Article City Forum

League Honors Two Individuals As 2006 “Legislator of the Year”

The League’s lobbying strength relies on cultivating and maintaining effective relationships with legislators both in Sacramento and their districts. When legislators make extra efforts to assist the League, they deserve our recognition and thanks. 

In 2006, Senator Bob Dutton (R-31, Rancho Cucamonga) and Senator Tom Torlakson (D-7, Antioch) were co-recipients of the League’s “Legislator of the Year” award, given in appreciation of their support for local government on a variety of issues throughout the legislative session, and for the key roles they played in placing the infrastructure bond measures, Propositions 1A–1E, on the November 2006 statewide ballot.

Senator Bob Dutton

Since his election to the Legislature in 2002, Sen. Dutton (who previously served on the Rancho Cucamonga City Council) has been a solid supporter of local government and city priorities. He was a principal leader on the infrastructure deal and went to great lengths to ensure that Prop. 1B, the transportation bond, included $1 billion each for cities and counties. In addition, he also supplied a key vote for the housing bond, Prop. 1C, which was critical to the survival of the overall infrastructure package.

Senator Tom Torlakson

Sen. Torlakson, a former council member from Antioch and member of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, has been instrumental in authoring legislation to protect local revenues from state raids. In 2004, he authored legislation to protect local revenues, which became Prop. 1A. In 2006, he authored SCA 7 to constitutionally protect Prop. 42 funds, the sales tax on gasoline, for use on transportation projects. This measure was on the November 2006 ballot as Prop. 1A and passed by 77 percent. It will generate more than $500 million annually in ongoing funds for maintaining local streets and roads.

Recognizing Outstanding Efforts

“Both of these legislators played a major role in winning passage of the infrastructure bonds,” said League President Maria Alegria. “Securing increased funding for infrastructure was a top priority for the League in 2006 because it’s so important to our cities and our state. We appreciate their leadership and their years of support for local and state efforts to invest in California’s future.”

Sen. Dutton serves as vice chairperson of the Senate Revenue & Taxation Committee, while Sen. Torlakson was the 2006 Democratic Caucus chairperson.

“Both Sen. Dutton and Sen. Torlakson served in local government before being elected to the Legislature,” added League Executive Director Chris McKenzie. “They have consistently demonstrated their understanding of the importance of preserving local decision-making authority, and they have worked hard to defend this principle.”

About the Award

The Legislator of the Year award was instituted more than 20 years ago and is given only in those years when the League determines that a legislator is deserving of the honor.

This article appears in the January 2007 issue of Western City
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