Senate President pro Tem Don Perata’s office announced the new Senate Committee appointments late Tuesday, highlighted by the promotion of Sen. Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch, to Caucus Chair and Sen. Kevin Murray, D-Los Angeles, to Appropriations Chair.
The realignment came after Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, announced that she was stepping down from her post heading the powerful Appropriations Committee. Migden said the move came because she wanted to devote time the gubernatorial campaign of fellow Democrat Steve Westly. However, the move has widely been viewed as being a response to criticism she came under after an incident where she pressed the voting button of Asm. Guy Houston, R-Livermore, in an attempt to pass one of her own bills.
The full list of appointments is as follows.
Senate Democratic Caucus Chair: Sen. Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch)
Appropriations Chair: Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Los Angeles)
Caucus Whip/Public Safety Chair: Sen. Carole Migden (D-San Francisco)
Human Services Chair: Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose)
Transportation and Housing Chair: Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach)
Environmental Quality Chair: Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto)