No. 33 Chris Woods
He’s an example of an expert behind-the-scenes Capitol player unknown to the public, but who has far-reaching influence on how tax dollars are spent. As the new budget guru to Senate Leader Toni Atkins, Chris Woods will be the go-to person on the Senate’s version of the state budget. Woods, who’s been on this list before, performed a similar function for then-Speaker Atkins in the Assembly, but he came over to the Senate when Atkins was elected leader of the upper house. Woods replaced Craig Cornett, who went to the California Association of Health Facilities. The budget is not small potatoes — the document signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in June totals just over $200 billion. Woods makes sure that the spending priorities of the Senate and its leader are given consideration. It’s a job that requires more than a green eye shade.
Updated Aug. 18, 2018.