

Marc is proud to be endorsed for re-election by the American Nurses Association, United Nurses Associations of California, United Domestic Workers, and Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific Action Fund. 

Ensuring Our Unique Local Needs are Met

Marc Levine first ran for Assembly because he believed Sacramento was failing our communities and we needed a strong local voice.

Since his election to the Assembly, Marc has worked to make sure decisions affecting our communities are made locally, not in Sacramento. For example, he authored Assembly Bill 1537, which recognizes that each community has unique local land use and planning challenges, and which reduces the housing density requirements for Marin County. And Levine’s AB 253 protects homeowner rights for those living in floating homes.

As Vice-Chair of the Assembly Local Government Committee, Marc has worked diligently to rebuild the relationship between our statehouse and city halls across California.

As an elected official, Marc represents the people of the North Bay first and foremost, and he will never vote in a matter that is to their detriment.

Marc is proud to be endorsed by local Mayors and Councilmembers from throughout Marin and Sonoma Counties. 

Making Government More Accountable and Preventing Corruption

Marc is committed to making government more open and accountable, and to cleaning up corruption. In the last two years, Marc and his colleagues have helped reduce the dysfunction in the State Assembly, but it’s clear from recent scandals in the State Senate that challenges still remain. Marc believes that the first step to address this problem involves electing leaders with high ethical standards. 

Marc co-authored SCA 3, which requires open public meetings and public access to records for local governments, and he has supported other bills to shed more light on out of state PACs, give more oversight authority to the Fair Political Practices Commission, and increase disclosure requirements for political campaigns.

There are also several pieces of current legislation that Marc strongly supports, which will help address relevant challenges, including AB 1666, which increases restitution fines for those convicted of bribery, and bans the practice of using campaign funds to pay those fines. And AB 2320 bans spouses or domestic partners of political candidates from receiving campaign funds for any type of service. Until we have this sort of legislation in place, a politician can essentially pocket campaign funds, funneled through their spouse, for personal use.

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