Toni Atkins served eight years on the San Diego City Council and was briefly the city’s interim mayor before coming to the Assembly in 2010. Atkins says housing is a big priority for her.
“If I can add my own personal concern, reducing homelessness and providing affordable housing, including for our state’s growing population of veterans,” she says.
San Jose State University Political Science Professor Larry Gerston says Atkins will become the most powerful person in the legislature.
“The speaker appoints the Rules Committee and certainly has great influence over the members of the Rules Committee”, says Gerston. “The Rules Committee in turn appoints all the various committee chairs.”
Atkins takes over the speakership as the state deals with a continuing drought and tries to meet federal court orders to reduce prison overcrowding.
She is scheduled to take over for out-going Speaker John Pèrez this Spring.
TY all for your good wishes on today's Speaker vote. Big @JohnAPerez shoes to fill, but look forward 2 getting 2 work 2 move CA forward.— Toni Atkins (@toniatkins) March 17, 2014
Congrats to @toniatkins, California's next Speaker of the Assembly.— Jerry Brown (@JerryBrownGov) March 17, 2014
Health care advocates are concerned about a California law that allows the state to claim assets of deceased people who received health care through Medi-Cal.
UPDATE: Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders have released a new $7.2 billion water bond proposal, but there's no deal yet. To buy more time, lawmakers have extended Monday's key election deadline by 48 hours.
California senators approved a bill encouraging schools to educate students about Barack Obama's election in the context of past discrimination.
A water bond, a school bond, a statewide plastic bag ban and paid sick leave are all on California lawmakers’ agenda as they return Monday for their final month of session.
The California legislature is considering a bill that would prohibit law enforcement from using aerial surveillance drones without a warrant.