AB 323 will stabilize ethnic and community news outlets, protect access to local news
SACRAMENTO, CA — Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D- Baldwin Park) today announced that Governor Gavin Newsom has signed her Assembly Bill 323, the Save Local Journalism Act.
AB 323 was voted off the Senate Floor and passed by the Assembly in the last few days of the 2019-2020 legislative session. The Senate passed AB 323 by a 39-0 vote; the final vote on the Assembly Floor was 71-4.
“AB 323 provides a bridge for our local newspapers to continue informing readers and their communities,” said Assemblywoman Rubio. “Community newspapers and ethnic news are critical to the open exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives. As an immigrant to this country who represents a diverse section of Los Angeles County, I am pleased that Governor Newsom has signed AB 323 into law. Many members of our community rely on local news and this bill will go a long way towards maintaining these crucial sources of information.”
AB 323 establishes a path for community and ethnic news outlets to reach underserved communities through state advertising and provides an additional year for ethnic, mid-size and daily newspapers to pursue alternate distribution models while preparing to comply with AB 5.
“We are living through times of unprecedented unrest and change, and the need has never been greater for specialized outlets that facilitate improved civic engagement and better cross-cultural communication,” said Regina Brown Wilson of California Black Media. “Assemblywoman Rubio’s leadership and the unwavering support of AB 323’s coauthors and supporters make it possible for our outlets to continue their mission and better inform our communities.”
AB 323 was championed by principal coauthors Assemblymember Grayson and Senators Caballero, Dodd, Hertzberg, and McGuire; and coauthored by Assemblymembers Aguiar-Curry, Bauer-Kahan, Chu, Cooley, Cunningham, Diep, Flora, Frazier, Friedman, Gallagher, Irwin, Kamlager, Kiley, Levine, Low, Mayes, Mullin, Obernolte, O’Donnell, Quirk-Silva, Ramos, Robert Rivas, and Smith, and Senators Allen, Archuleta, Bates, Chang, Galgiani, Glazer, Mitchell, Roth, Rubio, and Umberg.
“We are grateful to Governor Newsom, Assemblywoman Rubio, Senate and Assembly leadership, the bill’s coauthors, and every member of the Legislature for recognizing our financial predicament and working tirelessly to protect access to local news,” said Charles F. Champion, president and CEO of the California News Publishers Association. “Almost every recent survey shows that reliance on local news sources has grown over the last year. With the passage of AB 323, lawmakers have shown their faith in local news outlets as the most trusted resource for their communities, and we will continue to rise to fulfill this important need.”
“I am grateful that Governor Newsom has signed AB 323 into law and I look forward to our continued partnership in ensuring that community and ethnic news remain viable well into the future,” added Assemblywoman Rubio.
Assemblywoman Rubio represents the 48th Assembly District, which is comprised of the cities of Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bradbury, City of Industry, Covina, Duarte, El Monte, Glendora, Irwindale, Monrovia, West Covina, and the San Gabriel Valley unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, including Bassett, Charter Oak, Citrus, East Arcadia, Ramona, Valinda and West La Puente.