State Senate Chooses New Leader

SACRAMENTO (AP) - State senators have formerly selected Democrat Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento as their next leader.

Steinberg will succeed Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata of Oakland when lawmakers begin their 2009 session in December. Perata will be termed out at the end of November.

The choice of Steinberg has been known for months. The Senate's Democratic majority picked him to succeed Perata at a caucus meeting in February.

Republicans went along with the choice on Thursday, agreeing to Steinberg in a voice vote that drew no opposition.

The 48-year-old Steinberg pledged to work in bipartisan fashion to improve schools and health care and fix what he called California's maddening system of financing state and local government.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)