Sacramento, CA — Mother Lode Senator Tom Berryhill has been away from the state capitol over the past few months, and his office has not responded to questions regarding his absence, but there are indications it is health related.
Berryhill has represented the region in the state Assembly and Senate over the past decade and will term out of office at the end of the year. Legislative records show that Berryhill was at the capitol late into May as he voted in favor of a bill in a committee on the last day of the month that he authored that would have combined hunting and fishing licenses in the state. However, he was absent for the numerous end of session votes throughout June, July and August.
Berryhill was also replaced on the influential Senate Committee on Rules by fellow Republican Senator Scott Wilk on June 25. Telephone calls and emails from Clarke Broadcasting to Senator Berryhill’s communications office over the past two days have not been returned. Those that answered the phone in his capitol office could not provide any comment on the matter.
On the Senate floor this week lawmakers paid tribute to all of the termed out or retiring lawmakers, and Berryhill was absent. Lawmakers gave him high praise for being “genuinely nice,” “level-headed,” a “go-getter” and an “optimist.”
During the speeches, and indicating that his recent leave has been health related, Senator Patricia Bates stated, “Let us all wish him well, and say a prayer for him, and hope that we see him back in the arena because he has the courage and the fight that we all need to have as we go forward in this great state of California.”
Berryhill is in his final term as state Senator, but he is on the November ballot in Stanislaus County for an open Board of Supervisors seat.