Home>Articles>For First Time in Several Years Joint Rules Set to Be Adopted by California Legislature
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For First Time in Several Years Joint Rules Set to Be Adopted by California Legislature

Normally, the Joint Rules are adopted at the beginning of each two-year Session

By Chris Micheli, March 4, 2022 10:00 am

For the first time in several years, the California Legislature is poised to adopt Joint Rules which are binding on the Assembly and Senate. Normally, the Joint Rules are adopted at the beginning of each two-year Session, just as the Assembly Rules and Senate Rules are adopted in December at the start of the new Session.

However, that has not occurred since the 2017-18 Legislative Session, which means that the last version is in effect per custom and practice of the houses. In other words, the last Joint Rules in effect apply until Joint Rules are passed for the current session, which should occur next week.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 82 (Atkins), which was introduced on March 3, contains the sixty-plus Joint Rules (JR). These Joint Rules, once adopted by both houses by majority vote, will apply for the remainder of the 2021-22 Legislative Session, which concludes on August 31.

There are several changes, including JR 28(c) which allows the Assembly Speaker and Senate President pro Tem to appoint up to eight legislators from each house to sit as conferees on the Budget Conference Committee. There are also changes to the rules affecting conference committees themselves. Several JR changes grant powers directly to the Senate President pro Tem, rather than the Senate Rules Committee. And, JR 60 provides that the Swing Space is also a location for the Legislature to meet and vote on measures.

The following is a summary of the provisions of the Joint Rules of the Senate and Assembly as contained in SCR 82.

JR 1 – Standing Committees – Each house appoints standing committees, including number and manner of selection.

[There is no JR 2.]

JR 3 – Joint Meeting of Committees – With the same or a like bill referred to committee in both the Assembly and Senate, the committee chairs may arrange for a joint meeting of their committee to consider the bill.

JR 3.5 – Effect of Adoption of Joint Rules – Adopting JR for special sessions may not be construed as affecting the JR from any previous session.

JR 4 – Definition of Word “Bill” – The word “bill” includes resolutions to ratify a proposed US Constitution amendment or to call a constitutional convention.

JR 5 – Concurrent and Joint Resolutions – Concurrent resolutions relate to matters affecting both houses; joint resolutions relate to matters with the federal government.

JR 6 – Resolutions Treated as Bills – Concurrent and joint resolutions (except those under JR 4) are treated as bills with specified exceptions.

JR 7 – Title of Bill – Every introduced bill must have a title that conveys an accurate idea of the bill’s contents; in amending a code section, mere reference to the section by number is not sufficient.

JR 8 – Division of Bill into Sections – A bill amending more than one section must contain a separate section for each section amended; bills that are amending existing law must be divided into short sections.

JR 8.5 – Digest of Bills Introduced – A bill cannot be introduced unless it has a cover from Legislative Counsel and the Digest prepared by Legislative Counsel that shows the changes to existing law being proposed; the Digest must be printed on the introduced bill on its first page.

JR 8.6 – Digest of Bills Amended – When a bill is amended, the Senate Secretary of Assembly Chief Clerk must order Legislative Counsel to prepare an amended Digest and have it printed; Digest must be amended to show changes that are proposed to existing law.

JR 8.7 – Errors in Digest – If a material error in a printed Digest it brought to Legislative Counsel’s attention, Counsel must prepare a corrected Digest; if warranted, a corrected print of the bill as introduced must be ordered.

JR 8.8 – Bills Amending Title 9 of the Government Code – A member who is first named on a Political Reform Act bill must notify the Assembly Chief Clerk or Senate Secretary of the nature of the bill; a copy of the bill must be delivered to the FPPC.

JR 8.9 – Bills Amending the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act – A member who is first named on a California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act bill must notify the Assembly Chief Clerk or Senate Secretary of the nature of the bill; a copy of the bill must be available in the Bill Room for access by the public and news media.

JR 8.95 – Bills Amending Section 6 of the Smaller Classes, Safer Schools and Financial Accountability Act – A member who is first named on a charter school operations bill must notify the Assembly Chief Clerk or Senate Secretary of the nature of the bill; a copy of the bill must be available in the Bill Room for access by the public and news media.

JR 8.96 – Bills Amending the Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Act – A member who is first named on a Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Act bill must notify the Assembly Chief Clerk or Senate Secretary of the nature of the bill; a copy of the bill must be available in the Bill Room for access by the public and news media; at least 12 days prior to passage, the Assembly Chief Clerk or Senate Secretary must print, publish on the Internet, and distribute the final form of the bill

JR 9 – Restrictions as to Amendments – An amendment must relate to the same subject as the original measure; an amendment is not in order when all that would be done to the bill is the addition of a coauthor or coauthors, unless Rules Committee grants prior approval.

JR 10 – Changes in Existing Law to be Marked by Author – In a bill amending or repealing a code section, any new matter must be underlined, and any matter omitted must be in “strikeout” type; when printed, the new matter is in italics and the omitted matter is in “strikeout”; when an entire title, part, division, chapter, or article is repealed, it is not set forth in the bill.

JR 10.5 – Rereferral to Fiscal and Rules Committees – A must be referred to the fiscal committee of each house if it appropriates money, results in a substantial expenditure of state money, result in a substantial increase or loss of state revenue, or result in substantial reduction of state money expended; this rule may be suspended with Rules Committee approval and 2/3 vote of the house.

JR 10.6 – Short Title – A bill cannot add a short title that names a current or former legislator.

JR 10.7 – Heading of Bills – A bill or resolution may be authored only by a legislator or committee of the house of origin unless written approval is given by the Senate President pro Tem and the Assembly Speaker; legislators or committees not of the house of origin can be principal co-authors or co-authors; a bill cannot indicate it was introduced at the request of anyone.

JR 10.8 – Consideration of Bills – The constitutional 30-day in print rule may be dispensed with by filing a written request with the Assembly Chief Clerk or Senate Secretary, transmitted to Rules Committee, which determines if there is an urgent need to dispense with the waiting period; if Rules Committee recommends it, ¾ of the house must vote in favor of the resolution.

JR 11 – Printing of Amendments – Any bill amended must be immediately reprinted; new matter must be in italics and matter omitted must be in strikeout; if amendments omit the entire contents of the bill, that matter does not need to be reprinted in the amended version.

JR 12 – Manner of Printing Bills – State Printer must observe all directions in printing measures.

JR 13 – Distribution of Legislative Publications – Senate Secretary and Assembly Chief Clerk must order a sufficient number of bills and publications necessary for legislative requirements; no more than one copy of a bill or publication, nor more than 100 total, may be distributed for free; State Printer fixes the cost of bills and publications; total number of each bill printed cannot exceed 2,500.

JR 13.1 – Legislative Index – Legislative Counsel must publish periodically a cumulative Legislative Index including tables of sections affected; State Printer must print the Index.

JR 13.3 – Summary Digest – Legislative Counsel must compile and prepare a summary digest of legislation passed at each session; digest is printed separately and may be made available to the public.

JR 13.5 – Statutory Record – Legislative Counsel must prepare a cumulative statutory record, which must be printed.

JR 14 – Printing of the Daily Journal – State Printer must print copies of the Daily Journal of each day’s proceedings; at the end of session, State Printer must print and bind in book for the Daily Journals.

JR 15 – What Shall Be Printed in the Daily Journal – Specified items must be printed in each Daily Journal, including messages, introduced measures, every vote taken, and account of proceedings.

JR 16 – Printing of the Daily File – A Daily File must be printed each day a house is in session.

JR 17 – Printing of History – Each house must print a complete Weekly History of all bills, constitutional amendments, and concurrent, joint, and house resolutions.

JR 18 – Authority for Printing Orders – State Printer may not print any matter other than that provided by law or the rules, except by written order signed by the Senate Secretary or Assembly Chief Clerk.

JR 19 – Secretary and Chief Clerk to Keep Records – Senate Secretary and Assembly Chief Clerk must keep a complete and accurate record of each action taken on every bill.

JR 20 – Secretary and Chief Clerk Shall Endorse Bills – Senate Secretary and Assembly Chief Clerk must endorse on every original or engrossed bill a statement of all actions taken.

