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Bill Monning

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Preceded by  John Laird
Name  Bill Monning
Nationality  American
Role  American Politician

Political party  Democratic
Party  Democratic Party
Spouse(s)  Dana T. Kent
Succeeded by  Nora Campos
Bill Monning wwwcaliforniaprogressreportcomBillMonninggif

Preceded by  Sam Blakeslee (redistricted)
Born  April 2, 1951 (age 72) Los Angeles, California (1951-04-02)
Alma mater  University of San Francisco University of California, Berkeley
Residence  Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, United States
Education  University of California, Berkeley, University of San Francisco
Similar People  Mark Stone, Lois Wolk, Luis Alejo, Bob Wieckowski, Jim Beall

Bill monning member california state assembly

William Wheeler Monning (born April 2, 1951) is an American politician who was elected to the California State Senate in 2012. A Democrat, he serves the 17th Senate District which encompasses the Central Coast. Monning was reelected to the Senate in 2016 for a second and final term. Education, the environment and public health are areas of particular interest to Senator Monning.


Before his election to the State Senate in 2012, Monning served in the California State Assembly, representing the 27th Assembly District. Monning is the current California Senate Majority leader.

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Early life and education

Bill Monning was born and raised in Southern California. He attended Flintridge Preparatory School from fifth to twelfth grade and participated in athletics including football, basketball, baseball and swimming. His college years were spent in the San Francisco Bay Area where he attended the University of California, Berkeley from 1969 to 1972 and the University of San Francisco School of Law from 1973 to 1976. During this time he also did volunteer work for the United Farm Workers legal department and participated in marches and other activities with farm workers’ movements in Delano, Salinas and Modesto, meeting other activists including Jerry Cohen, Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. These experiences with the UFW were influential, “working with the legal department as a volunteer . . . really solidified my interest and purpose in attending law school.”

Monning received a B.A. at the University of California, Berkeley and a law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. He served as a Senior Fulbright Specialist, receiving Fulbright scholarships to teach and research in Peru and Chile. Additionally, he was a member of the Monterey County Court-directed mediation panel and served for four years as Executive Director of the Nobel Peace Prize winning organization, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

Career as attorney

After entering the California State Bar, Monning first worked as a staff attorney for the United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO (1976 – 1978). He then became Directing Attorney for California Rural Legal Assistance, Migrant Farm Worker Project (1978 -1982). From 1982 through 1987 Monning was the Director of the Salvadoran Medical Relief Fund, and from 1987 through 1991 he was Executive Director for the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). From 1993 until his election to the State Assembly in 2008 he worked in private practice (Labor and Employment law) and taught at both the Monterey Institute of International Studies (currently Middlebury Institute of International Studies) as professor of International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution and as a professor at the Monterey College of Law. Monning is also the former president and co-founder of Global Majority, Inc.

Career as politician

In 2008 Bill Monning ran for and won the California State District 27 Assembly seat being vacated by termed out John Laird. When asked in an interview with the National Lawyers Guild about why he decided to run for the Assembly in 2008, Monning cited California’s structural budget limitations saying California was, “only one of three states in the union that require a 2/3 vote in both houses to pass a budget.” This limitation made it difficult to secure adequate funding for such needs as healthcare and education. Monning hoped to work with community groups and other legislators to effect reform in this and other areas including electoral, campaign finance and economic justice.

In 2012 Monning was elected to the California State Senate after the incumbent, Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, chose not to run in the newly drawn 17th Senate district. Monning became Senate Majority leader in 2014 when he was appointed by then State Senate President pro tempore Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles. Monning was reelected to the Senate in 2016 for a second and final term.

In 2016 Monning seriously considered running to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Congressmen Sam Farr but felt he could be more effective in working on climate policy and other important issues as a leader in Sacramento as opposed to being a member of the minority party in Washington.

Soda tax (SB 622)

On February 22, 2013, he introduced SB 622, which would impose a 12 cent tax on each can of soda, as well as create the Children's Health Promotion Fund, which would direct the money the tax raised to childhood obesity-preventing measures such as improving the quality of school lunches. About three months later, the bill died in committee.

Farmworker Protection

Monning authored a bill to protect California farm workers from sexual harassment and violence. Signed by Governor Jerry Brown on September 28, 2014, SB 1087 followed a 2013 investigation by Univision, UC Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program FRONTLINE, and the Center for Investigative Reporting. The investigation found that hundreds of female agriculture workers said they had been harassed and assaulted in the fields with minimal response from their supervisors or from law enforcement. The law took effect on January 1, 2015. “Female farmworkers are among the most vulnerable and invisible of the state’s farm worker population,” said Monning. “[SB 1087] will require sexual harassment prevention training for farm labor contractors, supervisors, and employees, and is the first step to help protect these workers from unwanted sexual advances and sexual violence.”

Senator Monning successfully authored another bill, SB 168 in 2013, to help agricultural workers get back wages and penalties owed by state-licensed farm labor contractors. According to Monning, some California contractors had fraudulently dissolved and moved their assets to new corporations, leaving farm workers without anyone to file a claim against. "This measure is modeled after previous legislation in the garment manufacturing and car wash industries to address fraudulent successor business scams,” said Monning “The workers most affected and victimized by such unscrupulous practices are farm workers.”

Death with Dignity

In 2015, Monning co-sponsored, with Lois Wolk (D-Davis), SB 128, the California End of Life Option Act. The bill was modeled after Oregon's Death With Dignity Act (1994). The law authorizes adults with six months or less to live to request a doctor’s prescription for life-ending medication. It passed the California Senate easily, but stalled in the Assembly. In a legislative session in September dedicated to healthcare, several amendments were introduced, and eventually the bill passed in the Senate 42-33, and the Assembly 23-14 It was co-authored by Assembly Member Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton). California governor Jerry Brown signed the California End of Life Option Act on October 5, 2015, and it went into effect on June 9, 2016. California thus became the fifth state to pass a Death With Dignity law.

Climate Change

Senator Monning believes climate change is the largest long-term threat to humanity and that it will also negatively affect public health and coastal communities. In the 2015 – 2016 legislative session Senator Monning co-authored* Senate Bill 350, the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015. This complex bill was intended to increase the state’s energy efficiency, reduce petroleum use in vehicles and set new standards for California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Under this bill the state of California would be required to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The bill was signed by Governor Jerry Brown October 7, 2015.

Other sponsors of the bill were primary sponsor Senator Kevin de León, Senator Loni Hancock, Senator Mark Leno, Assemblyman Das Williams and Assemblyman Kevin McCarty.

Personal life

He and his wife, Dana T. Kent, a family physician, reside in Carmel, California and have two daughters: Laura and Alexandra.


Bill Monning Wikipedia