Ebbert Selected 2013 Toll Fellow

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Brian Ebbert, Assistant Chief Clerk and Assistant Parliamentarian for the State Assembly, is one of forty-eight state public sector officials from across the country have been selected as The Council of State Governments’ Henry Toll Fellows for the Class of 2013.

Brian Ebbert

The Toll Fellows in the Class of 2013 represent 35 states and Puerto Rico, with 35 serving in the legislative branch, four serving in the judiciary and nine hailing from the executive. A 13-member committee of state leaders, many who are Toll Fellows themselves, reviewed a record number of applications to select the class.

“Individually, these leaders have a proven track record of accomplishing great things; collectively they represent the future leadership of the states,” said David Adkins, CSG’s executive director/CEO.

Describing the program, Ebbert noted “I hope to learn about adaptive leadership and how to better manage multiple tasks in high pressure situations. In an age when instantaneous results are often demanded, it is imperative that leaders possess the skills to prioritize and multi-task.”

Congratulations, Mr. Ebbert!

Alex Vassar moving to the Assembly

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A note from OneVoter.org Editor Alex Vassar:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As of this morning, I am once again an employee of the state legislature. Recently, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly asked me to return to serve as his Chief of Staff and after some careful deliberation and conversations, I decided that this was where I need to be. I’ve always been intrigued by the Assembly; it’s a volatile place that has produced many of California’s greatest leaders in the past century. My time with Senator George Runner at the State Board of Equalization was a fascinating journey into the policy field of state taxes and fees, and I learned several very important lessons.

The biggest lesson that I learned at the Board is that when administering a new tax or fee, it’s critical to have an actual count of whatever it is that you’re charging the taxpayers for. In the case of the Fire Fee, the Legislature approved a tax of $150 on each habitable structure (that means “house”) within an area called the State Responsibility Area (SRA). The problem was that the SRA had never been intended to be used as a tax collection device and nobody had an actual count of the habitable structures within the area. Add onto that confusion over the definition of what exactly a “habitable structure” is (houses, condos, and mobile homes are while RVs, houseboats, and cabins without power and water are not, and double-wide mobile homes are likely to get accidentally triple-billed). Making laws is an important business and it’s critical that it be done well.

Being back in the Building is probably going to limit the number that I’ll be posting in the near future; the combination of limited time for research and writing and the desire to avoid discussion of current events is going to cut down on the volume of my posts.

I look forward to renewing old friendships and experiencing the Home of Ohnimus for myself.

Alex Vassar
Editor, Onevoter.org


The Hollingsworth Succession Bill

Dennis Hollingsworth

Dennis Hollingsworth

Monday marks the fifth anniversary of the chaptering of SB 1530 (Hollingsworth), which added the offices of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Insurance Commissioner, and the Chair of the Board of Equalization to the Governor’s line of succession. Through the hard work of three Senate Fellows and an Executive Fellow, this bill added three constitutional officers into line just ahead of the Disaster Acting Governors, of whom only Earl Smittcamp remains. While it

In recognition of this anniversary, we would like to provide you with the full current line of succession to the Governor:

GovernorJerry Brown
Lt. GovernorGavin Newsom
Senate President pro TemporeDarrell Steinberg
Speaker of the AssemblyJohn A. Perez
Secretary of StateDebra Bowen
Attorney GeneralKamala Harris
TreasurerBill Lockyer
ControllerJohn Chiang
Superintendent of Public InstructionTom Torlakson
Insurance CommissionerDave Jones
Chair, Board of EqualizationJerome Horton
Disaster Acting Governor #1 – VACANT (last officeholder died 1999)
Disaster Acting Governor #2 – VACANT (last officeholder died 1970s)
Disaster Acting Governor #3 – VACANT (last officeholder died 1990s)
Disaster Acting Governor #4 – VACANT (last officeholder died 2011)
Disaster Acting Governor #5 – VACANT (last officeholder died 1990s)
Disaster Acting Governor #6Earl S. Smittcamp
Disaster Acting Governor #7 – VACANT (last officeholder died 1970s)

Additionally, the two other people whose offices could potentially allow them into the line of succession are;

Assembly Speaker Pro TemNora Campos (as the successor to the Speaker) and
Vice Chair of the Board of EqualizationMichelle Steel (as the successor to Chairman Horton)