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California State Assembly Chamber. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Globe Quiz on the California Legislature

T or F: The Legislature must enact at least one bill when called into special session

By Chris Micheli, April 21, 2023 7:33 am

This quiz is to test your knowledge about the California Legislature.

  1. The Legislature must adopt a balanced budget pursuant to the California Constitution.
  1. There are six Assembly Budget Subcommittees and five Senate Budget Subcommittees.
  1. The Senate has adopted an official Code of Conduct for its members and the Assembly has adopted the same document.
  1. All legislative employees may not accept a gift or gifts totaling more than $10 in a calendar month from a registered lobbyist.
  1. The Appropriations Committees in each house have jurisdiction over the annual Budget Bill.
  1. The Governor’s line-item veto authority allows the Governor to reduce or eliminate an item of appropriation and eliminate substantive statutory provisions in a bill related to that appropriation.


  1. Only the Political Reform Act provides ethics rules for state legislators to follow.
  1. What are the differences between the Budget Bill, Budget Bill Junior, and Budget Trailer Bills?
  1. A bill that is “on call” has not passed out of committee or off the floor.
  1. Assembly Members can introduce a maximum of 40 bills per Session and Senators can introduce a maximum of 40 bills per Session, absent a rule waiver.
  1. Legislators may serve on no more than 6 standing committees per Session.
  1. The Senate has the sole power of impeachment, and an impeachment is tried in the Assembly.
  1. The Senate or Assembly is the judge of the qualifications of its respective members.
  1. The Senate and Assembly Daily Journals list bills that are introduced in the house and contain roll call votes taken on the floor of the house.
  1. The are only two types of bills that are not subject to the August 31 deadline for action on bills at the end of a two-year regular session of the Legislature.
  1. The three forms of direct democracy are found in Article IV of the state Constitution, where the other lawmaking powers are located.
  1. The Legislature must enact at least one bill when called into special session.
  1. The Governor must act on a bill within either 12 days or 30 days after the Legislature has passed a bill.
  1. Any bill enacted by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor is subject to a referendum by voters.
  1. The Legislature is exclusively vested with the lawmaking power.
  1. The Legislature has the power to authorize lotteries and provide for the regulation of horse races and horse race meetings and wagering on the results.
  1. When a vacancy occurs in the Legislature, the Governor is required to call an election to fill the vacancy.
  1. A 2-year session ends on November 30 of even-numbered years.
  1. A 2/3 vote is required to either expel a Member or to suspend a Member from the Legislature.
  1. Legislators may accept gifts and honorarium.
  1. The 40 seats are called Senate Districts and the 80 seats are called Assembly Districts.
  1. The Legislature must maintain video and audio recordings of official legislative proceedings for a minimum of 20 years.
  1. The state Constitution allows party caucuses to meet in private after public notice.
  1. A Member of the Legislature may be employed by the State during official recesses of the Legislative Session.
  1. Statewide elected officials can be impeached for any reason.

How did you do? The following are the answers:

        1. True – the Assembly has one more subcommittee than the Senate.
        2. True – the Governor must propose a balanced budget and the Legislature must enact a balanced budget, pursuant to the Constitution.
        3. False – only the Senate has adopted its formal Code of Conduct.
        4. False – only those who file a Form 700 are prohibited from receiving gifts of more than $10 from lobbyists.
        5. False – the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee and the Assembly Budget Committee have jurisdiction over the Budget Bill.
        6. False – the “blue pencil” authority is only to reduce or eliminate an item of appropriation.
        7. False – the state Constitution and Government Code also contain ethics rules for legislators.
        8. Budget bill is the main budget bill; there are one or more budget bills junior that amend the main budget bill; budget trailer bills make statutory changes to implement the budget.
        9. True – the “call” must be lifted and the vote announced.
        10. False – Assembly Members can introduce 50 bills per session, while Senators can introduce 40 bills per session.
        11. False – there is no limitation in either house’s rules.
        12. False – the Assembly impeaches and the Senate conducts the trial and determines whether removal from office should occur.
        13. True – the two houses have this role, and the courts will not interfere with that role.
        14. True – along with other important information on the official proceedings of the two houses.
        15. False – there are five types: bills calling an election, containing a tax levy, containing an urgency clause, making an appropriation, or a vetoed bill.
        16. False – Article IV is the legislative branch, while Article II contains the direct democracy provisions.
        17. False – while the Legislature must convene the special session once it has been called by the Governor, there is no legal requirement that any legislation be enacted, nor even be voted upon.
        18. False – there is confusion about when the clock starts running to trigger the 12-day or 30-day review. It begins when the bill has been presented/delivered to the Governor, not when the Legislature passes the bill.
        19. False – under Article II, Section 9 of the state constitution, the referendum is the power of the electors to approve or reject statutes or parts of statutes except urgency statutes, statutes calling elections, and statutes providing for tax levies or appropriations for usual current expenses of the State.
        20. False – the people reserve the powers of initiative (to propose statute or constitutional amendments) and referendum (to repeal statutes enacted by the Legislature).
        21. False – the Legislature has no power to authorize lotteries, and shall prohibit the sale of lottery tickets in the State.
        22. True – the special election must be called by the Governor.
        23. True – by operation of the state Constitution, at midnight on November 30 the Legislature adjourns sine die in the even-numbered year.
        24. True – the same vote threshold is required for both actions.
        25. False – the state Constitution provides “no Member of the Legislature may accept any honorarium…. The Legislature shall enact laws that ban or strictly limit the acceptance of a gift by a Member of the Legislature from any source if the acceptance of the gift might create a conflict of interest.”
        26. False – the State is divided into 40 Senatorial Districts and 80 Assembly Districts.
        27. True – they must be accessible to the public through the Internet for a period of no less than 20 years.
        28. False – there is no limitation on when members of the Senate or Assembly may meet in closed session.
        29. False – a Member cannot hold any office or employment under the State other than an elective office.
        30. False – state officers elected on a statewide basis, members of the State Board of Equalization, and judges of state courts are subject to impeachment for misconduct in office.


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3 thoughts on “Globe Quiz on the California Legislature

  1. Thank you for this quiz. It is so important that citizens understand the process of government and be involved in making legislation. This is why I am running for State Assembly 18 against Mia Bonta. The condition of our nation and state is rock bottom in terms of the economy, drugs, crime, education and the culture. This is deliberate on part of most of the legislators. Why does this legislature not pass bills to build many newnuclear power plants for example? Crime and drugs, we need to shut down the drug cartels in California and recall DA’s like Pamela Price, who have allowed Alameda County to become a haven criminals. Lastely, our banks like First Republic, Silicon Valley Bank and others are collasping as a result of allowing nationally and locally globalist speculators taking over our economy. As State Assembly member I would insist we cut the funding to all the green agenda and other projects that are sucking the life out of the people of our state and redirect that credit to the productive solutions. Their system is bankrupt and we need to enact the American System. More could be said! We need bold new leaders in our legislature, Mindy Pechenuk, Republican Candidate for State Assembly 18 in 2024

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