Day to honor California Native Americans will move to Assembly floor

Assembly Appropriations Committee approves Ramos’s Assembly Bill 855 on 16-0 bipartisan vote

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO—With approval today by the Assembly Appropriations Committee today, a measure to allow state and local court employees to receive a paid holiday in celebration of California Native American Day will go to the full Assembly.

Assembly Bill 855 introduced by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) said, “This is one more step forward in statewide recognition of the history, culture, and contributions of California’s Native Americans.”

AB 855 would amend the Code of Civil Procedure to recognize California Native American Day as a judicial holiday to provide proper recognition for Native American people and celebrate their history in the state. It would not create an additional paid holiday for Judicial Council employees, but would exchange Columbus Day for California Native American Day. Court personnel are currently the only state workers receiving the paid October 12 holiday.

“Our state Judicial Council brought the idea for this bill forward, and I thank them for their initiative,” Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) said. “For more than 20 years, I have worked to help create a day that recognizes California’s First People and their history. California has the greatest number of Native Americans residing within its boundaries, and it is fitting that we begin to expand our commemoration of this holiday.”

The Judicial Council, which is sponsoring AB 855, voted in January to seek authority to ensure California Native American Day is designated as a judicial holiday. Ramos noted paid judicial holidays are designated in a different code section from holidays recognized by other state agencies. Non-judicial holidays are designated in the Government Code, but court holidays are established in the Code of Civil Procedure.

 “The Judicial Council of California and its chair, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, are committed to providing equal access and fairness in our justice system,” said Judge Marla O. Anderson, chair of the Judicial Council’s Legislation Committee. “By recognizing the importance of Native Americans we not only acknowledge our shortcomings in our state’s past treatment of them, we also celebrate their past and current contributions to our state.”

Co-authors are Assemblymembers Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) and Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-Riverside).

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Assemblymember James Ramos proudly represents the 40th Assembly district which includes Highland, Loma Linda, Mentone, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, and San Bernardino. He is the first and only California Native American serving in the state’s legislature.