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Democrat Karen Bass Becomes California’s State Assembly Speaker

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Aired 4/19/09

Democrat Karen Bass is taking over as California State Assembly Speaker on Tuesday. She is the first African American woman in the country to hold such a position. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports. 

With five former State Assembly Speakers looking on, Karen Bass will be sworn in to the powerful position. Congresswoman Diane Watson and Actress Alfre Woodard will take part in the ceremony. It is taking place one day before Governor Schwarzenegger unveils his revised budget which will include the size of the deficit. Bass says dealing with that multi billion dollar shortfall is her top priority. 

Bass:     "I'll have twenty-four hours to get adjusted to being speaker and have to deal with the May Revise of the budget…"

Bass is creating a commission to examine the state's tax structure. She says she is open to examining the Governor's proposal to lease out the lottery. She says she will also look at expanding the sales tax.

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