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Former Assemblyman Richard E. 'Dick' Floyd, 80, passes away

August 12, 2011 |  5:38 pm

Floyd Former state Assemblyman Richard E. “Dick” Floyd, a colorful and quotable lawmaker who served in the Legislature for more than 15 years, passed away in his Sacramento home on Thursday. He was 80.

Floyd, a Democrat who represented South Los Angeles from 1980 to 1992 and 1996 to 2000, died after a battle with diabetes, said Martha Felix, his companion.

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) called Floyd “one of the legendary figures of California politics.”

“He was an outspoken — sometimes notoriously so — advocate for those Californians whose voices are not always heard in government,” Pérez said in a statement. “Mr. Floyd was a passionate defender of all Californians, and I will truly miss him.”

Capitol Weekly, a newspaper that covers state government, called Floyd in a 2005 profile a “savvy, flamboyant lawmaker who savored profanity almost as much as a good cigar and indulged in both.”

Floyd was perhaps best known as for his push to require motorcyclists to wear helmets. After Gov. George Deukmejian vetoed such legislation in 1988, Floyd charged that "the governor just doesn't have any guts." The next governor, Pete Wilson, signed a similar measure into law.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento

Photo: Former Assemblyman Dick Floyd. Credit: AP.