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Well, that didn’t take long. Looks like Assembly Speaker John Perez has speakerized his first bill. It happened this week in the Assembly Banking Committee when a mortgage bill authored by Pedro Nava came up for a vote. The bill, AB 1639, would provide mediation for homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes. The bill was a priority for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Perez’s cousin, but some members of the committee, including Villaraigosa rival Felipe Fuentes , had some problems with the bill. But Fuentes wasn’t alone. Democrats Ira Ruskin and Tony Mendoza were also asking questions that seemed to indicate the bill would have some trouble. Two members of the committee — Noreen Evans and Norma Torres were missing from the hearing, and had been replaced on the speaker’s orders with votes Perez could rely on for the bill — Ted Lieu and Bill Monning. When that didn’t seem to be enough, senior members of the speaker’s staff showed up in committee to lobby the bill. When that didn’t do the trick, Perez himself made an appearance. Mendoza and Ruskin got the message, apparently, and voted to approve the bill. Fuentes stuck to his guns and voted no. And we’re sure it was just a coincidence when a Fuentes bill went down to defeat later in that same hearing. Seems like the new guy is getting the hang of this speakership stuff…


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