State Sen. Scott Wilk is set to become the vice chair of four different senate committees during the 2019-20 legislative session, according to an announcement made by president pro tempore Sen. Toni Atkins on Friday.
Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, is expected to serve on the Agriculture, Education, Governmental Organization and Rules committees. He previously served as vice chair for Agriculture, Education and Governmental Organization, and he was appointed to the Rules committee as a replacement for Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, in June.
The Rules Committee, which Wilk said serves a crucial role in Sacramento, examines and confirms all key appointments made by governor before they are voted on in the Senate.
“In the Senate, we have ‘advice and consent’ in terms of gubernatorial appointments,” Wilk said Sunday. “Our job is to vet candidates selected by the governor. We’ll be interviewing all of (Governor-elect Gavin Newsom’s) appointments and making sure there’s no conflicts of interest, malpractice or malfeasance before they take office.”
In looking into each appointee, Wilk said he plans to look foremost at their qualifications rather than their ideological differences.
“This job’s a heavy job anyway,” he said. “Now with a new governor, he’ll be making a lot of appointments.”
With more committees set to be announced in January, Wilk said he is expecting to join three more committees. Following the election, only 11 Republicans remain in the state senate, stretching them across over six or seven committees, he said. But while serving as vice chair on committees he described as nonpartisan, such as Agriculture and Governmental Organization, Wilk said committee members always look to the issues at hand.
“All of this is about relationships,” he said.