The state Senate has formally named Los Angeles Democrat Kevin de Leon as its next leader.

"I can guarantee you that history will remember Pro Tem Kevin de Leon," current State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said.

Steinberg says he'll step down on October 15th.

De Leon will become just the second Latino leader of the state senate, but the first since the 1880s.

His name was mentioned in a federal corruption probe against a fellow lawmaker.

There are three senators facing charges, but de Leon as not a target. He says the Senate has a renewed emphasis on ethics now.

"One of our greatest strengths here in the Senate is actually the intimacy, the fact that there's only 40 senators here," de Leon said. 

De Leon was first elected to the State Assembly in 2006.

He made his mark championing rights for low-wage workers.