Even better than the “mensch” award I saw him get…

Senator Darrell Steinberg was officially sworn in to be Senate President Pro Tem today, in a touching ceremony on the Senate floor this afternoon. With the current Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata making the motion, and the current Republican leader Dave Cogdill seconding the motion, it was approved unanimously by voice vote.

The “Pre-Tem” thanked the current Perata, Cogdill, his fellow Senators, including those in the Democratic caucus that elected him to the post, his family, his staff, and his constituents.

He also gave a speech that seemed to counter the cynicism about public service and government these days, which seems especially ripe right now because of the budget standoff. He talked about the advances made in some areas, whether infrastructure, stem cell research, or mental health, and suggested that progress could be made in other areas as well. As Shane Goldmacher at the Sacramento Bee reports:

“I love this institution,” Steinberg told his colleagues. “I believe in this institution as a force for good…”

He outlined an agenda of improving public education, providing “health access for every Californian” and fixing the “maddening system” of public finance.

We appreciate that he listed health reform and coverage expansion as one of his top three prioirities. We are proud he is the author of one of our bills this year that starts the process–SB1522(Steinberg)–and we look forward to working with him on it next year and beyond.
Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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