JR 21 – After a Bill Has Been Passed by the Senate or Assembly – When a bill has been passed by either house, it has to be transmitted promptly to the other; the procedure of referring bills to committees is determined by the respective houses.

JR 22 – Messages to Be in Writing Under Proper Signatures – Notice of house action must be in writing and with Senate Secretary’s signature or Assembly Chief Clerk’s signature, and a receipt given.

JR 22.1 – Consent Calendar: Uncontested Bills – Committees can report an uncontested bill out of committee with the recommendation that it be placed on the Consent Calendar; “uncontested bill” means a bill that (a) receives a do-pass or do-pass-as-amended recommendation from the committee to which it is referred, by unanimous vote of the members present provided a quorum is present, (b) has no opposition expressed by any person present at the committee meeting with respect to the final version of the bill as approved by the committee, and (c) prior to final action by the committee, has been requested by the author to be placed on the Consent Calendar.

JR 22.2 – Consent Calendar – Following second reading and adoption of amendments, a bill certified by the committee chairperson as an uncontested bill is placed on the Consent Calendar; if such a bill is amended from the floor, it is not a Consent Calendar bill and must be returned to the Third Reading File; any legislator can object to the placement or retention of any bill on the Consent Calendar; such bills cannot be considered for adoption until the second legislative day.

JR 22.3 – Consideration of Bills on Consent Calendar – A bill on the Consent Calendar is not debatable; prior to the first bill, the presiding officer must call to the attention of the legislators that the next rollcall will be the rollcall on the first bill on the Consent Calendar; the

Consent Calendar is considered as the last order of business on the Daily File.

JR 23.5 – Procedure on Defeat of More Than Majority Bill – Whenever a bill requires a vote of more than 21 votes in the Senate and more than 41 votes in the Assembly and the bill fails to receive the necessary votes to make all sections effective, further action may not be taken on the bill, except that an amendment to remove all sections requiring the higher vote for passage from the bill is in order prior to consideration of further business.

JR 24 – Enrollment of Bill After Passage – After a bill has passed both houses, it must be printed in enrolled form and compared by the Engrossing and Enrolling Clerk and the proper committee of the house where it originated to determine that it is in the form approved by the houses. The enrolled bill is signed by the Senate Secretary and Assembly Chief Clerk and presented without delay to the Governor; After enrollment and signature by the officers of the Legislature, constitutional amendments, and concurrent and joint resolutions, are filed without delay in the office of the Secretary of State.

JR 25 – Amendments to Amended Bills Must Be Attached – Whenever a bill or resolution is amended in the other house, the measure must immediately be reprinted as amended; amendments are attached to the bill or resolution and endorsed “adopted” or “concurred in,”

JR 25.5 – Amendments to Concurrent and Joint Resolutions – When these resolutions are amended to just add coauthors, the resolution may not be reprinted unless specifically requested.

JR 26 – To Concur or Refuse to Concur in Amendments – The house of origin must either “concur” or “refuse to concur” in the amendments. If the house of origin concurs, that house notifies the other and the bill is ordered to enrollment.

JR 26.5 – Reference to Committee – When a bill returns for a concurrence vote, the Legislative Counsel must promptly prepare and transmit to the Assembly Chief Clerk and Assembly Speaker for an Assembly bill, or to the Senate Secretary and Chairperson of the Senate Rules Committee for a Senate bill, a brief digest summarizing the effect of the amendment made in the other house; a concurrence vote is not in order until the Digest has appeared in the Daily File or an analysis of the bill has been prepared and distributed; if the other house made a substantial substantive change in the bill, the Senate Rules Committee or Assembly Speaker refers the bill to an appropriate standing committee; the committee may recommend concurrence or nonconcurrence, or hold the bill in committee; this rule may be dispensed with by a majority vote of the house.

JR 27 – Concurring in Amendments Adding Urgency Section – When the other house adds an urgency clause, a specified procedure is to be followed; the urgency section is read and put to a vote; the second vote is whether to concur in the amendments; both require a 2/3 vote of the house.

JR 28 – When Senate or Assembly Refuses to Concur – If the house of origin refused to concur in the amendments, a conference committee must be appointed for each house according to the procedures specified in this rule; the Assembly Speaker and President pro Tem make the appointments; for the budget bill conference committee, as many as eight legislators from each house.

