Excerpted from The Sacramento Bee
October 14, 2016

If there’s one lawmaker who appreciates the rules and traditions of the California Legislature, it’s Assemblyman Ken Cooley.

The Rancho Cordova Democrat has spent years steeped in the culture of Sacramento, having served as a staffer for more than a decade before winning his seat in 2012. His knowledge of the Capitol’s architectural history runs so deep that he gives tours of the building, and he commonly invokes legislative history and procedure during floor speeches.

All of which puts Cooley’s newest appointment in context. He has been tapped by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to lead the Assembly Rules Committee. He replaces outgoing Assemblyman Richard Gordon, D-Menlo Park, who was pushed aside by term limits.

In that capacity Cooley will oversee decisions that keep the house functioning smoothly, including matters of staffing and bill referrals. The latter can have a significant bearing on a bill’s fate, depending on how many committees it must pass and whether it will go before a panel with sympathetic members.

He’ll be there as efforts to renovate the Capitol annex unfold. Cooley said his focus will be on bolstering functions, like legislative oversight, that have eroded in the era of term limits. Voter-approved changes to term limits allow Assembly members to stay in the lower house for up to 12 years, twice as long as before.

“With longer-tern members it’s all about how we re-establish institutional capacity as a coequal branch of government,” Cooley said. “I feel I have the potential to be a particularly energetic Rules chair,” he added, “just because I bring so much experience.”


  • Fiscal Prudence
  • My City Hall
  • A Model Government

Ken's conservative financial habits reflect the values of his home life with Sydney, his wife of 36 years, who has served for many years as bookkeeper for Cordova Neighborhood Church.

His habit of care with money was deepened and reinforced by his 18 Year private sector business career as In-House Counsel to State Farm Insurance, one of America’s most successful financial enterprises. The stewardship of Ken’s city with tax dollars makes it a rarity — 8 yrs of balanced budgets, every year a surplus, never yet dipped into our reserves, chosen as an All America City during his second term as Mayor...

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Government works best when it is connected to those it serves.

I believe that, and during my 1st term as Mayor in 2005, I did something to make that idea a part of my city’s history and identity.

While still under construction, I opened our future City Council Chamber to City residents for an event I called ”My City Hall”. City residents – young and old - had one evening to enter the shell of our under construction City Hall...

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International study into effective governance makes City of Rancho Cordova its first stop.

The People’s Republic of China has 10 study missions now underway around the globe to explore how a variety of modern democratic societies manage change through deliberative government institutions. Rancho Cordova was singled out as the first stop for the team that is conducting its survey here in the United States. The clip that folllows was aired on Sacramenmto area television as the local news crews profiled the team from China’s visit to Rancho Cordova City Hall.

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