David M. Lanier
David M. Lanier is the Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. appointed Lanier in November of 2013 to serve as his cabinet advisor on labor issues and employment programs for workers and businesses throughout California.
Secretary Lanier oversees the state departments and boards that enforce labor and occupational safety laws, provide state disability and unemployment insurance benefits, fund workforce training and apprenticeship programs, protect injured workers, and arbitrate public sector contract disputes. Upon his appointment, Lanier led the efforts to resolve the state’s unemployment insurance system failure. As a result, vulnerable out of work Californians had their phone calls answered and received their unemployment insurance payments on time.
Prior to his appointment, Lanier served as chief deputy legislative affairs secretary to Governor Brown. In this capacity, he was instrumental in the final negotiations and in securing bipartisan legislative approval of the Governor’s 2012 workers’ compensation reforms. This new law eliminates inefficiencies in the system and uses the savings to increase permanent disability benefits for injured workers. He led the Governor’s legislative efforts to overhaul enterprise zone tax credits and eliminate the state sales tax on manufacturing equipment purchases. Lanier also played a key role in the Governor’s efforts to direct increased resources to California’s neediest students and provide local discretion over school spending, and to fund the nation’s first high speed rail project.
Lanier spent nearly two decades serving in leadership positions in the California Legislature. From 1999 to 2011, he was a principal consultant and special advisor at the Assembly Speaker’s Office of Member Services. He served as chief of staff for California State Assemblymember Grace Napolitano from 1997 to 1998, senior consultant for the Joint Legislative Government Oversight Task Force from 1996 to 1997 and legislative director for California State Assemblymember Carole Migden from 1995 to 1996. He started as a legislative aide in the State Capitol in 1993.
Secretary Lanier received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Davis with his wife and two children.