Perea to Resign December 31st

Perea

As was reported in the news yesterday, Assemblyman Henry T. Perea has announced that he will resign effective December 31st.

Some quick statistics about his service and resignation;

  • Perea will leave office after 265 weeks in office, ranking as California’s 3237th longest-serving legislator (just ahead of John Campbell at 264 weeks).
  • In past 5 decades, only 2 California state legislators have resigned at younger age than Perea; Michael Rubio in 2013 and (future Governor) Pete Wilson in 1971.
  • Since 2000, 11 people have left the California Legislature younger than Perea (who’s leaving at 38.5 yrs old).
  • Perea is the fourth California state legislator to resign in 2015, and the 20th since January 2010.

Legislator Age Statistics

Of the 800+ California state legislators elected to their first terms since 1950, here are some age-related statistics.

The big takeaways are…

  • Sebastian Ridley-Thomas was the second-youngest member in 60 years.
  • When Ian Calderon was elected, he was the youngest member since Tom McClintock in 1982.
  • Cindy Montañez was the youngest modern woman to serve in the California Legislature (but not the youngest ever).
  • Cheryl R. Brown was the oldest new member of the Legislature in more than a decade.

 

Youngest Age When Assuming Office

Legislator Gender First Year Age
1 McCarthy, John F. M 1950 25 years, 37 weeks
2 Lewis, John R. M 1981 26 years, 5 weeks
3 Ridley-Thomas, Sebastian M 2013 26 years, 17 weeks
4 McClintock, Tom M 1982 26 years, 22 weeks
5 Costa, Jim M 1978 26 years, 34 weeks
6 Imbrecht, Charles R. M 1976 26 years, 45 weeks
7 Quimby, John P. M 1963 26 years, 47 weeks
8 Calderon, Ian M 2012 27 years, 7 weeks
9 Ingalls, Walter M. M 1973 27 years, 12 weeks
10 Lempert, Ted M 1988 27 years, 25 weeks
11 Moretti, Bob M 1965 27 years, 31 weeks
12 Roberti, David A. M 1967 27 years, 40 weeks
13 Sebastiani, Don M 1980 27 years, 42 weeks
14 Torres, Art M 1974 28 years, 10 weeks
15 Carter, Douglas F. M 1973 28 years, 11 weeks
16 Cory, Kenneth M 1967 28 years, 14 weeks
17 Lehman, Richard M 1976 28 years, 21 weeks
18 Nolan, Patrick M 1978 28 years, 25 weeks
19 Rees, Thomas M. M 1955 28 years, 40 weeks
20 Karabian, Walter J. M 1967 28 years, 42 weeks
21 Woodruff, Paul A. M 1988 28 years, 42 weeks
22 Strickland, Tony M 1998 28 years, 43 weeks
23 Wilson, Bob M 1972 28 years, 44 weeks
24 Montañez, Cindy F 2002 28 years, 46 weeks
25 Hill, Frank M 1983 28 years, 47 weeks

 

Oldest Age When Assuming Office

Legislator Gender First Year Age
1 Soto, Nell F 1998 71 years, 25 weeks
2 Takasugi, Nao M 1992 69 years, 36 weeks
3 Lapthorne, George J. M 1960 69 years, 33 weeks
4 Brown, Cheryl R. F 2012 68 years, 43 weeks
5 Lowenthal, Bonnie F 2008 68 years, 41 weeks
6 Bradley, Willis W. M 1953 67 years, 27 weeks
7 Ammiano, Tom M 2008 66 years, 51 weeks
8 Quirk, Bill M 2012 66 years, 13 weeks
9 Margett, Bob M 1995 66 years, 4 weeks
10 Mullin, Gene M 2002 65 years, 33 weeks
11 Carter, Wilmer Amina F 2006 65 years, 21 weeks
12 Coto, Joe M 2004 65 years, 14 weeks
13 House, George M 1994 65 years, 2 weeks
14 Berry, Swift M 1953 64 years, 51 weeks
15 Patterson, Jim M 2012 64 years, 42 weeks
16 Morrissey, Jim M 1994 64 years, 30 weeks
17 Pacheco, Robert M 1998 64 years, 27 weeks
18 Johnson, Edward C. M 1951 64 years, 21 weeks
19 Lyon, Jr., LeRoy E. M 1953 64 years, 16 weeks
20 Weber, Shirley N. F 2012 64 years, 11 weeks
21 Allen, Michael M 2010 63 years, 49 weeks
22 Cook, Paul M 2006 63 years, 40 weeks
23 Goldberg, Jackie F 2000 63 years, 26 weeks
24 Scott, Jack M 1996 63 years, 15 weeks
25 Dutra, John M 1998 63 years, 8 weeks

