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John A. Perez Starts Work As New State Assembly Speaker

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, March 1, 2010
John Perez has started work as the new Speaker of the California Assembly. 

The Los Angeles Democrat was sworn-in today (Monday, 3.1) and as Steve Shadley reports, Perez wants to get the public more involved in the budget process...
Moreno: "Repeat after me. I John A. Perez. I John A. Perez. Do solemnly swear...(fades under script)
State Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno administered the oath of office as Perez’ family and friends gathered around him. 

Perez then outlined some of his goals--he wants to stop the practice of negotiating state budgets behind closed doors. He promised to hold public hearings on the budget around the state.   

And, he wants he wants to ban Assemblymembers from receiving text messages from lobbyists while lawmakers are on the floor...
Perez:  “A text message is something you only can receive if you have somebody’s phone number and that is a differential level of access. And, so its important that we have equal access for everybody to have their opinions heard by the legislators, and not special access for people that have our private phone numbers...”
Democratic Assemblymember Isadore Hall says the new texting rule will be difficult to enforce, but he thinks it can happen. 

In a show of bipartisanship, Perez also says he’ll appoint some Republicans to chair Assembly committees, but he didn’t provide any details. 

Governor Schwarzenegger supports Perez’ effort to make the budget process more transparent.  
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