Senator Kevin de León
President pro tempore
California State Senate
Senator de León is the son of a single immigrant mother who supported her family in the San Diego barrio of Logan Heights working as a housekeeper and other pick-up jobs. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college. With his leadership and landmark legislation, Senator de León has established California’s reputation as a recognized global leader in the battle against climate change and a pioneer in creating a clean energy economy.
He played a central role in crafting a bipartisan deal this year to extend California’s cap-and-trade program with $1 billion of the generated revenue to tackle diesel pollution and bolster electrification of our transportation and vehicles. Senator de León was elected by his colleagues to lead the Senate in 2014, making him the first Latino to hold that position in over a century.
Prior to that, Kevin served four years in the Assembly before his election to the Senate in 2010. Through his ambitious approach to policymaking, Senator de León has authored groundbreaking legislation on a variety of issues that focus on maintaining California’s global leadership role in fighting climate change and building a clean-energy economy, securing the 2014 Hollywood Film Tax Credit, rebuilding our state’s infrastructure, public education, work-place and health-care, equity for women, immigrants and low-wage workers and public safety. In three years serving as the Senate’s lead in negotiating the budget, Senator de León has secured critical investments that strengthen the bookends of a student’s educational career, pushing for new investments in childcare and higher education.
Under his leadership, California has added over 20,000 additional slots for California students in the University of California and the California State University. Both budgets during his tenure as Senate leader have been delivered on time, provided protective reserves, paid down debt, provided relief funding for the drought, and wisely invested in children and working families.