JR 28.1 – Conference Committees – For any other conference committee, the President pro Tem and Assembly Speaker each select two members from those voting with the majority and the other member from the minority.

JR 29 – Conference Committee Organization and Reports – The first Senator named on the conference committee acts as chairperson of the committee from the Senate, and the first Member of the Assembly named on the committee acts as chairperson of the committee from the Assembly; the chair for the house of origin arranges the time and place of meeting of the conference committee, and prepare or direct the preparation of reports; a report requires at least two votes from members of both houses; the conference report is not subject to amendment.

JR 29.5 – Conference Committee Meetings – All meetings of any conference committee on the Budget Bill are open and readily accessible to the public; duties of the conference committee chair are specified; a conference committee cannot approve any provision that has not been heard by the policy committee of each house.

JR 30 – Conference Committee Reports – If the conference report requires amendment to the bill, it must be reprinted with those amendments; a report must by noticed in the Daily File, available on the Internet, and printed before it can be considered; a conference committee report is not in order unless it has been received by the Senate Secretary and Assembly Chief Clerk at least three calendar days preceding the scheduled commencement of the recess.

JR 30.5 – Conference Committee Reports on Urgency Statutes – When a conference report recommends an amendment with an urgency clause, the procedure and vote is specified in this rule.

JR 30.7 – Failure to Agree on Report – If at least two conferees from both houses cannot agree on a report, a letter is sent to the Senate Secretary and Assembly Chief Clerk.

JR 31 – Authority When Rules Do Not Govern – All relations between the houses that are not covered by the JR are governed by the latest edition of Mason’s Manual.

JR 32 – Press Rules – Any person desiring privileges of an accredited press representative are required to apply to the President pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly; the application required must be authenticated in a manner that is satisfactory to the Standing Committee of the Capitol Correspondents Association of California, which must see that occupation of seats and desks in the Senate and the Assembly Chambers is confined to bona fide correspondents of reputable standing in their business. Numerous other provisions are contained in this rule.

JR 33 – Dispensing with Joint Rules – A joint rule may not be dispensed with except by a vote of 2/3 of each house.

JR 33.1 – Dispensing with Joint Rules: Unanimous Consent – A JR may be dispensed with by one house may be done so by unanimous consent if the Rules Committee of that house has approved.

JR 34 – Opinions of Legislative Counsel – If Legislative Counsel issues a written opinion to any person other than the first-named author analyzing the constitutionality, operation, or effect of a bill or other legislative measure, the Legislative Counsel is authorized and instructed to deliver two copies of the opinion to the first-named author as promptly as feasible after the delivery of the original opinion and also to deliver a copy to any other author of the bill or measure who so requests.

JR 34.1 – Resolutions Prepared by Legislative Counsel – Whenever the Legislative Counsel has been requested to draft a resolution commemorating or taking note of any event, or a resolution congratulating or expressing sympathy toward any person, and subsequently receives a similar request from another legislator, the Legislative Counsel must inform that requester.

JR 34.2 – Resolutions – a concurrent resolution, Senate resolution, or House resolution may be introduced to memorialize the death of a present or former state or federal elected official or a member of the official’s immediate family; a concurrent resolution requesting the Governor to issue a proclamation may not be introduced without the prior approval of the Rules Committee.

JR 34.5 – Identical Drafting Requests – When Legislative Counsel determines that a legislator has requested the drafting of a bill that will be substantially identical to one already introduced, the Legislative Counsel must inform the legislator of that fact.

JR 35 – Expense of Members – Each legislator is entitled to reimbursement for living expenses while required to be in Sacramento to attend a session of the Legislature, while traveling to and from or in attendance at a committee meeting, or while attending to any legislative function or responsibility.

JR 35.5 – Issuance of Subpoenas – A subpoena requiring the attendance of a witness or the production of documents may be issued by the Senate President pro Tem or the Assembly Speaker, or the chairperson of a committee conducting an investigation only if permission has been secured from the Rules Committee.

