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

Remembering Key End-of-Session Legislative Process Items

The following items cover some of the most frequently-asked questions

By Chris Micheli, August 1, 2022 6:26 am

As we commence the last month of the 2022 California Legislative Session, there are often questions raised regarding legislative process items. Although the following items are not an exhaustive list, they cover some of the most frequently-asked questions:

72-Hour In-Print Rule

A bill cannot be passed or become a statute unless that bill and any amendments have been in print and published on the Internet for at least 72 hours before the vote, unless the Governor has submitted a statement that the bill is needed to address a state of emergency. No bill may be passed unless a majority of members of each house votes in favor of the bill.

Consent Calendars

There are different rules between the Senate and Assembly regarding what is a measure for the consent calendar on their floors. For example, under Senate Rule 28.3(a), if a Senate bill or Assembly bill is amended in the Senate to create a new bill or to rewrite the bill, a standing committee may not place the bill on its consent calendar. There is also a “special consent” calendar used on the Senate Floor, as well as “batching” on the Assembly Floor.

Inactive Files

Bills taken off of the Senate Inactive File are returned to the Second Reading file. In the Assembly, bills previously on Third Reading that are moved to the Inactive File are subject to a “one-calendar-day notice” when removed from the Inactive File and returned to the Third Reading file.

Session Past Midnight on the Final Day

“Stopping the clock” is the term used to describe the process of continuing legislative business after the passage of a deadline imposed by legislative rule. However, there is no provision in the law to “stop the clock” in the California Legislature. During the second year of the legislative session, the state Constitution specifies that no bill may be passed after September 1 (with exceptions), which makes August 31 at midnight the de facto deadline this year.

Policy Committee Meetings During the Last Two Weeks of Session

With a rule waiver, committees can meet during this time period. Under Senate Rule 29.10 and Assembly Rule 77.2, dealing with bills that have been substantially amended in the other house and are referred back for a policy committee hearing, those committees are not subject to the prohibition on meeting during those two weeks.

Double Jointing and Contingent Enactment Amendments

There is a clear difference between these two types of amendments. Contingent enactment means there is a section in a bill indicating that it is to become operative only upon the enactment of another measure. Double jointing amendments are amendments to a bill providing that the amended bill does not override the provisions of another bill where both bills propose to amend the same section of law.

Tentative Assembly and Senate Schedules for August

Monday, August 1 Assembly Floor Session, 1 p.m. / Senate Floor Session, 2 p.m. LEGISLATURE RECONVENES FROM RECESS

Tuesday, August 2 Check-in Session

Wednesday, August 3 Check-in Session

Thursday, August 4 Assembly and Senate Floor Sessions, 9 a.m.

Monday, August 8 Assembly Floor Session, 1 p.m. / Senate Floor Session, 2 p.m.

Tuesday, August 9 Check-in Session

Wednesday, August 10 Check-in Session

Thursday, August 11 Assembly and Senate Floor Sessions, 9 a.m.  Suspense Files Upon Adjournment of Sessions

Friday, August 12 LAST DAY FOR FISCAL COMMITTEES TO MEET AND REPORT BILLS TO THE FLOOR

Monday, August 15 Assembly Floor Session, 1 p.m. / Senate Floor Session, 2 p.m.

Tuesday, August 16 Assembly and Senate Floor Sessions, 10 a.m. Last day to amend Stem Cell Act and Prop. 39 bills

Wednesday, August 17 Assembly and Senate Floor Sessions, 10 a.m.

Thursday, August 18 Assembly and Senate Floor Sessions, 10 a.m. Last day to amend PRA bills

Friday, August 19 Assembly and Senate Floor Sessions, 9 a.m.

Monday, August 22 Assembly Floor Session, 1 p.m. / Senate Floor Session, 2 p.m.

Tuesday, August 23 Assembly and Senate Floor Sessions, 10 a.m. Last day to remove a bill from Inactive File to amend by August 25 deadline (Assembly); Last day to submit File notice for a conference committee

Wednesday, August 24 Assembly and Senate Floor Sessions, 10 a.m. Last day to adopt resolutions on Third Reading (Assembly); Last Day to submit amends to Assembly Desk

Thursday, August 25 Assembly and Senate Floor Sessions, 10 a.m. LAST DAY TO AMEND BILLS ON THE FLOOR

Friday, August 26 Assembly and Senate Floor Sessions, 9 a.m. Last day to receive a conference committee report at the Desk

Monday, August 29 Assembly Floor Session, 1 p.m. / Senate Floor Session, 2 p.m. LAST DAY TO REMOVE BILLS FROM THE INACTIVE FILE

Tuesday, August 30 Assembly and Senate Floor Sessions, 9 a.m.

Wednesday, August 31 Assembly and Senate Floor Sessions, 9 a.m. LAST DAY FOR EACH HOUSE TO PASS BILLS; FINAL RECESS BEGINS AT THE END OF THIS DAY’S SESSION

Friday, Sep. 30 —Last day for Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature before Sept. 1 and in the Governor’s possession on or after Sept. 1

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