Critical deadlines for legislation being considered in the California Legislature

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By Chris Micheli

The California Legislature works on the basis of deadlines for moving measures (bills, resolutions and constitutional amendments) through the legislative process. The Assembly Chief Clerk and the Senate Secretary each maintain information related to these legislative deadlines.

Based upon the legislative calendar and the Joint Rules of the Assembly and Senate, the following are key dates during the calendar year for individuals monitoring the legislative process to be aware of:

Statutes take effect on January 1 (Art. IV, Sec. 8(c)).

Legislature reconvenes (J.R. 51(a)(1)).

Budget Bill must be submitted by Governor by January 10 (Art. IV, Sec. 12(a)).

Last day to submit bill requests to the Office of Legislative Counsel.

Last day for bills to be introduced (J.R. 61(a)(1), J.R. 54(a)).

Spring Recess begins upon adjournment (J.R. 51(a)(2)).

Legislature reconvenes from Spring Recess (J.R. 51(a)(2)).

Last day for policy committees to hear and report fiscal bills for referral to fiscal committees (J.R. 61(a)(2)).

Last day for policy committees to hear and report to the floor nonfiscal bills (J.R. 61(a)(3)).

Last day for policy committees to meet prior to June 5 (J.R. 61(a)(4)).

Last day for fiscal committees to hear and report bills to the floor (J.R. 61 (a)(5)).

Last day for fiscal committees to meet prior to June 5(J.R. 61 (a)(6)).

No committee may meet for any purpose except for Rules Committee and Conference Committees (J.R. 61(a)(7)).

Last day to pass bills out of house of origin (J.R. 61(a)(8)).

Committee meetings may resume (J.R. 61(a)(9)).

Budget Bill must be passed by midnight (Art. IV, Sec. 12(c)(3)).

Last day for policy committees to hear and report fiscal bills for referral to fiscal committees (J.R. 61(a)(10).

Last day for policy committees to hear and report bills (J.R. 61(a)(11)).

Summer Recess begins upon adjournment, provided Budget Bill has been passed (J.R. 51 (a)(3)).

Legislature reconvenes from Summer Recess (J.R. 51 (a)(3)).

Last day for fiscal committees to meet and report bills to the Floor (J.R. 61(a)(12)).

Floor session only. No committee may meet for any purpose (J.R. 61(a)(13)).

Last day to amend on the Floor (J.R. 61(a)(14)).

Last day for any bill to be passed (J.R. 61(a)(15)). Interim Recess begins on adjournment (J.R. 51(a)(4)).

Last day for Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature on or before Sept. 15 and in the Governor’s possession after Sept. 15 (Art. IV, Sec.10(b)(1)).

One of the critical aspects of the legislative calendar relates to Joint Rule 61 deadlines. As it relates to JR 61, the following are the key provisions:

Bills acted upon by a committee deadline for which amendments are recommended have two legislative days after that deadline during which they may be reported (J.R. 61(c)).

Rules Committees are exempt from these deadlines (J.R. 61(f)).

Bills which are referred to an Assembly or Senate committee (pursuant to J.R. 26.5 or A.R. 77.2) are exempt from these deadlines (see also J.R. 61(g), J.R. 61(h)).

Bills related to the budget under subdivision (e) of Section 12, of Article IV of the California Constitution are exempt from these deadlines (J.R. 61(i)).

A policy committee or fiscal committee may meet for the purpose of hearing and reporting a constitutional amendment, or a bill which would go into immediate effect pursuant to Section 8 of Article IV of the California Constitution at any time other than those periods when no committee may meet for any purpose (J.R. 61(i)).

Joint and Concurrent Resolutions are exempt from these deadlines (J.R. 6).

Another important calendar item is the listing of dates on which Assembly or Senate measures may be considered. Article IV, Section 8(a), of the California Constitution provides that, at regular sessions no bill other than the Budget Bill may be heard or acted on by committee or either house until the 31st day after the bill is introduced unless the house dispenses with this requirement by roll call vote entered in the Journal, three-fourths of the membership concurring.

In addition, Joint Rule 55 provides that no bill other than the Budget Bill may be heard or acted upon by committee or either house until the bill has been in print for 30 days.

These are the most critical deadlines for legislation being considered in the California Legislature. It is important to consult the most current versions of the Assembly Rules, Senate Rules, and Joint Rules in order to double-check any important deadlines that may impact legislation of interest to you. Individuals can also consult with the Office of the Chief Clerk of the Assembly or the Office of the Secretary of the Senate.

 

Chris Micheli is a Principal with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at McGeorge School of Law in its Capital Lawyering Program.

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