New Assembly Speaker Sworn In

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The cheers were bi-partisan as Karen Bass walked to the front of the Assembly Chambers in a cherry red power suit. Her step-daughter held the bible used for the oath. Her brother led the pledge of allegiance. And members of the community group she founded in Los Angeles chartered a bus to attend. In her speech, Bass made it clear the economy and the state’s budget shortfall were her top priorities: “When there is a disaster like that, an earthquake or a fire or a flood, leaders put their ideologies aside and say, people are suffering. What can we do to alleviate the pain. Members, we need to respond to the economic crisis the same way we would a natural disaster.” In an unusual move, both Governor Schwarzenegger and Assembly Republican leader Mike Villines spoke during the ceremony. Afterward, Bass joked that the honeymoon was already over. She says she’ll get to work on whittling down the multi-billion dollar deficit right away. Governor Schwarzenegger unveils his revised budget Wednesday.