Press Release

Friday, August 24, 2018

Associated Press


By Don Thompson

 

Verizon rolled out changes Friday as state lawmakers said they were outraged to learn the telecommunications company had slowed firefighters’ internet service while they battled what became the largest wildfire on record in California.

Verizon said it removed all speed cap restrictions for emergency workers fighting wildfires on the West Coast and for those in Hawaii, where emergency crews were rescuing people from areas flooded by Hurricane Lane.

The company promised to lift restrictions on public safety customers and provide full network access when other disasters arise.

The announcement came hours before the state Assembly Select Committee on Natural Disaster, Response, Recovery, and Rebuilding held an informational hearing on the incident.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Ars Technica


By Jon Brodkin

​​​​​State lawmakers hold hearing today

Verizon may be worried about losing customers to AT&T, which is operating the government-subsidized FirstNet network for public safety agencies. The Santa Clara department has begun using FirstNet "as a supplement to Verizon to avoid future issues," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Verizon today said it should still be a top choice for public safety departments:

Thursday, August 23, 2018

(Sacramento) – A bill that would help ease costs associated with constructing disability related home improvements for seniors moved to the Governor’s desk for a signature on Monday after receiving unanimous bipartisan support from the State Senate.

Assembly Bill 2132, by Assemblymember Marc Levine, D-Marin County, would allow local governments to waive or reduce building permit fees for people who are 60 years of age and older with a qualifying disability.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Bay City News Service


San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said today that the city will join a lawsuit filed Monday against the Federal Communications Commission by Santa Clara County, its fire department and over two dozen other parties supporting Net Neutrality after Verizon allegedly cut internet speeds for firefighters battling the Mendocino Complex fire. 

The California State Assembly's Select Committee on Natural Disaster, Response, Recovery, and Rebuilding will hold a hearing at 9 a.m. Friday over the alleged actions by Verizon, according to the office of Assemblymember Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, the select committee co-chair. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

(Sacramento) – A pair of bills that would allow Californians to taste distilled spirits in retail settings much as they do wine and beer moved a step closer to becoming law Monday.

Assembly Bills 1890 and 1891 by Assemblymember Marc Levine, D-Marin County, Chair of the Select Committee on Craft Brewing and Distilling, build on 2015 legislation that created a separate license for craft distillers.

AB 1890 is headed to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for a signature.  AB 1891 will return to the Assembly for a final vote before moving to the Governor’s desk.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Sacramento Bee


By Bryan Anderson

TWEET OF THE DAY

Assemblyman Marc Levine (@MarcLevine) — “When journalists are called the enemy, we must take the side of the free press. Here’s my proposal to bolster local news: 1. Eliminate the sales tax on newspapers 2. Counter Trump’s tariffs on newsprint 3. Freeze layoffs before and after the sale of newspapers.”


Sunday, August 19, 2018

CALmatters


By Antoinette Siu

Jen Burt lives with her husband and two kids in the woods not far from Grass Valley, in a four-bedroom foothill house in a stand of black oak and cedar trees. Tucked away on a private road, the five-acre spread is a hallmark California dream—and a potential California nightmare: It’s in wildfire country. Last February, Burt’s insurer of six years canceled her fire insurance. The scramble for new coverage was pricey and harrowing.

Now, like a lot of rural homeowners, Burt is hoping for a solution in the form of wildfire legislation. Of the more than 13.6 million homes in the state, about a third are in or near areas vulnerable to wildfire, and many homeowners are having trouble finding or keeping their fire insurance.