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Longtime Secretary Of California Senate Dies

(AP) - Gregory Schmidt, the longtime secretary of the California Senate, has died. He was 69.

The Sacramento Bee reported that Schmidt died after a brief battle with cancer. Schmidt was elected to the post under four successive Senate presidents after being named to the top appointed post by then-Senate President Pro Tem Bill Lockyer in 1996.

He was in charge of everything from processing bills to ensuring rules were followed.

Current Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, says Schmidt also served as a steady, calming presence for elected members and staff, and he rarely got rattled.

He says Schmidt never forgot that everyone who worked in the Senate was there to serve the people. Schmidt retired in 2014.