Senate President Pro Tempore
Steinberg is the President pro Tempore of the California State Senate. In February 2008, he was selected by Senate Democrats to become Pro Tem in the next legislative session, when the incumbent would be termed-out. He took office in November 2008 as the first Senate leader from Sacramento since 1883.
Before being elevated to Pro Tem, he was Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. He also chaired the Senate Select Committee on High School Graduation., the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, and the Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism.
As a member of the State Senate, Steinberg continued many of the same causes he had undertaken as a member of the Assembly. He continued his work on improving test scores, aiding under performing schools, lowering dropout rates, and improving the state’s mental health system. In 2007, Steinberg introduced a bill to cap at 20 the number of hours high school students can work after school if their grade point average is not 2.5 or higher.