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

Summary of California Bills Per Session and Actions Taken Over 16 Years

A deep dive examining the major actions involving bills in the California Legislature

By Chris Micheli, October 2, 2022 8:42 am

The following research was compiled during September 2022 in order to examine the major actions involving bills in the California Legislature over the past sixteen years. I examined the following five categories of information for each year, as set forth in the chart below:

  • The number of bills introduced each year of session.
  • The number of bills passed by the house of origin (e.g., ABs that passed the Assembly Floor) and the percentage of bills passed by the house of origin in comparison to the number of bills introduced.
  • The number of bills refused passage by the house of origin (e.g., SBs that failed passage on the Senate Floor) and the percentage of bills that failed passed on the floor of the house of origin in comparison to the number of bills introduced.
  • The number of bills that reached the Governor’s Desk and the percentage of bills that reached the Governor’s Desk in comparison to the number of bills introduced.
  • The number of bills chaptered (i.e., signed into law) and the percentage of bills that were chaptered in comparison to the number of bills introduced, as well as the percentage of bills that were chaptered in comparison to the number of bills that reached the Governor’s Desk.
Number of Bills Introduced (house and year) Number of Bills Passed by House of Origin (and % of introduced bills) Number of Bills Refused Passage on the Floor of the House of Origin (and % of introduced bills) Number of Bills Reaching the Governor’s Desk (and % of introduced bills) Number of Bills Chaptered (and % of introduced bills; and % of bills reaching Gov’s Desk)
Senate – 2022: 672 605 – 90% 6 – 0.9% 442 – 65.8% 381 – 56.7% and 86.2%
Assembly – 2022: 1,383 849 – 61.4% 9 – 0.6% 724 – 52.3% 616 – 44.5% and 85%
Senate – 2021: 828 551 – 66.5% 0 – 0% 313 – 37.8% 292 – 35.2% and 93.3%
Assembly – 2021: 1,593 793 – 49.8% 8 – 0.5% 523 – 32.8% 478 – 30% and 91.4%
Senate – 2020: 682 246 – 36% 2 – 0.3% 137 – 20% 117 – 17% and 85.4%
Assembly – 2020: 1,541 430 – 27.9% 7 – 0.4% 291 – 18.9% 255 – 16.5% and 87.6%
Senate – 2019: 792 562 – 70.9% 1 – 0.1% 346 – 43.7% 296 – 37.4% and 85.5%
Assembly – 2019: 1,833 1,040 – 56.7% 0 – 0% 696 – 37.7% 574 – 31.3% and 82.5%
Senate – 2018: 694 518 – 74.6% 3 – 0.4% 408 – 58.8% 356 – 51.3% and 87.3%
Assembly – 2018: 1,531 942 – 61.5% 16 – 1% 809 – 52.8% 660 – 43% and 81.6%
Senate – 2017: 817 514 – 63% 1 – 0.1% 325 – 39.8% 291 – 35.6% and 89.5%
Assembly – 2017: 1,733 970 – 56% 1 – 0.06%  652 – 37.6% 568 – 32.8% and 87%
Senate – 2016: 676 483 – 71.4% 0 – 0% 368 – 54.4% 319 – 47.2% and 86.7%
Assembly – 2016: 1,366 846 – 62% 19 – 1.4% 684 – 50% 574 – 42% and 84%
Senate – 2015: 805 480 – 59.6% 0 – 0% 320 – 39.7% 280 – 34.8% and 87.5%
Assembly – 2015: 1,549 906 – 58.5% 8 – 0.5% 621 – 40% 527 – 34% and 84.8%
Senate – 2014: 641 463 – 72% 0 – 0% 372 – 58% 326 – 50.8% and 87.6
Assembly – 2014: 1,336 852 – 63.8% 6 – 0.4% 703 – 52.6% 605 – 45.3% and 86%
Senate – 2013: 826 499 – 60.4% 0 – 0% 354 – 42.8% 315 – 38% and 89%
Assembly – 2013: 1,430 766 – 53.6% 2 – 0.1% 542 – 37.9% 485 – 34% and 89.5%
Senate – 2012: 632 472 – 74.7% 5 – 0.8% 356 – 56.3% 309 – 48.9% and 86.8%
Assembly – 2012: 1,267 743 – 58.6% 12 – 0.9% 640 – 50.5% 567 – 44.7% and 88.6%
Senate – 2011: 948 511 – 53.9% 3 – 0.3% 357 – 37.6% 297 – 31.3% and 83.2%
Assembly – 2011: 1,433 767 – 53.5% 7 – 0.05% 513 – 35.8% 447 – 31.2% and 87%
Senate – 2010: 662 473 – 71.4% 1 – 0.1% 358 – 54% 268 – 40.5% and 74.8%
Assembly – 2010: 1,209 759 – 62.8% 4 – 0.3%  671 – 55.5% 465 – 38.5%
Senate – 2009: 833 460 – 55.2% 0 – 0% 308 – 37% 244 – 29.3% and 79.2%
Assembly – 2009: 1,590 904 – 56.8% 0 – 0% 585 – 36.8% 408 – 25.6% and 69.7%
Senate – 2008: 729 562 – 77% 4 – 0.5% 427 – 58.6% 288 – 39.5% and 67.4%
Assembly – 2008: 1,333 879 – 66% 6 – 0.4% 752 – 56.4% 477 – 35.8% and 63.4%
Senate – 2007: 1,052 584 – 55.5% 2 – 0.2% 380 – 36% 299 – 28.4% and 78.7%
Assembly – 2007: 1,751 918 – 52.4% 0 – 0% 584 – 33.3% 451 – 25.7% and 77.2%

The following are some observations I make about the data set forth above:

  • The second year of the 2-year session always has fewer bill introductions than the first year.
  • The Assembly generally has two or more times the number of bill introductions than the Senate, which we would expect as there are twice as many Assembly Members as Senators.
  • It is rare for a bill to fail passage on the floor in its house of origin, generally less than 1% chance of failing.
  • Bills reaching the Governor’s Desk range from a low of 19% to a high of 65%, but the average is about 40% of those bills that were introduced make it through the entire process to reach the Governor.
  • The signature rate of those bills reaching the Governor’s Desk range from about 63% to 93%, but the average is about 85% of those bills that reach the Governor are signed into law.

In the future, I anticipate either an annual update to this chart or an update after each 2-year session concludes.

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