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Politics

Toni Atkins Elected Officially As Next California Assembly Speaker

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Toni Atkins was voted the next Assembly speaker Monday, making the Democrat the first San Diegan and first lesbian to lead the Legislature's lower chamber.

Atkins, now the majority leader, is expected to succeed Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, sometime this spring. It was revealed two months ago that she had amassed enough Democratic support to claim the post.

"I am grateful to my Assembly colleagues for selecting me for this honor and responsibility," Atkins said. "After several years of deficits and financial challenges created by the Great Recession, California has finally begun down a path of stabilization and growing prosperity."

According to Atkins, the speaker is charged with the overall management and supervision of the Assembly; appoints members to committees and subcommittees; allocates funds, staffing, and other resources for operations; and establishes committee schedules.

The speaker is also responsible for making or recommending appointments to state panels, and serves on the University of California Board of Regents and the California State University Board of Trustees.

"I look forward to working with assembly members on both sides of the aisle and the governor as we take advantage of this opportunity to continue laying a sound financial foundation for our state," Atkins said.

Perez is being termed out this year.

Atkins was elected to the Assembly in 2010, following eight years on the San Diego City Council.