Laying the groundwork for the approaching California legislative session, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, has announced her floor team.
The Democrats appointed to various floor leadership posts will help guide legislation and round up votes on close bills. Atkins’ choice of lieutenants could also provide a rough early snapshot of potential contestants to replace Atkins as Assembly speaker after term limits force her to step down at the end of 2015.
Four of the newly named members are freshmen who have yet to be formally sworn into office. Every member of the leadership team is entering either their first or second term.
Still to come are committee assignments. Committee chairs wield significant power over which bills will advance, and spots on certain so-called “juice” committees are regarded as favorable for fundraising because of the interests that have a stake in bills coming before those committees.
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Here are the new positions Atkins announced on Tuesday, with the previous officeholders following in parentheses:
Speaker pro Tempore Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco (formerly Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose)
Assistant Speaker pro Tempore Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco (formerly Mullin)
Majority Floor Leader Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena (formerly Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez, D-Coachella)
Assistant Majority Floor Leader Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens (formerly Holden)
Majority Whip Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles (formerly Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles)
Assistant Majority Whips Assembly members Evan Low and Jim Cooper (formerly Assemblyman Matthew Dababneh, D-Los Angeles and Garcia)