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Days after saying Democrats should have to deal with the budget on their own, Republican Tom Berryhill is set to be stripped of his Senate Food and Agriculture Committee chairmanship.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has penned a letter asking Rules Committee members to approve handing off the Oakdale Republican's gavel to newly elected Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres.

"Each member of the California State Senate represents nearly one million people and we have a duty, regardless of party or philosophy, to actively engage in the serious work necessary to address the challenges confronting California," Steinberg wrote in the letter.

A Berryhill representative was not immediately available for comment.

Berryhill said he saw no reason for Republicans to propose an alternative to Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal, telling The Bee that the budget "is really not our problem."

"The Democrats own this, and we think that they should be giving us what the solutions are," he said.

In closing his letter, Steinberg wrote that Berryhill "is a man of integrity and substance, and I am confident he will so engage in the months ahead."

Berryhill, a former Assemblyman elected to the Senate in November, was named chair of the committee last week. Cannella, his proposed replacement, is one of two Republican members of the Senate who has not signed the Americans for Tax Reform's no-tax pledge.

The Rules Committee, which Steinberg chairs, is scheduled to meet next Wednesday. The letter is posted below.

Rules Letter Berryhill


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