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(Sacramento) – This morning the California State Assembly chose John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) to be the next Speaker. The timing of the transition from current Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) to Speaker-elect Pérez has not yet been finalized. Links to audio of Speaker Bass and Speaker-elect Pérez are at the bottom of this e-mail.

Here are his prepared remarks he delivered at the start of the news conference that followed his election:

[important title=Transcripts]

Good Morning. I want to thank you all for coming out today, and I especially want to thank Speaker Bass for her leadership, her friendship and her confidence. She has been a steadfast leader for California, and we have been fortunate to have her guiding our state through such unprecedented challenges.

This is an historic moment for California, where we face a number of complex and difficult issues. I am both proud and humbled to have received the votes of my colleagues to serve as the 68th Speaker of the California Assembly.

In the coming weeks and months, the Legislature will be called upon again to address a number of pressing issues, not the least of which is our budget situation. The Governor outlined the magnitude of the problem yesterday in his State of the State Speech, and once again called for reform on a variety of fronts.

In that respect, I believe the Governor is correct. Our state clearly needs a number of reforms, beginning with how we manage our finances through the budget process, and certainly in the broader context of how our government is structured.

I certainly have my own ideas, but I believe that for reform to be successful, every member must participate in the process, and every idea must be on the table. We will have a thorough discussion in the Assembly, but I believe a natural starting point comes in how we negotiate the budget. I stated on the floor a few moments ago that the budget process in the Assembly will be open, honest, transparent and inclusive. When the time comes for the Big 5 meetings, I will be presenting the Assembly’s budget to the other leaders, not writing the budget in the Big 5 and presenting it to my members.

I am confident that the Assembly will produce a body of reforms this year which will help to stabilize our finances and make government more functional.

I want to thank my colleagues for their confidence and trust. I’m looking forward to a productive year.[/important]

Assemblymember Pérez’s website:

Here are links to audio of Assemblymember Pérez:

Speaker Karen Bass comments her tenure as Speaker prior to the election of John A. Pérez to be the next Speaker. (2:00) mp3

Speaker-elect John A. Pérez speaks in the Assembly after his election to be the next Speaker. (4:40) mp3

Speaker-elect Pérez's opening remarks at a news conference after his election to be the next Speaker. (1:58) mp3

Speaker-elect Pérez defines the Speaker's role as leader of the State Assembly. (:31) mp3

Speaker-elect Pérez says protecting the environment and creating jobs can go hand in hand. (:50) mp3

Contact: Sara Ramirez (916) 319-2046