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The Legislative Bill Room, California State Capitol. (Photo: ca.gov)

The Order of Bill Authors and Co-Authors

There are different types of co-authors

By Chris Micheli, April 8, 2022 6:51 am

In the California Legislature, there is an order to listing a bill’s authors and co-authors and there are different types of co-authors. So, what is that order?

As an initial matter, there is Joint Rule 10.7, titled “Heading of Bills,” which provides the following:

10.7. A bill or resolution may be authored only by a Member or committee of the house of origin, unless written approval is received from the President pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly and provided to the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the Assembly, as appropriate. Members or committees that are not of the house of origin may be “principal coauthors” or “coauthors.” A bill may not indicate in its heading or elsewhere that it was introduced at the request of a state agency or officer or any other person. A bill may not contain the words “By request” or words of similar import.

On the front page of a bill, the following is the order based upon what type of author or co-author the legislator is:

First line – Lead Author(s) – listed by preference of author(s)

Second line – Principal Co-author(s) – listed in alphabetical order from the same house as the lead author

Third line – Principal Co-author(s) – listed in alphabetical order from the other house

Fourth line – Co-author(s) – listed in alphabetical order from the same house as the lead author

Fifth line – Co-author(s) – listed in alphabetical order from the other house

The following example is taken from a recently-introduced bill in the 2022 Session:

Introduced by Assembly Members Petrie-Norris and Holden
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Robert Rivas)
(Principal coauthor: Senator Min)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Eduardo Garcia, Grayson, and Ting)
(Coauthor: Senator Archuleta)

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