Timeline For New Assembly Speaker/Senate President
A new Senate Democratic Leader has been unofficially named. Meantime, Democratic Assembly members are set to choose a new Speaker next month.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
A new leader for the state Senate has been announced… But he won’t take over until the end of the year. Democratic state Senator Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento will succeed current President Pro-Tem Don Perata. A formal vote among Democrats will take place in August. Steinberg says he knows the job ahead will be a challenging one.
“When it is my turn I will give every ounce of intellect every ounce of energy and every ounce of passion I have to make sure that the people of California are well served and maybe most important for me that people who too often
don’t have a voice get heard in this legislature…”
Current President Pro-Tem Don Perata says the early announcement will ensure that lawmakers can move on to the larger issue that faces them—the state budget.
The Senate President Pro-Tem has a number of jobs, including negotiating the budget with other legislative leaders and the Governor and setting the agenda for the Democratic caucus.
Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez told reporters the Democratic Caucus will select a new leader March 11. Names are already swirling. He says it’s a critical decision:
“A lot of people today said in the caucus one of the most important votes that anybody here that’s behind me is going to make it whom we’re going to elect to be our next Speaker.”
Nunez will stay on as Speaker until the end of the session. He was at the forefront of the effort to pass prop. 93, which would have changed term limits and allowed him to run for office again. He says he’s to blame for the measure’s failure:
“I take full responsibility for it..... Nobody else neither here nor in the other house deserves the blame for the failure of prop 93.”
Nunez says he plans to take a few years off to spend time with his family at the end of this year before thinking about getting back into politics.