Assemblyman Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) has been moved to a smaller office after missing a floor session without an excused absence.
Williams missed the July 3 Assembly meeting, the lower house's last floor session before it began its summer break. The meeting featured votes on high-profile bills including one to prohibit the state from giving enterprise zone tax credits, meant to encourage hiring in blighted areas, to nightclubs featuring topless or nude dancers.
After talking with the office of Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) about the unexcused absence, Williams agreed to move his staff into a smaller office and have some of his aides work in an annex office, according to spokesman Josh Molina.
Perez spokesman John Vigna declined to say whether the transfer was punishment.
“Office assignments are an internal caucus matter, and the Speaker makes assignments based off a number of considerations," Vigna said. "Mr. Williams requested a change of offices, and his request was granted.”
Williams, a former college professor who was elected in 2010, missed the Assembly session to attend his mother-in-law’s wedding out of state, Molina said.
“I made a decision to attend an important family event and I understand and accept the fallout of that decision,” Williams said in a statement. “I am moving forward and looking ahead to the return of the Assembly session on Aug. 5.”
Perez can be touchy about members who are late or absent.
The Speaker held up for hours the final vote on the biggest bill of all, the state budget, waiting for Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) to catch a flight back to Sacramento from Colorado.
Just the day before, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) was half an hour late for the start of session. Perez made a point of repeatedly going to the microphone to remind Assembly he was holding up debate on the day’s budget bills for her to arrive.
“We’ll be happy to get on to business … as soon as the absent member is brought to the floor. As you are waiting ever so patiently,” Perez said, “I would hope you express your patience when the member gets here.”