Environmentalist. Early childhood education advocate. Fan of daylight saving time. And now the 70th Speaker of the Assembly.
In just over three years at the Capitol, Anthony Rendon has ascended from head of a nonprofit to the top of political leadership in California. The Lakewood Democrat was selected last September as the next speaker and he will be sworn in Monday during Assembly session at 1 pm.
As the first speaker under new term limits that allow lawmakers to serve up to 12 years in either house, much attention has focused on how long Rendon could hold on to the position after a string of short-term leaders – and what he might do with that stability. An instrumental force behind the $7.5 billion water bond approved by voters in 2014 and a lead ammunition ban that will take effect in 2019, Rendon has indicated that his top priority will be expanding state preschool and other educational opportunities for young children.
Check out what Rendon had to say about the California Public Utilities Commission, the 2016 election and why he’s an introvert in an interview with The Bee’s Capitol bureau last week.
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VIDEO OF THE DAY: Lawmakers argue over barring 18-year-olds from buying cigarettes.
EQUALIZER: California continues to be on the vanguard of seeking LGBT rights, from a law allowing students to use the bathrooms corresponding with their gender identities to this year’s push for a ban on state travel to non-inclusive states. Tonight Equality California is holding an award ceremony at Cafeteria 15L, handing out hardware to Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, and top Gov. Jerry Brown aide Nancy McFadden. The roster of official event sponsors includes heavyweights from AT&T to SeaWorld to the California Charter Schools Association.
PLASTICS: It seems like only yesterday lawmakers were posing by images of plastic-ingesting turtles to promote legislation banning single-use plastic bags. An iteration of that policy finally passed back in 2014 but now faces a referendum in November. Which means the turtles return. Students will be flanked by a huge inflatable sea turtle during a 10:00 am, pro-ban rally on the west steps that’s expected to include Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, who opposed an earlier version of the prohibition before coming aboard.
CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, who is 35 today, and to Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, who is 55. And a belated well wishes to Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, who turned 43 yesterday.