One of the roles of the Office of Legislative Counsel in California is to update provisions of California’s 29 Codes (beginning with the Business and Professions Code and ending with the Welfare and Institutions Code) which contain more than half a million sections of law. These 29 Codes are where enacted bills (that create statutes) can be found.
As part of the important bill and amendment drafting that the Legislative Counsel attorneys complete each Legislative Session, the attorneys at the OLC make technical changes to existing laws to update the Codes to reflect current statutory language norms. As you might imagine, many of these changes that are cited below can often be dependent upon the context in which they are used.
Nonetheless, the efforts of Legislative Counsel attorneys include gender neutral drafting and making statements less “legalistic” and more affirmative in nature. The following are examples of some of the more common technical changes that readers will find in current bills that make their way through the legislative process in California:
prior to before which that California the state his or her their such the Internet Web site. internet website The provisions of this subdivision are This subdivision is No A bond shall not the 15th of June June 15 Nothing in this part shall This part does not Whether or not, Whether, It is recommended that every Every made application applied Nothing in this section shall be construed to This section does not where if In order to To In no case shall compensation Compensation shall not and/or or Persons riding bicycles are A person riding a bicycle is electronic-mail email ombudsman ombudsperson such as including chairman chair minor children children under 18 years of age and must shall telephonically, by telephone not appropriate inappropriate not eligible ineligible policeman, police officer, hereunder under this chapter woman person provided herein pursuant to this section
10 U.S.C. Section 101(d). Section 101(d) of Title 10 of the United States Code.
annually of each year shall be is eligible shall require requires motorman operator
a two-year period two years
These examples become amendments to the Codes in which they are found once the bill is enacted. In other words, Legislative Counsel attorneys cannot make even these purely technical changes to Code sections without a bill containing them being passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor. Hence, if the bill does not get enacted, then any recommended technical changes to existing Code sections do not get enacted either.
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