The California State Assembly is the lower house of the California State Legislature. There are 80 members in the Assembly, representing an approximately equal number of constituents, with each district having a population of at least 420,000. Due to the state's large population and relatively small legislature, the Assembly has the largest population per representative ratio of any state legislature lower house and second largest of any legislative lower house in the United States; only the federal U.S. House of Representatives has a larger ratio. Since a ballot initiative in 1990, members of the Assembly are restricted by term limits, confining them to three two-year terms (six years). The Assembly convenes at the California State Capitol in Sacramento.
Leadership of the Assembly
The Speaker of the Assembly presides over the Assembly in the chief leadership position, controlling the flow of legislation and committee assignments.
The Speaker is elected by the majority party caucus, followed by confirmation of the full Assembly on passage of a floor vote. Other Assembly leaders, such as the majority and minority leaders, are elected by their respective party caucuses according to each party's strength in the chamber. The current Speaker is Democrat John Pérez (46th–Los Angeles). The Majority Leader is Democrat Charles Calderon (58th–Montebello). The Minority Leader is Republican Connie Conway (34th–Tulare).
The chamber's green tones are based on the British House of Commons. legislatorum est iustas leges condere ("It is the duty of legislators to pass just laws"). Almost every decorating element is identical to the Senate Chamber.
The dais rests along a wall shaped like an "E", with its central projection housing the rostrum. Along the cornice appears a portrait of Abraham Lincoln and a quotation from him in Latin:
To run for Member of the Assembly, the candidate must be a United States citizen and a registered voter in the district at the time nomination papers are issued and may not have served three terms in the State Assembly since November 6, 1990. According to Article IV, Section 2(c) of the California Constitution, the candidate must have one year of residency in the legislative district and California residency for three years.
The Office of the Sergeant at Arms is the division which protects the assemblymen of the California State Assembly. The chief sergeant at arms is the head of this division. This position has existed since December 15, 1849 when Samuel N. Houston became California's first Sergeant at Arms. Official website of the Sergeant at Arms.
September 15th, 2011