JR 36 – Investigating Committees – In order to expedite the work of the Legislature, either house, or both houses jointly, may by resolution or statute provide for the appointment of committees to ascertain facts and to make recommendations as to any subject within the scope of legislative regulation or control; there are specified rules for investigating committees.

JR 36.1 – Expenses of Committee Employees – Committee employees are entitled to allowances in lieu of actual expenses for hotel accommodations, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, at the rates fixed by the Department of General Services.

JR 36.5 – Appointment of Committees – This rule applies whenever a joint committee is created by a statute or resolution that either provides that appointments be made and vacancies be filled in the manner provided for in the Joint Rules, or makes no provision for the appointment of members or the filling of vacancies.

JR 36.7 – Appointment of Joint Committee Chairpersons – The chairperson of each joint committee, except the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, are appointed by the Joint Rules Committee.

JR 36.8 – Joint Committee Funds – Each joint committee, except the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, must expend the funds made available to it in compliance with the policies set forth by the Joint Rules Committee.

JR 37 – Joint Legislative Budget Committee – There is the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, which is a continuing body, which ascertains facts and makes recommendations to the Legislature concerning the State Budget, the revenues and expenditures of the state, and the organization and functions of the state and its departments, subdivisions, and agencies, with a view to reducing the cost of the state government and securing greater efficiency and economy; there are eight Senators and eight Assembly Members; there are rules for filling vacancies and other actions.

JR 37.1 – Citizen Cost Impact Report – Any legislator or committee may recommend that the Legislative Analyst prepare a citizen cost impact analysis on proposed legislation, after review by the Rules Committee, which makes the final determination as to which bills shall be assigned for preparation of an impact analysis; there are rules for the Legislative Analyst in choosing specific bills and what the citizen cost impact analyses must include.

JR 37.3 – Joint Legislative Audit Committee – JLAC is created pursuant to the Legislature’s rulemaking authority; the committee consists of seven Senators and seven Assembly Members.

JR 37.4 – Study or Audits – JLAC must establish priorities and assign all work to be done by the California State Auditor.

JR 37.5 – Waiver – Appropriating funds for the cost of a study or audit may be waived by JLAC; the chairperson of the committee shall notify the Secretary of the Senate, the Chief Clerk of the Assembly, and the Legislative Counsel in writing when it is waived.

JR 37.7 – Administrative Regulations – Any Senator or Assembly Member may request through the Senate President pro Tem or Assembly Speaker to direct a standing committee or the Office of Research to study any proposed or existing regulation or group of related regulations.

JR 40 – Joint Rules Committee – The Joint Rules Committee is created, which has a continuing existence and may meet, act, and conduct its business during sessions of the Legislature or any recess; the members are designated and its activities are set forth in this section; extensive rules are set forth.

JR 40.1 – Review of Administrative Regulations – The Joint Rules Committee approves any request for a priority review made by a committee submits approved requests to the Office of Administrative Law.

JR 40.3 – Subcommittee on Legislative Space and Facilities – A Joint Rules subcommittee is known as the Subcommittee on Legislative Space and Facilities; the members are designated and they are charged with considering the housing of the Legislature and legislative facilities; the subcommittee is charged with specified activities.

JR 41 – Claims for Workers’ Compensation – Rules Committee Chairs of each house must sign any required worker’s compensation report regarding injuries or death arising out of and within the course of employment suffered by any legislator, officer, or employee of the house, or any employee of a standing or investigating committee.

JR 42 – Information Concerning Committees – Rules Committees are required to provide for a continuous cumulation of information concerning the membership, organization, meetings, and studies of legislative investigating committees; the information is made public and must be published periodically.

JR 43 – Joint Committees – Any concurrent resolution creating a joint committee or any concurrent resolution allocating moneys from the Assembly or Senate Operating Funds must be referred to the Rules Committees.

JR 44 – Conflict of Interest – Legislators may not, while serving, have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, engage in any business or transaction or professional activity, or incur any obligation of any nature, that is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of the legislator’s duties in the public interest and of the Member’s responsibilities as prescribed by the laws of this state; legislators are prohibited from engaging in specified conduct.

JR 45 – Ethics Committees – The Senate Committee on Legislative Ethics and the Assembly Legislative Ethics Committee receive complaints concerning legislators of their respective houses, and may investigate and make findings and recommendations concerning violations.

