No. 17: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

17. Kip Lipper

The Capitol is legendary for its cramped, messy offices, but even by these standards, Kip Lipper’s digs are extraordinary. It’s bursting with paper — reports, analyses, books, studies, bills, charts, you name it. If a clean desk is the sign of a diseased mind, then Lipper is the sanest person in the Capitol. Lipper, sometimes called the “41st senator,” is profoundly influential when it comes to environmental issues. He’s been the top environmental adviser to an array of Senate leaders, and nothing gets through the house unless he’s weighed in. His name has become a verb. A bill is “Lipperized” or “Kipped” when Lipper makes his signature tweaks to the legislation. He has spent over 30 years at the Capitol, crafting environmental legislation such as the California Clean Air Act, the California Safe Drinking Water Act and the Integrated Waste Management Act among many, many others. Lipper has been at the forefront of California’s ambitious energy and environmental goals, his influence will long outlast his time in the Capitol.

Updated Aug. 15, 2018

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