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The Honorable Darrell Steinberg
Senate President pro Tem
State of California
Darrell Steinberg is the President pro Tempore of the California State Senate.
Elected to the Senate in 2006, Steinberg's district includes the capital city of Sacramento, parts of Elk Grove, Citrus Heights and Rancho Cordova.
His Senate colleagues elected him to lead the State Senate as President pro Tempore in August 2008. Prior to joining the Senate, Steinberg served in the State Assembly from 1998 to 2004.
Steinberg's service to Californians has earned him numerous awards and citations, including the 2010 Kennedy Library Foundation's, "John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage" Award, the nation's most prestigious honor for public servants. Steinberg earned the award for leading a bipartisan effort to solve the state's devastating budget deficit in 2009.
Steinberg also is a recipient of the California Journal's "Minnie Award," which recognized legislators who represent "a pattern of conduct, an outlook and demeanor that exemplifies the best kind of public service." The nonpartisan magazine named Steinberg "Assemblymember of the Year" for 2004 and also honored him as the Assembly's top member in the categories of integrity, best problem-solver, and hardest working.
During his legislative career, Steinberg has earned a reputation for being unafraid to confront seemingly intractable challenges. In 2009, he led a successful, bipartisan effort to pass a "momentous" water agreement which implements landmark improvements and investments in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the heart of California's water supply system, and enhances water reliability for all Californians. In describing the legislation, the Sacramento Bee said, "[W]hat Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, has achieved is momentous. The water-policy package he helped craft pushes the state forward on several fronts . . . If you are a California resident - not just a member of a particular interest group - the basic outline of this policy package is worth celebrating."
Steinberg's SB 375, which was signed into law in 2008, is a landmark bill that will combat urban sprawl and long commute times while encouraging efficient development by linking land use decisions in transportation and housing to greenhouse gas reduction goals. In crafting the bill, Steinberg brought together an unlikely coalition of environmentalists, the building industry and local governments in support of the measure. Experts expect the bill, which received national attention, will become a model for legislation at the federal level and for other states. Noting the groundbreaking significance of the measure, the Los Angeles Times said it "marks the first time any state has attempted to tie greenhouse gas reduction to transportation funding and regional land-use planning."
Steinberg also is a strong advocate for children and mental health issues. As a member of the State Assembly, Steinberg authored legislation to focus additional education resources on high-poverty schools and make them accountable for improvement. He also authored several nationally recognized laws to improve the state's foster care system, including measures to improve provider accountability, educational consistency, and placement stability for children in foster care. Steinberg also passed the first significant expansion of community mental health programs in more than a decade. And, in 2004, the voters approved Steinberg's Proposition 63, based on the pilot programs he championed in the Assembly, which generates more than $1 billion per year in state and federal funds to establish community-based mental health systems of care throughout the state.
Steinberg was born in San Francisco on October 15, 1959. He earned a BA in economics from UCLA and a JD from UC Davis Law School. He served as an employee rights attorney for the California State Employees Association for 10 years before his work as an Administrative Law Judge and mediator. Steinberg served on the Sacramento City Council from 1992 to 1998.