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California State Capitol. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

2021 Legislative Session Bill Introductions

Over the past decade, there have been between 2,200 to 2,500 bills introduced in the first year of Session

By Chris Micheli, February 26, 2021 2:06 am

Friday, February 19, was the last day to introduce bills for the 2021 Legislative Session. We saw 539 new bills (about 200 fewer than last year) introduced between the two houses on the final day last week. There was a total of 2,369 bills introduced this Session between the Senate and Assembly, including 1,252 bills introduced the last week alone. Of those 2,369 bills, there were 1,560 Assembly Bills and 809 Senate Bills introduced by the deadline.

So, how does that compare to other years? Over the past decade, there have been between 2,200 to 2,500 bills introduced in the first year of Session, which plays 2021 introductions in the middle. Below is a listing of bill introductions by the deadline for the past eight years.

  • Total 2020 bill introductions as of the deadline: 2,203
  • Total 2019 bill introductions as of the deadline: 2,576
  • Total 2018 bill introductions as of the deadline: 2,177
  • Total 2017 bill introductions as of the deadline: 2,495
  • Total 2016 bill introductions as of the deadline: 1,993
  • Total 2015 bill introductions as of the deadline: 2,297
  • Total 2014 bill introductions as of the deadline: 1,930
  • Total 2013 bill introductions as of the deadline: 2,256

As can be seen, as a general rule, the second year of the 2-year Legislative Session has fewer bill introductions. Nonetheless, the 2020 Session had more bill introductions than prior even-numbered years during the past decade.

Note that these figures only include bills; they do not include resolutions or constitutional amendments. And, of course, committees can still introduce bills past the deadline, rule waivers can be granted, etc. As a result, the final number of introduced bills each year are a dozen or so more than the figures listed in the chart above.

While the Legislature did not pursue 75% of the 2,200 bills that were introduced this year, Capitol observers will be watching to see how many of this year’s almost 2,400 bills move through the process. In broad terms, historically about 40% of all bills introduced become statutes.

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