News Articles

Sacramento Bee election endorsements for Nov. 8

Excerpted from The Sacramento Bee
October 17, 2016

The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board generally does not endorse when one candidate essentially is assured of victory. However, in these races, we recommend the re-election of Reps. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, and Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, and Assemblymen Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, and Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova. Each has little chance of losing.

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Ken Cooley vows to be 'particularly energetic' in new Assembly post

Excerpted from The Sacramento Bee
October 14, 2016

If there’s one lawmaker who appreciates the rules and traditions of the California Legislature, it’s Assemblyman Ken Cooley.

The Rancho Cordova Democrat has spent years steeped in the culture of Sacramento, having served as a staffer for more than a decade before winning his seat in 2012. His knowledge of the Capitol’s architectural history runs so deep that he gives tours of the building, and he commonly invokes legislative history and procedure during floor speeches.

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Cooley’s Bill to Expand Foster Youth Access Signed by the Governor

Excerpted from Gold River Messenger
October 6, 2016

Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s (D-Rancho Cordova) AB 2417 was signed in to law by Governor Brown this afternoon. AB 2417 expands foster youth access to court appointed special advocates, known as CASAs. These are volunteers who are appointed by a judge to provide one-on-one mentorship and advocacy to abused and neglected children who are under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Children with court appointed special advocates have demonstrably better long-term outcomes: they are more likely to find a safe permanent home, half as likely to reenter the foster care system, and have far greater success in school. However, there are currently not enough CASA volunteers to advocate on behalf of the foster children in need of their services.

CASA programs are required by law to fingerprint each volunteer to screen for a criminal background before allowing them to mentor and advocate for youth. Non-profit organizations that serve children do not have to pay the California Department of Justice fees for background checks, but CASA programs are currently excluded from this benefit. This places an undue financial burden on this critical child advocacy program.

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Cooley Bill to Protect Historic State Park Names Signed into Law by Governor Brown

Excerpted from Carmichael Times
September 30, 2016

The California Heritage Protection Act (AB 2249) was signed into law on September 21st by Governor Brown, Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) has announced. AB 2249 ensures park concessionaires in California’s state parks cannot trademark historic place names simply due to their status as a concessionaire. The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Cooley and Assemblymen Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) and Adam Gray (D-Merced) in response to the U.S. National Park Service’s controversial renaming of several landmarks at Yosemite National Park due to a dispute with their ex-concessionaire.

“This bill makes clear that trademarking of historic names in state parks by concessionaires without any independent basis for a claim is unacceptable and our state Department of Parks and Recreation cannot sign off on the type of trademarking conduct that produced the Yosemite dispute,” said Assemblyman Cooley. “With AB 2249’s signature, that kind of behavior will disqualify a concessionaire from receiving a concessions contract in California, which makes the bipartisan unanimity of the Legislature especially impressive.”

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Cooley Stresses “Doing Good”

Excerpted from Rancho Cordova Independent
May 29, 2016

Although State Assemblyman Ken Cooley is in his first term at the Sacramento Capitol, he is not inexperienced. Cooley worked straight out of Berkeley for a senior member of the assembly. “He was Rules chairman, I was his top guy,” Cooley said.

Cooley later worked for a state senator drafting legislation, and this was while he was also on the Rancho Cordova City Council. Having worked with Cooley on the city council for years, council member and past mayor Robert McGarvey said, “He’s probably one of the most experienced elected officials there in the Capitol right now.” Therefore, when Ken Cooley began his term he was able to step right into the work.

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Cooley’s Bill to Bolster Transparency of Mental Health Services Act Passes First Policy Committee

Excerpted from Rancho Cordova Independent
April 4, 2016

Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s (D-Rancho Cordova) AB 2279 passed unanimously out of the Assembly Health Committee this week. AB 2279 bolsters transparency about how Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funds are being used by requiring that information about state-wide and county-by-county funding for mental health programs be made available to the public to enhance accountability, outcomes, and facilitate mental health program improvement.

Proposition 63, the MHSA, was passed by the voters in 2004. Its purpose was to transform the mental health system by providing prevention and intervention services to those living with mental illness.

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Yosemite dispute prompts bill to ban name trademarks at California parks

Excerpted from Sacramento Bee
February 22, 2016

Assembly Bill 2249 prohibits contracts with companies that pursue trademarks at state parks

Follows ongoing controversy over ownership of names for some of Yosemite’s most famous sites

Assemblyman Ken Cooley: ‘I just find it shocking’

Assemblyman Ken Cooley is pursuing a bill that would ban concessionaires at state parks if they trademark iconic names.

Comparing the Yosemite renaming controversy to a punch in the gut, Assemblyman Ken Cooley on Monday announced a bill that would prohibit California from contracting with concessionaires who attempt to trademark names associated with a state park.

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League of California Cities® Honors Assembly Member Ken Cooley as one of Three Legislators of the Year

Excerpted from League of California Cities
October 2, 2015

Assembly Member Recognized for His Leadership in Passing Regulatory Framework for Medical Marijuana that Protects Local Control, Public Safety and Patient Access

SAN JOSÉ — Assembly Member Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) received one of three Legislator of the Year Awards from the League of California Cities® today during the organization’s 2015 Annual Conference and Expo in San José. The top honor was given to Assembly Member Cooley for his leadership in passing the League-supported Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act.

Along with Assembly Member Cooley, the League also recognized Sen. Jim Beall (D-San José) for his long-term commitment to transportation issues and his efforts in the most recent legislative sessions to provide a new, sustainable source of funding for California’s state highway and local streets and road system and Assembly Member Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) for his dedication to advancing legislation that would restore a redevelopment tool for local communities.

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Capitol architecture, symbols of state

Excerpted from The Sacramento Bee
August 15, 2015

Ken Cooley has scrambled all over the Capitol, inside the walls and out, during restoration that began in the late 1970s and since its completion in 1982. When he was a young staffer in 1977, his boss asked him to lead tours and answer queries as to what justified extravagant expenditures on the Capitol, the largest rehabilitation project in the Western Hemisphere.

Now an assemblyman from Rancho Cordova, Cooley is passionate, dedicated and still leads tours, combining history of the architecture with lessons about civics. His enthusiasm is contagious.

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Assemblyman Cooley Honors Local Non-Profit CEO as 2016 Veteran of the Year

Excerpted from Rancho Cordova Independent
August 5, 2016

“It is a great honor to be recognized as the Veteran of the Year,” said honoree, Kevin Cameron, shown at left with Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova). --Photo courtesy Ken Cooley

Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) honored Kevin Cameron as the 8th Assembly District’s 2016 Veteran of the Year. Each year, the Assembly Veterans Committee hosts the Veteran of the Year Awards to recognize veterans with distinguished military careers or those who have continued to serve making significant contributions to their communities.

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