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State of California California State Senate Senator John Laird

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Address:   1315 10th St, Sacramento, CA 95814

Official Links:   WEBSITE

With the last two presidents in the United States having been elected past their 70th birthdays, perhaps it was no surprise that John Laird could get elected to the California State Senate for the first time at 70.

First, Laird led the primary field at 44.4 percent of the vote, despite splitting votes with two other Democratic candidates and also facing a Republican challenger, Vicki Nohrden. Laird then won decisively over Nohrden, 64.7 percent to 35.3 percent, in the November general election.

He succeeds the termed-out Bill Monning.


Laird’s election to the State Senate followed a long career in the public sector and multiple other stints in elected office. Aside from serving in the California State Assembly from 2002 to 2008 and as the secretary, appointed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, of the California Natural Resources Agency, from 2011 to 2019, Laird was one of the first openly gay mayors in the U.S. in Santa Cruz in 1983.

A past UC Santa Cruz professor, Laird lives in the city with his husband, John Flores.

Budget & Fiscal Review
Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Education (chair)
Labor, Public Employment & Retirement
Natural Resources & Water Committee
Rules Committee

Select Legislation

SB 390: The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn have exposed multiple issues with California’s Employment Development Department, including $810 million in fraudulent unemployment charges by inmates. To help address this, Laird introduced this bill in March 2021 that require the state EDD to plan comprehensively for recessions.

SB 272: Although the California Highway Patrol got a new commissioner in November 2020 who’s a woman, much of the CHP book language is still male gender-based. To help address this, Laird introduced a bill in January 2021 affirming gender-neutral verbiage in the CHP. The bill has since been edited to also apply to the California Conservation Corps.

District boundaries and office locations

Laird’s district covers most of California’s central coastline, including all or parts of four counties: Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo.

  • Capitol office: State Capitol, Room 4040, Sacramento, CA 95814. Phone: (916) 651-4017. Fax: (916) 651-4917.

  • District office: 99 Pacific St, Suite 575-F, Monterey, CA 93940. Phone: (831) 657-6315. Fax: (831) 657-6320.

  • District office: 1026 Palm St, Suite 201, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401. Phone: (805) 549-3784. Fax:  (805) 549-3779.

  • District office: 701 Ocean St. Suite 318A. Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Phone: (831) 425-0401. Fax: (831) 425-5124.

Related News

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California Local Pin Marker From Lookout Santa Cruz...

State Sen. John Laird will seek reelection in 2024, which would be his finale before he terms out as a state legislator. Laird agreed to hop on the phone for a Q&A a day after announcing his plan to run.

California Local Pin Marker From Monterey Herald...

Elected in 2020, Laird said. "I've enjoyed just getting things done and I want to keep doing that."

California Local Pin Marker From Santa Cruz Sentinel...

Says Laird, who was first elected to the state Senate in 2020, “It has been an amazingly successful couple of years so far.”

California Local Pin Marker From Santa Cruz County Sentinel...

Senate Bill 850, signed into law Monday, ensures that children in nontraditional families receive survivors’ benefits. Sen. John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, introduced the bill in response to the situation that faced the family of Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputy Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller.

California Local Pin Marker From Santa Cruz County Sentinel...

State Sen. John Laird, the former Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, has been appointed as one of six non-voting representatives of the state legislature to the Coastal Conservancy.
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