Following the Legislative Process in California

By Chris Micheli

For members of the public, there are numerous avenues to follow the California legislative process. Among the information that is valuable to utilize is that found on the Internet, but there is also Cal Channel to watch hearings and floor sessions. Among the methods that individuals can utilize to following legislation are:

Legislative Information website found at www.leginfo.legislature.ca.gov anyone can review the text of bills, analyses, bill histories, the status of pending bills, votes, etc. And, you can track a bill’s actions by “subscribing” to a bill.

Real Audio — this allows individuals to listen to live hearings, floor sessions and press conferences over the Internet.

Televising the Assembly and Senate — the Senate (found at http://senate.ca.gov/tvschedule )and Assembly (found at http://assembly.ca.gov/audioandtv )televise all floor sessions and many committee hearings. These can be watched on Cal Channel or on some local cable stations.

Bill tracking services that require payment of a fee for subscribing include State Net (found at https://www.lexisnexis.com/en-us/products/state-net.page ) and Capitol Track (found at http://www.capitoltrack.com/ ).

The Assembly Daily File and Senate Daily File contains the Officers of the Assembly and Senate, the Order of Business, the tentative schedule for the entire legislative session, as well as the bills that are scheduled to be heard on the floor and during committee hearings. There are also Daily File publications for Extraordinary Sessions once convened.

The Senate Daily Journal is the official record of business for the Senate and is published on a daily basis. The Journal lists bill introductions, parliamentary motions, and roll call votes in policy committees and on the Senate Floor. Any official action taken by the body is recorded in the Senate Daily Journal.

The Assembly Daily Journal is the official record of business that has been transacted in the Assembly on a daily basis. This publication shows all roll call votes, notes parliamentary motions, lists bill introductions, and records any other official actions taken by the Assembly.

The Senate History shows all actions taken on measures from the start of the legislative session. It contains detailed actions taken on Governor’s appointments requiring Senate confirmation. Also, the History is a source for several useful charts such as tracking member bill limits, chapters and vetoes.

The Assembly History is a publication that gives a comprehensive list of all actions taken on every bill. It is published in weekly volumes by the Assembly. Legislation dating back to 1850 can be viewed using the Assembly Chief Clerk’s archive publication feature.

Legislative Calendar provides the key dates and legislative deadlines for the current year of the Legislative Session, including bill introduction deadline, policy and fiscal committee deadlines, house of origin deadlines, recess dates, etc.

In general, legislative information is available on the Internet at the following California State Assembly Web site: www.assembly.ca.gov and Senate Web site: www.senate.ca.gov. You can also review the Assembly Chief Clerk Web site at www.clerk.assembly.ca.gov as well as the Senate Secretary Web site at www.secretary.senate.ca.gov.

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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