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Senator Bill Monning was elected in November of 2012 to represent the 17th Senate District, which includes portions of Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Clara Counties. Prior to that, he represented the 27th Assembly District, which included portions of Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara Counties.
As a member of the Assembly, Monning was Chair of the Assembly Committee on Health, which has primary jurisdiction over health care policy issues such as Medi-Cal, mental health, licensing of health and health-related professionals, and long term health care facilities. He also served as a member of the Assembly Committee on Judiciary, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the Assembly Committee on Budget, Assembly Committee on Natural Resources, Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services, and Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media.
During his first term in the Legislature, then-Assemblymember Monning distinguished himself by being appointed to the California Coastal Conservancy and by enacting a number of key pieces of legislation.
Assembly Bill (AB) 1217 requires the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) to establish a statewide standard for the certification of sustainable seafood. Additionally, the bill authorizes the OPC to implement a marketing and labeling program in cooperation with a qualified marketing association to promote the consumption of seafood caught or raised within the state that fall under the certification criteria.
He was also instrumental in establishing the California Health Benefits Exchange (Exchange), a key component for the State of California to implement federal health care reform. The primary function of the Exchange is to be California’s "active purchaser" of health care coverage for individuals and small businesses that generally do not have access to affordable health care.
In addition to legislation, Senator Monning has been active in bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders and developing a strategy to develop the Coastal Trail in the Big Sur area. He has also worked to convene meetings of stakeholders on environmental, ocean, water and agricultural issues.
Prior to his service in the State Legislature, Senator Monning was a professor at the Monterey College of Law and a professor of International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He is the former president and co-founder of Global Majority, Inc., an organization committed to education, training and advocacy in the field of non-violent conflict resolution.
Senator Monning 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.
The Senator received a B.A. at the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from the University of San Francisco, School of Law. He and his wife, Dana T. Kent, a family physician, reside in Carmel, California and have two daughters: Laura, husband Kevin; and Alexandra.