JR 50 – Designating Legislative Sessions – Regular session must be identified with odd-numbered year followed by a hyphen and then last two digits of the following even-numbered year.

JR 50.3 – Designating Extraordinary Sessions – All special session must be designated in numeric order by session in which it was convened.

JR 50.5 – Days and Dates – “Day” means a calendar day. When a deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Monday that is a holiday, the date is deemed to refer to the preceding Friday; when the date falls on a holiday on a weekday other than a Monday, the date is deemed to refer to the preceding day.

JR 51 – Legislative Calendar – The Legislature is required to observe a specified calendar during the regular session which is contained in this rule.

JR 52 – Recall from Recess – The Legislature may be recalled from joint recess and reconvene in regular session by specified means.

JR 53 – Procedure on Suspending Rules by Single House – Whenever these rules authorize suspension of the Joint Rules as to a particular bill by action of a single house after approval by the Rules Committee, specified procedures are required to be followed.

JR 54 – Introduction of Bills – A bill may not be introduced in regular session after specified dates; these deadlines do not apply to constitutional amendments, committee bills, or bills introduced with the permission of the Assembly Speaker or the Senate Committee on Rules; bills cannot be introduced during a recess; bills are numbered consecutively during the regular session; unless approved by the Rules Committee, a legislator may not author a bill during a session that would have substantially the same effect as a bill the legislator previously introduced during that session, except if the bill was vetoed by the Governor or its provisions were “chaptered out” by a later chaptered bill.

JR 55 – 30-Day Waiting Period – A bill other than the Budget Bill may not be heard or acted upon by committee or either house until the bill has been in print for 30 days; this rule may be suspended by approval of the Rules Committee and 2/3 vote of the house.

JR 56 – Return of Bills – Bills introduced in the first year of the regular session and passed by the house of origin on or before the January 31st constitutional deadline are “carryover bills.” This does not include constitutional amendments.

JR 57 – Appropriation Bills – Appropriation bills must be held, after enrollment, by the Assembly Chief Clerk Senate Secretary and be sent to the Governor immediately after the Budget Bill has been enacted.

JR 58 – Urgency Clauses – An amendment to add an urgency clause may not be adopted unless the author of the amendment has first secured the approval of the Rules Committee.

JR 58.5 – Vetoes – The Legislature may consider a Governor’s veto for only 60 days, not counting days when the Legislature is in joint recess.

JR 59 – Publications – During periods of joint recess, weekly, if necessary, these legislative publications must be published: Daily Files, Histories, and Daily Journals.

JR 60 – Committee Hearings – A standing committee cannot take action on a bill at any hearing held outside of the State Capitol or the State Office Building located at 1021 “O” Street, Sacramento, California; a bill may not be acted upon by a committee during a joint recess.

JR 61 – Deadlines – The deadlines set forth in this JR must be observed by the Senate and Assembly; the deadlines imposed by this rule do not apply to the Rules Committees, or a committee hearing a constitutional amendment or urgency bill at any time during the session; this rule may be suspended by approval of the Rules Committee on Rules and 2/3 vote of the house.

JR 62 – Committee Procedure – First reference committee hearings must have 4 days Daily File notice prior to the hearing; for subsequent hearings, there must be 2 days Daily File notice prior to the hearing; this notice may be waived by majority vote of the house; a bill can only be set for hearing three times; a vote can only occur after a hearing; reconsideration may be granted only one time; reconsideration may be granted within 15 days; if a bill fails in committee, it is returned to the Assembly Chief Clerk or Senate Secretary and may not be further considered; this rule may be suspended with Rules Committee approval and 2/3 vote of the house; committee votes are only by rollcall vote; a bill may not be passed out by a committee without a quorum being present, with specified exceptions; there are detailed rules about quorums.

JR 63 – Uniform Rules – Standing committees cannot use rules on the voting of bills that do not apply to bills of both houses.

JR 64 – Votes on Bills – Every meeting of the houses or committees where votes are taken must be public.

JR 65 – Conflicting Rules – JRs above Rule 50 prevail over any conflicting JR below that number.

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