State Legislature Reconvenes

The state Senate and Assembly reconvene on Monday in Sacramento. Both houses have new leadership and the makeup of both health committees also has changed.

After Monday’s meet-and-greet on the legislative floor, lawmakers will need to get down to business pretty quickly. The governor’s budget proposal is due Friday, but it could arrive early as it has in past years.

Changes in this year’s Legislature include:

-Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) is the new Senate President pro Tempore; Assembly member Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) takes over as Assembly Speaker.

-Two longtime supporters of consumer health care issues will have strong positions in the Senate. Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) becomes majority leader in the Senate, and Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) remains chair of the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, as well as the Joint Legislative Budget chair.

-Assembly member Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), who has voiced strong support for consumer health care advocacy positions in the past, takes over as chair of the Assembly Committee on Budget.

-The Assembly majority leader is Chris Holden (D-Pasadena); the two minority leaders are Assembly member Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) and Sen. Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar).

-Alex Padilla (D), a former state Senator from Pacoima, today will be sworn in as Secretary of State.

-The Assembly Committee on Health will be chaired by Assembly member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland). Assembly member Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego) remains vice chair of the committee. Last year’s Assembly health chair Richard Pan (D), won a close race to replace Sacramento state Sen. Darrell Steinberg, who was termed out of the Legislature.

-The Senate Committee on Health will be chaired again by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), who was chair last session. The vice chair and committee members have not yet been announced.

-Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), who has been a prominent supporter of health care issues, will replace de León as chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Assembly member Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) becomes chair of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

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