(January 10, 2004, updated 11:00 a.m.) -- Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza (D., LB-Carson), head of the Assembly Budget Committee for the past two years, has been named to chair the Assembly Transportation Committee, according to newly named Speaker Fabian Núñez.
"I'm honored to be taking over leadership of this important committee," Assemblywoman Oropeza said in a written release. She added, "An effective transportation system is key to continued economic growth, job creation and improved air quality. It also directly affects how many federal dollars return to California. These issues will be at the forefront of my agenda."
[update] Assemblymember Oropeza will exit as a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, to which Assemblyman Darrel Steinberg (D., Sacramento) has been named chair. [end update]
As previously reported by LBReport.com, Assemblywoman Oropeza was a contender for the post of Assembly Speaker but Assemblyman Núñez won out in that contest. He was sworn in on January 9 after being formally nominated by Oropeza.
Speaker Núñez praised Oropeza's record as budget chair. "Frankly, I was surprised when Jenny Oropeza asked me to chair the Transportation Committee," Núñez said. "But it was impossible to say no to someone with her excellent record on the budget combined with her background in transportation. I know the Transportation Committee will have the leadership today to handle California's transportation needs tomorrow."
Assemblywoman Oropeza, a former LB City Councilmember (1994-2000) and LB School Board member, was elected to the Assembly in 2000 and reelected in 2002.
She was a member of the L.A.-area Metropolitan Transportation Authority board of directors from 1996-2000, during which she served on its MTA's Planning and Programming and Construction committees.
While with the MTA, she also chaired the Goods Movement Committee of the Southern California Association of Governments.
Assemblywoman Oropeza replaces Assemblyman John Dutra (D, Fremont) who will be termed out of the Legislature later this year.