Monday, August 26, 2019

Building a facility in the Inland Empire to house unaccompanied minors who crossed the U.S.-Mexican border is “a violation of human rights,” state lawmakers representing the region said Monday, AUg. 26, in a joint statement.

“As representatives of the Inland Empire, we condemn the use of space in any location, but especially in our community, to detain unaccompanied children,” the statement reads.

“Together, we have sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency to end its search for a location in the Inland Empire that would assist the Trump Administration in its efforts to expand detention centers, allow families to be separated and detained, or weaken the safeguards that currently exist to protect children in government custody.”

Friday, August 23, 2019

The author of legislation that would require students to take an ethnic studies course as a requirement for high school graduation has put off a vote on the bill this year amid widespread criticism of a proposed curriculum that would serve as a guide for school districts statewide.

“It is not a question of whether the subject itself is necessary but rather, how do we ensure the curriculum is comprehensive, rigorous and inclusive enough,” Assemblyman José Medina, D-Riverside, said in a statement on Thursday. “This underscores the importance of taking the time necessary to ensure we get the curriculum right.”

Thursday, August 22, 2019

A proposed law that would require all California high school students take an ethnic studies course is on hold for this year after the draft curriculum prompted weeks of escalating controversy from diverse groups whose members said they were misrepresented or excluded.

The Thursday decision by the bill’s author quells weeks of critiques from leaders of pro-Israel organizations, who challenged the lack of teaching about anti-Semitism , and organizations representing Armenians, Greeks, Hindus and Koreans, whose members want lessons about their people to be taught. Meanwhile, a broad coalition of student groups and educators, mainly people of color, rallied in support of the current draft. In the midst of the critiques, state educators announced that the first draft of curriculum fell short and would be substantially revised.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

A California bill that would make it possible for a college athlete to profit from the use of his or her name, images and likeness passed another subcommittee hurdle in the legislative process Tuesday afternoon.

The state assembly's Committee on Higher Education voted 9-0 to move the bill forward, and chairman Jose Medina called the NCAA's threats and requests to slow down the legislative process during the past couple months "akin to bullying."

"I don't take too fondly to threats to the state of California regardless of where they come from," Medina told ESPN on Tuesday evening.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

A California assembly bill, if passed, would expand the Cal Grant system to cover nontuition expenses, increase access and create a Summer Cal Grant program.

Assembly Bill 1314 would phase in reforms to the Cal Grant programs to further expand and simplify them. AB 1314 was passed by the California state assembly on May 24 and is currently going through the legislative process in the California Senate.

Cal Grant Programs provide state-based financial aid to students in a postsecondary education program, including vocational training. Students must meet certain GPA and financial requirements in addition to general eligibility requirements to qualify for a Cal Grant.

Assemblyman Jose Medina, who represents the district containing the UC Riverside campus and co-authored the bill, said AB 1314 would increase funding for financial aid and potentially address rising student debt.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The logistics industry has anchored the Inland Empire economy in recent years, economists say, accounting for nearly one-fourth of all jobs created since the recession.

But there is sharp debate over whether those warehouse jobs are best for Riverside and San Bernardino counties — and whether city officials should press instead for other businesses that pay higher wages, provide better benefits and pollute less.

As that debate rages, Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, is pushing a bill he hopes will influence future decisions by local government leaders.

Medina’s Assembly Bill 485 would mandate that cities and counties disclose the amount of tax breaks they give to warehouse developers if those exceed $100,000.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

A spectacular boom in warehouses and distribution centers moving in over the last decade helped lift the vast Inland Empire region out of the Great Recession, bringing an estimated 84,000 jobs, nearly a quarter of the region’s added employment. Amazon built 14 giant fulfillment centers in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, becoming the area’s largest employer.