Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins honored the Kensington Veterinary Hospital and its owners — Dr. Patricia Ungar and her husband, Philip Linssen — as the 78th Assembly District’s Small Business of the year.

“I have known Dr. Ungar since I served on the San Diego City Council and represented the Kensington community.” Atkins said. “Both Dr. Ungar and her husband, Philip Linssen, are permanent fixtures in the community. Kensington Veterinary Hospital is an asset to our community and our pets — that’s why I am delighted to have Dr. Patricia Ungar and Kensington Veterinary Hospital as my district’s Small Business of the Year.”

The new Assembly leader may have kissed her spouse on the Assembly floor after being sworn in as one of the state's most powerful politicians, but gay people have not yet attained full equality in California, Speaker Toni Atkins said Tuesday.

"Even in California, there are places and times and ways that I probably wouldn't feel very comfortable taking Jennifer's hand. So we still have work to do," Atkins said as she addressed a crowd of women lobbyists, lawyers and other Capitol power brokers at the She Shares conversation series.

The California Legislature approved a $156.4-billion state budget on Sunday that includes a reserve fund as well as spending on preschool education and a high-speed rail network, drawing praise from Assembly Speaker Tony Atkins, a Democrat who represents San Diego.

“The budget we passed today is balanced and on time, but most important, it makes investments that make people’s lives better,” Atkins said in a statement. “The budget also plans for the future and prepares for emergencies by responsibly paying down debt and building up reserves.

Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), culminating her first budget negotiation as the top Assembly Democrat, touted increased education spending in the newly-passed $156.4-billion spending plan, but said she was disappointed that the plan did not increase payments to doctors participating in Medi-Cal.

"I feel pretty good about tonight," Atkins told reporters Sunday evening after the Assembly had completed a series of budget votes. "We ensured there would be fiscal stability -- that was a key going into this whole budget process. And frankly, we were also able to expand opportunity and to look at some programs that are really important to Californians."

A bill aimed at helping the economic development of properties on or eligible for the state or national Register of Historic Places passed on a 75-0 vote in the Assembly late last month, and could be headed to the State Senate with little to no organized opposition.

Assembly Bill 1999, authored by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), offers a 25 percent tax credit for most renovations of registered historic buildings.

Toni Atkins is now the second LGBT person to take one of California's most influential political posts.

In a triumphant homecoming on Friday, openly lesbian California state assemblywoman Toni Atkins trumpeted the virtues of her adopted hometown during a ceremonial swearing, making her the state's first San Diegan and first lesbian to hold the office of Speaker of the Assembly.

A bill designed to stimulate  redevelopment of historic structures in California passed the state Assembly on a unanimous 75-0 vote and is headed to the state Senate for consideration.

Assembly Bill 1999, authored by Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), will offer a 25 percent tax credit for most renovations of registered historic buildings and a 30 percent tax credit for buildings meeting certain criteria.

When statehouse discussions turn to business, one theme recurs for the newly elected speaker of the Assembly: balance.

Taking a balanced approach, Toni Atkins explains, is key to reconciling the demand for jobs with environmental, health, safety, consumer protection and other needs.

SAN DIEGO, California -- Speaker Toni Atkins, the first lesbian in California's history to lead the Assembly, inspired a sold-out crowd gathered Thursday morning at San Diego's sixth annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast at the Bayside Hilton.

Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego, noted her humble roots in rural southern Virginia and shared that as a little girl she never dreamed she would grow up to become the leader of the Assembly in the most-populous state in the union.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said Wednesday that she has a "clear mandate" from Assembly Democrats to seek a budget deal that "strengthens our fiscal condition first, and makes responsible investments second."

In a speech to the Sacramento Press Club, Atkins said the biggest issue on her plate was the budget, particularly because she was sworn in as speaker  just before Gov. Jerry Brown released his revised spending proposal last week, which kicked the budget-crafting negotiations into high gear.

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