Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Assembly Speaker pushes California agenda in DC

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The California legislature is in recess, so Assembly Speaker John Pérez headed east this week to meet with his Capitol Hill compadres. Pérez talked up California's recovery and other particular interests.

Politicos come to Washington for money or regulation issues. Standing outside the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, with whom he'd just met, Pérez put it this way: "This is a great opportunity for us to continue to partner on California initiatives where there's a federal overlap."

Pérez told a House Democratic luncheon that California is back — but it'll take cooperation and partnership to keep up economic growth. He's continuing talks with the Department of Education about the extra $2 billion California received this year for K-12 funding. He also outlined for Democratic lawmakers how the state is implementing the Affordable Care Act.

Pérez said he didn't ignore the majority party, either. "I actually have had a few meetings with some GOP colleagues," he said. "I don't know if they want me to out them." He needn't have worried. Redding Republican Congressman Doug LaMalfa walked up and put out his hand. "I still know who he is," said LaMalfa, who served with Pérez in the statehouse. In fact, nearly two-thirds of California's freshmen members of Congress previously served in Sacramento. 

Pérez will continue meeting with lawmakers and cabinet officials, returning Thursday to California.

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