Sen. Richard Pan delivers remarks on the Senate floor. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, AP)
A California lawmaker who rose to national prominence by muscling through some of the country’s strongest vaccination laws is leaving the state Legislature later this year after a momentous tenure that made him a top target of the boisterous and burgeoning anti-vaccination movement.
Incoming state Senate Leader Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, flanked by Sen. Ricardo Lara, left, at a meeting with Mexican government officials. (Photo: California State Senate)
This month, the San Diego lawmaker is set to replace Kevin de León as leader of the California Senate. She will be the first woman and first open lesbian to hold the position. She also will be the first person since the 19th century to hold both of the Legislature’s top jobs – Assembly speaker and Senate leader.
Throat cancer patient Karl Trede, who was treated with the "eat me" protein therapy. (Photo: California Institute for Regenerative Medicine)
In an emotion-choked session, the mother of a six-year-old girl thanked California’s stem cell agency for saving the life of her daughter. “Thank you for keeping my family complete,” said Alysia Padilla-Vaccaro, her voice cracking as she spoke to the governing board of the $3 billion California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), as the agency is formally known.