As 2013 begins, California's state government is getting organized and picking representatives to serve on many of its key committees and commissions.
Local representatives such as California Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) and Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-San Mateo) announced this week that they have both been named to several of these important task forces.
Assemblymember Kevin Mullin
Mullin was named Assistant Speaker Pro Tem of the State Assembly, as well as being pegged to serve on the Budget Committee; Budget Subcommittee #4 on State Administration; the Business and Professions Committee; Local Government Committee; Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security Committee (PERSS); and Revenue and Taxation Committee.
"I am honored and grateful to be able to serve on these committees,” said Mullin. "The state is facing a number of pivotal issues as we continue our economic recovery. These committees will provide the opportunity to play a significant role in developing policies that will improve our economy and build on the progress already made to get the state on solid fiscal ground."
These committees will face a number of high profile issues in this legislative session.
The principal role of the Budget Committee this year will be developing a plan for addressing the projected $1.9-billion budget shortfall. The Governor will release a proposed budget on Jan. 10 and the Legislature must pass a budget by June 15. This will include negotiated alternatives to the Governor’s proposals that the Assembly will develop with their Senate counterparts and the Governor.
The Business and Professions Committee handles a wide variety of issues including consumer protection; product labeling; occupational licensing (medical and non-medical); creation and elimination of regulatory agencies, boards and commissions; governmental organization (including efficiency and cost control); and state contracts.
The Local Government Committee will be examining issues of state and local relations; economic development; land use; criminal justice realignment; special taxes; and a variety of other issues.
Serving on both the Local Government and Revenue and Taxation Committee, Mullin will be reviewing and voting on proposals to reform how local sales taxes, parcel taxes and bonds are passed.
The PERSS Committee will primarily review policies related to public employee contracts and the Public Employee Retirement System.
"As I examine the budget and policy proposals before me, I look forward to hearing from my constituents about their thoughts and priorities," Mullin said. "As a former local elected official and a business owner, I am well aware of not only who got me here, but that what we do in Sacramento can have a significant impact on California’s businesses and citizens."
Mullin's District 22 includes the cities of Belmont, Brisbane, Foster City, Hillsborough, Millbrae, Pacifica, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo and portions of South San Francisco.
See a video of Mullin's first day in the current session of the state assembly above.
Sen. Leland Yee
Yee announced Monday he has been named to four key legislative committees - the Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee; the Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee; and the Public Employment and Retirement Committee. He will also chair the Senate Committee on Human Services.
The Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee works on state bills relating to business and professional practices and regulations, not including those regarding alcoholic beverages.
The Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee works on state bills relating to elections, reapportionment, and proposals to amend the California Constitution.
The Public Employment and Retirement Committee works on state bills relating to state and local non-school public employees and public employee retirement.
The Senate Committee on Human Services works on bills relating to CalWORKs and other welfare programs; food stamps (now called the State Nutrition Assistance Program); child welfare and foster care; services to persons with disabilities, including those provided by regional centers and the state's developmental centers; in-home supportive services; community care licensing; and social services and rehabilitative services, in general.
"I am especially pleased to serve on these four important committees," said Yee. "As a member of each of these committees, I will be able to help protect our children and the most vulnerable Californians, promote our economy and assist small businesses, and safeguard the integrity of our electoral process."
Yee serves the constituents of San Francisco and San Mateo counties.