Republicans in the California Senate have a new leader, two months earlier than expected.
Senator Jean Fuller of Bakersfield was elected by her colleagues Senate Republican Leader Thursday morning.
She takes over for Senator Bob Huff of Diamond Barr.
The change comes as lawmakers are making final decisions on hundreds of bills, including big ticket items like how to pay for road repairs and Medi-Cal services. Democrats have asked for tax increases to fund both, while Republicans have expressed opposition to the increases.
Fuller says negotiations with Governor Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders are continuing, “but I have to tell you at this point, especially without efficiencies, especially without guarantees – we are just not in favor of increasing taxes on hard-working families, when they’ve already had so much good revenue come in that needs to be used very efficiently first.”
Senate Republicans announced in February that Fuller, who has been a member of the Legislature since 2006, would take over on Nov. 1.
Fuller is the first woman to serve as the Senate's Republican leader.
Before joining the Legislature, Fuller served as an educator in California for more than 30 years. She was born in Bakersfield and is a third generation Californian.