Former state Assemblymember John Laird’s appointment as director of California’s Resources Agency recently moved through the state Senate Rules Committee, with the five-member panel voting unanimously in favor of his appointment. Laird, who Governor Jerry Brown appointed to the post in January, said he believes the environmental agency should play an economic role. “A strong Resources Agency is also a strong partner in our economy and with jobs, whether it’s in the siting of new renewables, the visitor serving industry, making sure water is reliable to different parts of the state, those are all economic engines and things that are very important to the jobs and the economy,” he said. As an Assemblymember Laird sponsored “green” buildings and renewables legislation. He represented California’s 27th Assembly district from December 2002 to November 2008 and is a former chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. The Resources Agency has 25 different departments, boards, commissions, and conservancies with almost 18,000 employees. The California Energy Commission and Department of Water Resources are among the state entities within the Resources Agency purview. Although appointed to his current position by the governor, he still faces full confirmation by the state Senate, something that’s expected within two weeks, according to Rules Committee chair Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).