Home>Articles>Key Provisions of the Legislature’s Internal Rules – The Joint Rules – Part V

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

Key Provisions of the Legislature’s Internal Rules – The Joint Rules – Part V

Bills introduced in the first year and passed by the house of origin by January 31 are ‘carryover bills’

By Chris Micheli, April 17, 2020 2:24 am

This is Part V of Key Provisions of the Legislature’s Internal Rules – The Joint Rules – Part lV is herePart lll is herePart ll is here.  Part I is here.

Introduction of Bills – A bill may not be introduced in the first or second year of the regular session after specified dates. These deadlines do not apply to constitutional amendments, committee bills, or bills introduced with permission of the Assembly Speaker or the Senate Rules Committee. Bills cannot be introduced while the houses are in joint summer, interim or final recess. Bills are numbered consecutively during the regular session. The Assembly and Senate Desks remain open, except during a joint spring, summer, interim, or final recess for the introduction of bills during business hours Mondays through Fridays, except holidays. After printing and numbering, the bills are referred to the Rules Committee. Unless approved by the Rules Committee, a Member may not author a bill during a session that would have substantially the same effect as a bill that he or she introduced during that session, but this restriction does not apply in cases where the previously introduced bill was vetoed by the Governor or its provisions were “chaptered out” by a later chaptered bill. An objection based upon this may only be raised in the house of introduction. The chair rules on the objection. During a joint recess, the Assembly Chief Clerk or Senate Secretary will prepare preprint bills when ordered by either legislative leader. Preprint bills are designated and printed in the order received. Bills providing for appropriations related to the Budget Bill can only be authored by the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Committee or the Assembly Budget Committee. This provision may be suspended by approval of the Rules Committee. This joint rule may be suspended by Rules Committee approval and ¾ majority vote of the house. (54)

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

Return of Bills – Bills introduced in the first year and passed by the house of origin by January 31 are “carryover bills.” If this does not occur, those bills from the first year are returned to Assembly Chief Clerk or Senate Secretary. This rule does not apply to constitutional amendments. (56)

Appropriation Bills – Appropriations bills that may not be sent to the Governor are held, after enrollment, by the Assembly Chief Clerk or the Senate Secretary. The bill are sent to the Governor immediately after the Budget Bill has been enacted. (57)

Urgency Clauses – An amendment to add an urgency clause to a bill may not be adopted unless the author has first secured Rules Committee approval in that house. (58)

Vetoes – The Legislature may consider a Governor’s veto for only 60 legislative days or until adjournment sine die, whichever is shorter. (58.5)

Publications – During periods of recess, the houses must publish Daily Files, Histories, and Daily Journals. (59)

Committee Hearings – A committee cannot take action on a bill at any hearing held outside of the State Capitol. A committee can hear the subject matter of a bill for an information hearing during a recess with four days’ file notice prior to the hearing. A bill cannot be acted upon by a committee during a joint recess. (60)

Deadlines – This rule sets forth deadlines that must be observed by the Senate and Assembly for bills considered in the odd-numbered year (subdivision a) and the even-numbered year (subdivision b). A policy committee can report a fiscal bill to the fiscal committee after the policy committee deadline within two legislative days after that deadline. These deadlines do not apply to the rules committees of both houses, or under Assembly Rule 77.2. A constitutional amendment or an urgency bill may be considered during the time when no committee may meet for any purpose. This rule may be suspended with Rules Committee approval and 2/3 majority vote of the house. (61)

Committee Procedure – Notice of a hearing on a bill by the committee of first reference in each house must be published in the Daily File at least four days prior to the hearing. Otherwise, the notice must be two days prior to the hearing. That notice may be waived by a majority vote of the house. A bill may be set for hearing in a committee only three times. A “set” is whenever the bill has been noticed in the Daily File for one or more days. If the committee postpones the hearing, then the hearing is not counted as one of the three times. After hearing a bill, the committee may vote on the bill. After a committee has voted on a bill, reconsideration may be granted only one time. Reconsideration may be granted within 15 legislative days or prior to the interim joint recess, whichever occurs first. If a bill fails passage, or reconsideration fails, the bill is returned to the Assembly Chief Clerk or the Senate Secretary and may not be considered further during the session. This rule may be suspended with Rules Committee approval and a 2/3 vote of the house. When a standing committee takes action on a bill, the vote must be by rollcall vote only. All votes are recorded by the committee secretary. The chair of the committee must transmit a copy of the record of votes to the Assembly Chief Clerk or Senate Secretary. With unanimous consent, a committee may substitute a rollcall from a prior bill so long as those Members substituted are present at the time. A bill cannot be passed out by a committee without a quorum being present. But this rule does not apply to specified matters: procedural motions, withdrawal of a bill at the author’s request, return of a bill when no vote has occurred, and assignment of a bill to committee. Committee chairs at any time may order a call of the committee. (62)

Uniform Rules – A standing committee may not adopt or apply any rule that is not equally applicable to the bills of both houses. (63)

Votes on Bills – Every meeting of each house and standing committee where a vote is to be taken must be public. (64)

Conflicting Rules – Rules 50 and above prevail over any conflicting joint rule with a lesser number. (65)

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