Aug 21 - Pérez, Hancock Named Recycling’s Legislators of the Year (Press Release)

SACRAMENTO - Each year CAW recognizes members of the Legislature for their efforts to advance waste reduction and recycling legislation in California. This year, Speaker of the Assembly John A. Pérez and Senator Loni Hancock were honored for their contributions and dedication to keeping California at the forefront of environmental policy.

Speaker John A. Pérez has been an environmental leader and recycling champion throughout his tenure in the Legislature. Speaker Pérez has played a crucial role in shepherding landmark recycling bills that have come before the Assembly, including legislation establishing a 75% recycling goal for the state.

Speaker Pérez authored AB 2398, which created a first-of-its kind carpet recycling program that has since been introduced in several other state legislatures. This important program provides convenient access to recycling for consumers and helps reduce the negative impacts produced when used carpet is landfilled.

From the moment Speaker Pérez took office, he has fought hard to restore health to California’s economy by putting forward policies that will help California create quality, green jobs.

Speaker Pérez also authored AB 1532 in 2012, which directed the state to develop an investment plan to use proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade program to, in part, fund waste reduction efforts. This source of funding will likely provide a major incentive for the expansion of recycling, composting, and recycled content manufacturing infrastructure in the state.

"Speaker Pérez has helped keep California at the forefront of recycling through both his authorship of innovative recycling policy and his leadership support pro-recycling legislators and legislation," said CAW Executive Director Mark Murray. "His proven dedication to jobs and the environment made him an easy choice for CAW recognition."

Senator Hancock has been a strong supporter of recycling over the years; she showed strong leadership in pushing for a statewide mattress recycling program as the author of SB 1118 last year and of SB 254 this year.

Senator Hancock has clearly been a champion on other waste reduction policies and demonstrated a strong commitment to environmental protection throughout her legislative career. While in the Assembly, Senator Hancock served as Chair of the Committee on Natural Resources. In this role, she oversaw nearly all recycling-related legislation that passed through the Assembly, often championing bills to expand recycling and stopping legislation that would have undercut the state’s successful recycling efforts.

She also authored several bills to expand recycling, including AB 3056 (2006), which increased market-based incentives for consumers and recyclers of beverage containers. Currently, Senator Hancock serves on the Environmental Quality Committee, which oversees legislation relating to waste management and toxic substances, among other environmental issues.

Senator Hancock previously received Legislator of the Year award in 2005 as an Assembly Member.

"Senator Hancock’s record stands for itself," said Murray. "Her support for market-based recycling policies and her commitment to enacting smart, common sense solutions makes her a true environmental leader."

Thanks to the leadership of legislators like Speaker Pérez and Senator Hancock, recycling now produces more than $10 billion worth of goods and services, and $4 billion in wages. The latest data from the State Employment Development Department finds more than 125,000 ‘green jobs’ from California’s recycling economy.

Speaker Pérez and Senator Hancock were honored at CAW’s 36th Birthday Celebration on Tuesday, Aug. 20 in Sacramento.

Photos: (Top) CAW Executive Director Mark Murray, Speaker of the Assembly John A. Pérez. (Bottom) Senator Loni Hancock, Murray.

Photo credit: Patricia Valenzuela

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