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

Fiscal Emergency Special Sessions

The Governor’s proclamation must identify the nature of the fiscal emergency and submitted to the Legislature

By Chris Micheli, October 12, 2022 7:30 am

In addition to extraordinary or special sessions being called by the Governor, California allows for special sessions in “fiscal emergencies.” Adopted by the voters in March 2004 as Proposition 58, Section 10 of Article IV of the California Constitution was amended to provide for special sessions to address a state fiscal emergency.

Subdivision (f) in Section 10 provides that, “if the Governor determines that, for that fiscal year, General Fund revenues will decline substantially below the estimate of General Fund revenues upon which the budget bill for that fiscal year, as enacted, was based, or General Fund expenditures will increase substantially above that estimate of General Fund revenues, or both, the Governor may issue a proclamation declaring a fiscal emergency and shall thereupon cause the Legislature to assemble in special session for this purpose.”

The Governor’s proclamation must identify the nature of the fiscal emergency and the proclamation must be submitted by the Governor to the Legislature, accompanied by proposed legislation to address the fiscal emergency.

In addition, if the Legislature fails to pass and send to the Governor a bill or bills to address the fiscal emergency by the 45th day following the issuance of the proclamation, the Legislature may not act on any other bill, nor may the Legislature adjourn for a joint recess, until that bill or those bills have been passed and sent to the Governor.

Finally, a bill addressing the fiscal emergency declared pursuant to this section is required to contain a statement to that effect. This language is contained at the end of a bill in a “plus section.”

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