Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez today announced committee and Democratic leadership assignments for the new session.
Many chair and vice-chair posts vacated by termed-out members were filled by members of the freshman class, while most returning committee chairs retained their posts.
In several exceptions, new legislators were given the gavel of a returning member:
Freshman Assemblyman Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, replaced Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, as chair of the Revenue and Taxation Committee.
Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose, replaced Assemblyman Mike Davis, D-Los Angeles, in the top post on the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee.
Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, was appointed chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, with former chair Alyson Huber, D-El Dorado Hills, shifting over to chair the Joint Sunset Review Committee, a panel created by a bill she authored in the last session.
Republican members retained chairmanship of two committees -- Local Government and Veterans Affairs -- continuing a move intended to show bipartisanship Pérez made when he was sworn in as speaker earlier this year.
The new lineup also included some changes in budget subcommittee responsibilities. The transportation and natural resources subcommittees have been combined, while the California Highway Patrol and courts and corrections systems were shifted out of the State Administration subcommittee's purview and into a new subcommittee on public safety funding.
All budget subcommittee chairs were also assigned to a Subcommittee on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation, a move staff said was intended to increase oversight and accountability in state spending.
Pérez elevated new members Michael Allen of Santa Rosa, Toni Atkins of San Diego and Roger Hernández of West Covina to vacancies in the Assembly Democratic leadership. Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, was assigned assistant speaker pro tempore, a spot previously held by Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton.