Home>Articles>The Role of Mason’s Manual

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

The Role of Mason’s Manual

Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure was originally published in 1935

By Chris Micheli, September 19, 2022 7:24 am

What is Mason’s Manual and why is its role in the California Legislature? Originally published in 1935, “Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure,” commonly referred to as Mason’s Manual, is the official parliamentary authority of most state legislatures in the United States. Its original author, Paul Mason, was employed by the California Legislature.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure was updated six times by Paul Mason. Now, the NCSL holds the book’s copyright and NCSL follows Paul Mason’s tradition of updating and reprinting the book approximately every 10 years.  The American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries assists NCSL with its revisions.

The three sets of Rules of the California Legislature rely on Mason’s Manual where a procedural matter is not addressed by the California Constitution, Government Code, or the house or joint rules.

Assembly Rule 10 provides: “In all cases not provided for by the California Constitution, by the Assembly Rules, by the Joint Rules of the Senate and Assembly, or by statute, the authority is the latest edition of Mason’s Manual.”

Senate Rule 20 provides: “In all cases not provided for by the Constitution, these rules, the Joint Rules of the Senate and Assembly, or statute, the authority shall be the latest edition of Mason’s Manual or the custom and usage of the Senate.”

Joint Rule 31 provides: “All relations between the houses that are not covered by these rules shall be governed by the latest edition of Mason’s Manual.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Spread the news:

 RELATED ARTICLES

One thought on “The Role of Mason’s Manual

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.