Freshman Assemblyman Bill Quirk Still Learning the Ropes in Sacramento

ASSEMBLY | Assemblyman Bill Quirk has been relatively quiet in his first few months as a legislator, but in an interview last Sunday, he admits having some initial difficulties understanding how Sacramento works.

There had been some talk among Democratic insiders questioning whether Quirk had a post-election plan going forward. Quirk, a former two-term Hayward councilman, in all honesty, admits he is stilling learning the ropes. “I know a lot more about what goes on in Sacramento than most people,” Quirk said with reassurance. “But what you realize when you get up there is how little you know.”

Quirk doesn’t have any bills planned and has said that some things he wanted to do have already been done in the Legislature. He offered no specifics, nor was he able to even give a vague description of what a bill he would propose would look like. Quirk reiterated that only until he has a better grip of how things work in the Assembly will he then propose legislation.

“Before I make good law I just have to learn a lot more and the politics are important, knowing who to talk to, but also just the details. So I do have ideas but turns out a lot of other people have worked on them so I’m finding out what’s been done and there is just so much you don’t learn unless you are involved,” said Quirk.

Quirk’s expertise largely deals in energy and climate from his years spent working for NASA and at the Lawrence Livermore Lab. Quirk had contributed to the building of the very first global model of the atmosphere and at the Livermore Lab worked on the re-use of plutonium parts which Quirk says helped shut down the Rocky Flats nuclear facility. Quirk also worked on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty signed in 1996.

Thus far Quirk has only landed one seat that tailors to his strengths on the Utilities and Commerce Committee and as far as his other committee assignments; public safety, agriculture, appropriations and rules committee, none seem to accentuate his expertise in energy.

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