Leadership changes on the agenda in the final weeks

By Michael Shaw

Capitol Update, Sept. 4, 2015 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The California State Legislature has bucked the mantra that a slow and steady hand at the helm is the best way to get things done in the homestretch by announcing the changeover of three of the four legislative leaders in the span of a week. Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) now sits as the senior member of the legislative leadership having been elected to the post in 2012.

Last week, Senate Republicans announced an acceleration of the transition of leadership from Senator Bob Huff to Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) that was planned to take place in January 2016 to allow Huff to focus on his run for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors next year. Fuller currently serves as Vice Chair of Senate Rules Committee and the Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee.

Earlier this week, Assembly Republicans picked their next leader in Assembly Member Chad Mayes (R-Rancho Mirage) and plan to complete the transition from Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen early in 2016. Mayes, a freshman, terms out in 2026 giving him the potential to serve as Republican Leader for more than 10 years. 

The trifecta came about with the mid-week announcement that the Assembly Democrats chose Assembly Member Anthony Rendon (D, South Gate), who is in his second term in the Assembly and terms out in 2024. Rendon currently serves as chair of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee that oversees California energy policy in the Assembly.

Both Rendon and Mayes come from a new term limits class of legislators that are limited only in the total number of years that they may serve in the Legislature (12 years) and not how many years may be served in each house as the original term limits law mandates. Having been elected prior to the revision of term limits, both De León and Fuller are under the old rules and term out in 2018.

When legislators complete their work next week on September 11th, they will depart Sacramento for their districts to spend time with constituents and prepare for 2016 and the completion of this two-year legislative session. 

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