He will officially assume the leadership role on Thursday. Elected to the position on June 15, he replaces Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) who has held the post since Dec. 1, 2008.
First elected to the Senate in 2010, Sen. de León previously served four years in the Assembly where he was chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The senator previously worked as a community organizer, a public school advocate and as an English as a second language and U.S. citizenship teacher.
Among his many legislative accomplishments, while in the Assembly, Sen. de León authorized legislation to establish a needs-based competitive grants program for the distribution of $400 million in Proposition 84 funds for local park assistance and development. Signed into law in October 2008 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the allocations in AB 31 provided the nation’s largest single investment in local parks and directed it to high need areas. The senator has also focused on legislation that helps disadvantaged communities.
Sen. Steinberg came to the Legislature in 1998 after serving on the Sacramento City Council from 1992 to 1998. He served in the Assembly until 2004 and was then elected to the Senate in 2006. The senator has tackled a long list of pressing issues including workers’ compensation, land use, economic development and education. He is most known however for his efforts on mental health, authoring Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act.