Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

Senior out CA Assembly members given committee chair positions

Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman

Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman

The two senior out California Assembly members have been given committee chair positions while their freshmen counterparts were overlooked.

It was a stark difference from the assignments in the state Senate, where freshman gay Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) was given a chairmanship, though freshman lesbian Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), who had served as speaker of the Assembly, was snubbed a chair position.

Lesbian Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), the most senior of the quartet, having first been elected in 2012, will chair the Accountability and Administrative Review Committee. She will also serve on the powerful Appropriations Committee as well as the Business and Professions Committee and both the Natural Resources and Utilities and Energy committees.

She is just one of many women chairing Assembly committees this year, marking a doubling of female chairs at a time when the number of women serving in the state Legislature, at 29, is at its lowest in 19 years. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) also made sure women were serving on every committee.

“Today’s announcement of Assembly committee rosters is a very positive step forward by Speaker Rendon in empowering more women Assembly members through leadership positions and key committee assignments,” stated Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), named chair of the Natural Resources Committee and is chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. “I look forward to continuing to work with our Speaker in order to ensure the Assembly keeps making the progress we need in order to achieve full parity in the Legislature and across California.”

The second most senior of the four out Assembly members, gay Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), first elected in 2014, will chair the Elections and Redistricting Committee. He is also chairing the eight-member California Legislative LGBT Caucus this year, having succeeded Eggman in the leadership position last week.

He was also given a seat on the Business and Professions, Communications and Conveyance, Governmental Organization, and Higher Education committees.

Freshman Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona), despite her ousting an incumbent Republican to help give Democrats a supermajority in the Assembly, was overlooked for a chair position but given a seat on the high profile Rules Committee.

She will also serve on the Banking and Finance Committee, Communications and Conveyance Committee, and the Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy Committee. She also was given a seat on the Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security Committee.

“I want to thank my friend, Speaker Rendon, for the honor of being appointed to these committees. Together, they represent the important issues that the people of the 60th Assembly District sent me to pursue tirelessly at our State Capitol,” stated Cervantes later in the afternoon Friday (January 20). “I am excited to continue to work to create jobs, grow our technology infrastructure, ensure access to institutes of higher education, and keep our streets and neighborhoods safe.”

As for freshman gay Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), he will serve on the Aging and Long-Term Care, Education, Governmental Organization, Veterans Affairs, and Water, Parks, and Wildlife committees.

— Matthew S. Bajko, January 20, 2017 @ 2:00 pm PST
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