Biography

Senator Ellen M. Corbett is serving her second term in the State Senate and has been serving as Senate Majority Leader for the past four years.   She is the second woman in history to serve in this leadership position.  

As Majority Leader, Senator Corbett is responsible for assisting with the setting of the Democratic agenda and managing the Senate’s Floor operations.

Throughout her legislative career, Senator Corbett has worked on pressing policy issues affecting California and East Bay residents, particularly issues focused on strengthening California’s economy, standing up for consumers and protecting our environment and natural resources while encouraging the growth of our green economy.

A lawyer and civic activist, Senator Corbett has authored over 160 bills that became law, including legislation:
·    requiring a seismic safety inventory of K-12 school buildings and recommendations for building improvements;
·    providing student loan options and associated risks information to students;
·    offering vital textbook pricing information to students to help drive down the cost of textbook prices;
·    protecting the privacy of victims of domestic violence and stalking;
·    offering emergency financial assistance to victims of sexual assault and/or domestic violence;
·    improving compliance with state and federal disability access laws;
·    preventing the sale of illegal guns at gun shows;
·    requiring retailers to honor gift cards with a balance of $10 or less with cash;
·    strengthening Internet privacy and computer account protections;
·    improving safety standards for limousine passengers;
·    requiring gender identity and sexual orientation training for judges;
·    crafting the California Car Buyers’ Protection Act;
·    prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors;
·    providing bottled water quality information to consumers;
·    expanding the statewide network of electric vehicle charging stations;
·    ensuring compliance with lead plumbing testing standards; and
·    requiring mortgage servicers to meet with borrowers before foreclosure.

Senator Corbett was also Lead Author of the historic California Homeowner Bill of Rights, as well as wrote the notable law (SB 1608) that created the California Commission on Disability Access and promotes compliance with disability access laws while also providing incentives to businesses to avoid unnecessary legislation.

In addition to chaptered legislation, Senator Corbett championed causes and bills that have benefited residents throughout California, including fighting to protect children’s safety and consumers’ personal and financial data on social media and Internet websites, combating human trafficking, facilitating development of 12-point font prescription drug labels to keep patients safe and heading the effort to include $2 million in the 2014-2015 state budget for brain mapping research in conjunction with the federal BRAIN Initiative to help uncover the causes and treatments for brain injuries and disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and mental illness.

As Chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee 3 on Health and Human Services, Senator Corbett fought to approve the Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Program to aid child victims of human trafficking, increased protections for residents of assisted living facilities and supported the Early Start program which provides intensive counseling for young children at risk of developing autism and other developmental disabilities.

While Chair of the Select Committee on Emerging Technology: Biotechnology and Green Energy Jobs, Senator Corbett hosted multiple hearings throughout California that highlighted the vital importance of Cal-BRAIN and brain mapping research, as well as emerging green and clean technology programs that could grow California’s economy and help fight climate change.

As Chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee from 2002 to 2004, Senator Corbett shepherded—for the first time in the history of state legislatures in the United States—committee passage of marriage equality legislation that brought California closer to ensuring that all Californians have the freedom to marry the person they love.  Senator Corbett also served as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2006 to 2010.

Senator Corbett has a long and distinguished history of public service in the district. She served as a City Councilmember and was the first woman to be elected Mayor of San Leandro. She has worked as an attorney and community college professor.

A native Californian, Senator Corbett was raised in the East Bay and attended local schools and the California State University, Hayward.  She graduated from the University of California, Davis and McGeorge School of Law.

Senator Corbett is the proud mother of a successful son, Ryan Boehme, who recently achieved national Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification and is currently completing his training as a paramedic.