• Dymally To Chair Health Committee; Berg To Chair Health Budget Subcommittee

Even though many bills passed still have yet to be signed or vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the election is not until November, Sacramento watchers are already thinking ahead to next year’s legislative session. Due to term limits, there will be considerable turnover in the California Legislature, with at least 38 Assemblymembers not returning.

With possibly half of the next year’s Assembly being new members–depending on the outcomes in the handful of competitive races, health advocates will no longer see some familiar faces. Those that have been very active on health issues, but who won’t be in the Assembly again next year, include Majority Leader Dario Frommer, Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair Judy Chu, Assembly Health Committee Chair Wilma Chan, Former Assembly Health Committee Chair Rebecca Cohn, and many others.

As many lawmakers are expected to leave office November 30, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez on Monday announced a new slate of lawmakers, who are continuing in the Legislature, to head committees. Of interest to health advocates are the following new chairs of the relevant committees:

  • Appropriations Committee Chair: Mark Leno, of San Francisco , will replace Judy Chu.
  • Budget Committee Chair: John Laird, of Santa Cruz , will keep his position.
  • Budget Subcommittee #1, on Health and Human Services, Chair: Patty Berg, of Arcata, replaces Hector De La Torre, who will now be chair of the Rules Committee.
  • Health Committee Chair: Mervyn Dymally. of Compton , replaces Wilma Chan.

No official announcements have been made yet about next year’s Senate leadership, which will place new chairs as head of the Senate Health, Insurance, and Appropriations Committees, given that term limits is capping the Senate careers of Senators Deborah Ortiz, Jackie Speier, and Kevin Murray, respectively.

For questions or information, please call Hanh Kim Quach, policy coordinator at 916-497-0923 x 206 or

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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