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Speaker Robert Rivas Highlights New Budget Leadership Team, Updates Assembly’s Accountability and Oversight Subcommittee, and Establishes New Human Services Subcommittee

Actions Reflect Speaker’s Focus on Results-Driven Governance and Improving Public Services in His First Legislative Year

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA— Speaker Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) today highlighted his appointments to the California State Assembly’s budget leadership team, the renewed Subcommittee on Budget Accountability and Oversight, and an overdue separation of Public Health and Human Services budget subcommittees.

  • Budget Committee Chair — Asm. Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino)
  • Subcommittee 1 on Health — Asm. Dr. Akilah Weber (D-La Mesa)
  • Subcommittee 2 on Human Services — Asm. Dr. Corey Jackson (D-Moreno Valley)
  • Subcommittee 3 on Education Finance — Asm. David Alvarez (D-San Diego)
  • Subcommittee 4 on Climate Crisis, Resources, Energy, and Transportation — Asm. Steve Bennett (D-Ventura)
  • Subcommittee 5 on State Administration — Asm. Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton)
  • Subcommittee 6 on Public Safety — Asm. James Ramos (D-San Bernardino)
  • Subcommittee 7 on Accountability and Oversight — Asm. Avelino Valencia (D-Anaheim)


A Renewed Subcommittee on Budget Accountability and Oversight, Chaired by Asm. Valencia

In his inaugural address, Speaker Rivas emphasized his commitment to improving oversight of legislative spending to ensure it delivers strong public services for all Californians.

Today, he introduces a renewed subcommittee on Budget Accountability and Oversight, with an independent chairperson, to examine state expenditures and recommend course-corrections earlier in program lifespans. The committee will help the Assembly collectively make informed decisions about whether to further invest or modify funding. 

As chair of the renewed Budget Subcommittee on Accountability and Oversight, Assemblymember Valencia will have broad authority to closely review state programs and expenditures, with the goal of delivering the most effective and efficient public services.

“In order to move California ahead, it is imperative that our public resources are maximized,” Assemblymember Valencia said. “This subcommittee is a prudent step forward and will provide a necessary assessment of the state's budget process.”

“Delivering effective programs for taxpayer dollars is our perennial responsibility. Whether the state’s finances are in the black or the red, Californians are entitled to know the programs they fund with their taxes are working. I also recognize that efficacy is defined broadly, which means we need to come at this work with care. This subcommittee will closely examine what is, and isn’t, getting the job done. I appreciate Assemblymember Valencia taking on this important work, and know he will do an excellent job,” Speaker Rivas said. 

As chair, Valencia will work closely with Speaker Rivas and Budget Chair Asm. Gabriel to determine what areas of spending will be examined. 


NEW: Budget Subcommittee on Human Services, chaired by Asm. Jackson

Speaker Rivas also created a new Budget Subcommittee on Human Services, to be led by Assemblymember Jackson, focusing on state funding for programs such as CalWORKs, CalFresh and In-home Supportive Services. 

“It is an honor and dream come true as a social worker to be responsible for building and transforming our social safety net programs,” Assemblymember Jackson said. “We will attack poverty head-on and ensure that our systems are designed to help people thrive, not just survive. I want all of the populations that are served by these programs and systems to know that I see you and will fight for your dignity and humanity.”

“These resources are vital lifelines for many families. By separating out human services and public health committee work, the Legislature can do a better job of focusing and also give the committee more time to offer feedback,” Speaker Rivas said. “Assemblymember Jackson has dedicated his career to social work, and I believe he is the best person to lead this new subcommittee.”

Budget Subcommittee No. 1 previously oversaw human services expenditures, in combination with health. This new subcommittee will allow for increased focus on these programs, in addition to  interaction with residents and advocates on issues such as aging, disability rights, low-income workers and child care.


What Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, Chair of the Budget Committee says

“I am deeply grateful to Speaker Robert Rivas for appointing me as Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, and I am honored to serve with such a talented group of Subcommittee Chairs. California's budget is much more than numbers and spreadsheets — it is first and foremost a statement of our values. In crafting the budget, we have a unique opportunity to uplift working families and small businesses, strengthen public education, elevate our environmental leadership, and protect our most vulnerable residents. We must do all of this — and more — while also being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. I look forward to working closely with my legislative colleagues and Governor Newsom to craft a thoughtful, inclusive, and responsible budget that addresses our most pressing challenges while also building a brighter future for all of California’s children.”


What Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber, Leader of the Subcommittee on Health says

“I am grateful for the opportunity to use my experience as a practicing physician to shape budget priorities in the Budget Subcommittee on Health. Thank you to Speaker Rivas for the opportunity and I look forward to getting to work.”


What Assemblymember Dr. Corey Jackson, Leader of the Subcommittee on Human Services says

“I am grateful to Speaker Robert Rivas for entrusting me with the role of Chair for the Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Human Services,” stated Assemblymember Dr. Jackson. “The California Budget is a powerful instrument, and working with my colleagues I am committed to tackling the urgent challenges Californians’ face.”


What Assemblymember David Alvarez, Leader of the Subcommittee on Education Finance says

“I am honored and grateful to have been appointed as the Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance by Speaker Robert Rivas. I am excited to lead important discussions on how we can enhance our education system by building and investing in schools ranging from preschool to higher education. Additionally, we must support educators so that students can overcome the challenges from learning loss to mental health.”


What Assemblymember Steve Bennett, Leader of the Subcommittee on the Climate Crisis, Resources, Energy, and Transportation says

“I am genuinely honored to be able to continue my work as the chair of the budget subcommittee focused on natural resources and transportation. I look forward to working with Speaker Rivas and budget chair Assemblymember Gabriel as we address the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.”


What Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, Leader of the Subcommittee on State Administration says

“The State Budget isn't just numbers; it reflects California's core values. It embodies the Legislature’s oath to our State by delivering essential services and improving the lives of every Californian. It is about protecting our reserves while upholding our duty to prioritize investments in housing, homelessness, and the programs that serve vulnerable Californians throughout the State. I am honored that Speaker Rivas has entrusted me to Chair Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on State Administration, and I look forward to working alongside Speaker Rivas, Assemblymember Gabriel, and the rest of the Budget Committee to create a stronger, more unified, and prosperous future for the Golden State.”


What Assemblymember James Ramos, Leader of the Subcommittee on Public Safety says

“As California's First Native American to serve in the State Legislature, and as Chair of Budget Sub 6 on public safety, I look forward to working together with my Assembly colleagues to fund critical programs tackling public safety issues, including the fentanyl crisis and the rise in missing and murdered Native Women. Every resident of California deserves to feel safe and secure.”


What Assemblymember Avelino Valencia, Leader of the Subcommittee on Accountability and Oversight says

“I appreciate Speaker Robert Rivas entrusting me to lead this budget subcommittee, which will allow us to comprehensively evaluate State programs and expenditures to ensure they are producing the intended results for Californians. My focus will be on engaging in discourse with State agencies and departments to determine if goals are being met, if systems or processes can be improved, and if funding needs to be adjusted. I look forward to collaborative discussions with legislative leadership and the Governor as we develop a budget that delivers for the State through a pragmatic and responsible investment of public resources.”


Next Steps

The California State Assembly will reconvene on Wednesday, January 3.

For more information on budget leadership and subcommittees, or to schedule interviews with members of the new California State Assembly leadership team, please email the Speaker’s Director of Communications Nick Miller: