From Capitol doghouse to tropical paradise.
Outgoing Assemblywoman Linda Halderman not only is leaving the Legislature she's leaving the United States, too.
A medical doctor by profession, Halderman, who worked from a shoebox-sized Capitol office known as "the doghouse" this year, is moving to a Caribbean haven that is part of the Turks and Caicos Islands, about 150 miles east of Cuba.
The Fresno Republican will be one of two surgeons on the island of Providenciales, serving blue-collar resort workers and occasionally an injured tourist.
A Turks and Caicos Islands tourism website touts the area as home to the "best beach in the world, breathtaking hues from inviting waters, and legendary diving, snorkeling and fishing." For tourists, "relaxation is unavoidable and rejuvenation ensured," the website says.
But Halderman does not plan to bask in luxury.
She will live in a concrete house on an unpaved road, where power is spotty and there is no air conditioning, she said.
A sitting legislator is still trailing in his bid to return to the Capitol for another term. Democratic San Rafael City Councilman Marc Levine has declared victory in the 10th District race, but Assemblyman Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa behind by 3,468 votes Friday has declined to concede before more votes are tallied.
"With a near-balanced budget and a projected surplus in the years ahead, we can lay the foundations for a new chapter in California and invest smartly in our public education system, in job creation, and in economic growth."
DARRELL STEINBERG, Senate president pro tem, saying voters validated "difficult cuts we have had to make" to stabilize California's economic health