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Required Reports to the California Legislature

Each report is required to include a summary of its contents to not exceed one page in length

By Chris Micheli, March 7, 2022 9:37 am

On occasion, bills in California require a report to be provided to the Legislature or legislative committees. In those cases, there are required laws about how and where those reports are submitted. The laws are contained in the California Government Code, Title 2 (“Government of the State of California”), Division 2 (“Legislative Department”), Part 1 (“Legislature”), Chapter 7 (“Legislative Printing and Publications”), Article 6, which is entitled “Reports to the Legislature.”

Specifically, Government Code Section 9795, which was added to the law in 1996, provides that any report (which includes a study or audit) that is required or requested by law to be submitted by a state or local agency to the Members of either house of the Legislature generally, is instead to be submitted as a printed copy to the Secretary of the Senate, as an electronic copy to the Chief Clerk of the Assembly, and as an electronic or printed copy to the Legislative Counsel.

Moreover, each report is required to include a summary of its contents to not exceed one page in length. If the report is submitted by a state agency, that agency must also provide an electronic copy of the summary directly to each member of the appropriate house or houses of the Legislature. And, notice of receipt of the report must be recorded in the journal of the appropriate house or houses of the Legislature by the secretary or clerk of that house.

Section 9795 specifies that reports of the State Bar of California may be submitted electronically to the Secretary of the Senate. In addition, the Legislative Counsel is required to make available a list of the reports submitted by state and local agencies.

If the Legislative Counsel receives a request from a member of the public for a report contained in the list, the Legislative Counsel is not required to provide a copy of the report and may refer the requester to the state or local agency that authored the report, or to the California State Library as the final repository of public information.

In addition, no report can be distributed to a Member of the Legislature unless specifically requested by that Member.

Finally, Section 9795 requires a state agency report and summary subject to this section to include an Internet website where the report can be downloaded and telephone number to call to order a hard copy of the report. A report submitted by a state agency subject to this section must also be posted at the agency’s Internet Web site.

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