Ideologically, they're miles apart, but it looks like two state legislators on opposite sides of the immigration policy debate will be working very closely together this session.
In physical proximity, at least.
Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, have been assigned adjoining desks on lower house's 80-member floor.
Cedillo, a former Democratic state senator and Latino Caucus chairman, is known for pushing immigrant-rights legislation, including a bill to allow driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants. Donnelly, who founded the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps of California in 2005, has introduced as his first bill legislation modeled after Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration law.
Though they don't see eye to eye on the issue, both members were quick to sing the praises of their new neighbor in the chamber.
Cedillo, who met Donnelly during new member training, called his desk counterpart a "lovely man" who is "very sincere, a man of conviction and faith and a man committed to service to the state."
"We obviously don't have the same point of view, but I think we have sincerity in our beliefs and we can't question that," Cedillo said.
Donnelly countered by calling Cedillo a "real gentleman."
"He and I don't agree at all on illegal immigration, but we agree that something radical needs to be done to solve this problem," Donnelly said.
See the full Assembly seating chart here. The Senate chart, published in today's Daily File, will be added once we have it scanned and uploaded.
Bee colleague Jim Sanders contributed to this report.