Former CA lawmaker Gary Hart dies at 78
Former lawmaker and Secretary of Education Gary K. Hart died Thursday of pancreatic cancer. He was 78 years old.
Hart represented part of the Central Coast in the California Assembly from 1974 until 1982, when he was elected to the California Senate. Hart served in the Senate until 1994, representing a district that included parts of Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
Her legislative work has focused largely on education, the environment, and women’s rights. Hisbills helped establish California public charter schools, establish the state’s solar tax credit, and increase spousal support for divorced women.
“Hart has always said that much of its legislative success was due to its dedicated and loyal staff who helped draft bills and provided sound policy advice. He credited his ability to work closely with other lawmakers — including Republicans — as a key reason for his legislative successes, especially when Republican Governors (George) Deukmejian and (Pete) Wilson were in power. to sign or veto bills,” according to an obituary that Hart’s family provided to The Sacramento Bee.
Hart also unsuccessfully sought to establish public funding for political campaigns and to make changes to the ballot initiative process.
After leaving public office in 1994, Hart co-founded the California State University Institute for Education Reform. In 1998, Governor Gray Davis hired him to serve as secretary of education, where he helped guide Davis’ education program through the legislature the following year.
After retiring from politics, Hart served on the boards of several organizations, including the Public Policy Institute of California, the Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching, the Campaign for College Opportunity, and the Alder Graduate School of Education. .
Hart is survived by his wife of 52 years, Cary Hart, as well as three daughters and six grandchildren.
The family requests that contributions in Hart’s memory be made to the Sacramento County Office Resilience Scholarship Program, PO Box 269003, Sacramento, CA 95826.