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California Assembly Chambers. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

The Return of Carryover Bills

Commonly referred to as ‘2-year bills’

By Chris Micheli, October 13, 2022 6:29 am

Commonly referred to as “2-year bills,” a “carryover bill” is one that is introduced during the first year (the odd-numbered year) of the 2-year California Legislative Session that can be carried over into the second year (the even-numbered year).

Article IV, Section 10(c) provides: “Any bill introduced during the first year of the biennium of the legislative session that has not been passed by the house of origin by January 31 of the second calendar year of the biennium may no longer be acted on by the house.” As a result of this provision, a bill introduced during the first year of session can be carried over to the second year so long as the bill passes out of its house of origin by January 31 of the second year.

In addition, Joint Rule 56, concerning the return of bills, provides that “Bills introduced in the first year of the regular session and passed by the house of origin on or before the January 31st constitutional deadline are ‘carryover bills.’ Immediately after January 31, bills introduced in the first year of the regular session that do not become ‘carryover bills’ shall be returned to the Chief Clerk of the Assembly or Secretary of the Senate, respectively. Notwithstanding Rule 4, as used in this rule ‘bills’ does not include constitutional amendments.”

So, a “carryover bill” (rather than a “2-year bill”) is one that is introduced in the first year and can be carried over to the second year of the session, so long as it clears its house of origin by January 31 of the second year.

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