 

Oldest Age When Leaving Office

Legislator Gender Last Year Age
1 Alquist, Alfred E. M 1996 88 years, 18 weeks
2 Dymally, Mervyn M. M 2008 82 years, 30 weeks
3 Soto, Nell F 2008 82 years, 24 weeks
4 Greene, Leroy F. M 1998 80 years, 44 weeks
5 Rosenthal, Herschel M 1998 80 years, 38 weeks
6 Margett, Bob M 2008 79 years, 30 weeks
7 Bane, Tom M 1992 78 years, 49 weeks
8 Craven, William A. M 1998 77 years, 23 weeks
9 Karnette, Betty F 2008 77 years, 12 weeks
10 Lanterman, Frank M 1978 77 years, 5 weeks
11 Sher, Byron M 2004 76 years, 43 weeks
12 Ayala, Ruben S. M 1998 76 years, 39 weeks
13 Takasugi, Nao M 1998 76 years, 35 weeks
14 Marks, Milton M 1996 76 years, 20 weeks
15 Johnson, Edward C. M 1962 76 years, 19 weeks
16 Davis, Ed M 1992 76 years, 3 weeks
17 Scott, Jack M 2008 75 years, 15 weeks
18 Belotti, Frank P. M 1972 74 years, 47 weeks
19 Lowenthal, Bonnie F 2014 74 years, 41 weeks
20 Schrade, Jack M 1976 74 years, 28 weeks
21 Knight, William J. “Pete” M 2004 74 years, 25 weeks
22 Vincent, Edward M 2008 74 years, 24 weeks
23 Killea, Lucy F 1996 74 years, 18 weeks
24 Papan, Louis J. M 2002 74 years, 18 weeks
25 Kelley, David G. M 2002 74 years, 8 weeks

It’s worth noting that there are eight incumbent legislators who (if they serve in their current house until they are forced out due to term limits) will appear on the list above.

Lessons from an 1870s Law Book

When the State of California was new, laws passed by the Legislature and approved by the Governor were identified only by the order in which they had been chaptered. For example, the fifth law signed by the Governor in 1850 (Chapter 5, Statutes of 1850) created the office of State Treasurer.

The principal reason for using this system was that it was easy to set up ad provided a fairly orderly system; the statute numbers reset every year and made it easy to tell the order in which bills had been passed (also making it easy to determine which bill was passed later (and had precedence) when laws touched similar subjects.

The system worked well at first, but as the years of laws began to accumulate, it became increasingly difficult to keep track of related laws (which were frequently found in different books) and how they interacted. In 1870, the California Code Commission began a two-year project reviewing and sorting all of the laws passed in the previous two decades into four broad subject areas; Political (relating to elections and the operation of government), Penal (relating to crimes and punishment), Civil (relating to corporations and contracts between individuals), and Civil Procedure.

The Commission was led by Creed Haymond, a brilliant 34-year-old lawyer who had been the Southern Pacific Railroad’s primary attorney in California for a decade. By all accounts, Haymond dove into the work and made it his own, to the point that the other two members of the commission are almost unknown. After his death in 1893, the Sacramento Record Union said of Haymond; “His memory will not fade from the annals of the State, for his public services have made it imperishable. As a chief among those who gave to us a codified system of laws, his labor and genius will remain enshrined in that splendid work.”

Recently, I found a copy of The Codes and Statutes of the State of California (1876), one of the earliest books to include California’s laws after their reordering. In a democracy, looking at laws lets you into the mind of the people; it shows you the problems they faced and how they chose to solve them.

  • One of the boundaries for Amador County was the “road in front of Z. Kirkwood’s house…”
  • Firemen were exempted from military and jury duty service. (Pol. Code, sect 3337)
  • Vaccination: “The fees of the health officer for vaccinating such passengers shall be one dollar for each and every person so vaccinated; and all persons refusing to be vaccinated, or to pay fee therefor, shall be detained at quarantine on board said vessel until they are vaccinated and pay the fee therefor, and he is authorized to collect the said fee from the person or persons vaccinated.”
  • California’s leper inspectors were paid 70 cents per person inspected. (Pol. Code, sect 2955)
  • Election day, polls must be open from 1 hr after sunrise til sunset, except in SF, where they’re open sunrise to 6:30PM
  • California government offices were required to be open 10 AM – 4 PM (Pol. Code sect. 1030)
  • In 1890, California had 9 “Commissioners of the Yosemite Valley & Mariposa Big Tree Grove.” Remember, this was before Assemblyman Miguel Estudillo authored AB 248 (1905), which authorized the sale of Yosemite Valley (and all the headwaters of the Merced River) to the U.S. federal government for use as a National Park. What a deal that was.