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Update on California Legislative Statistics

So, what happened at the Suspense File hearings?

By Chris Micheli, May 24, 2021 4:54 pm

As we near the mid-way point in the 2021 California Legislative Session, we can look at some statistics regarding bills in the legislative process.

Suspense Files

Last Thursday, May were the important hearings of the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees and their “Suspense Files,” wherein those committee members vote on hundreds of bills during a single hearing. The Suspense File hearing determines the fate of measures moving forward for the remainder of the Session. So, what happened at the Suspense File hearings?

In the Assembly, there were 537 bills that were considered by the Appropriations Committee. 371 bills passed out of the committee, meaning that 69% of the bills on the Suspense File were passed, either as is (242 ABs – 65%) or with amendments (129 ABs – 35%). 125 ABs were held, which is 23% of the total bills on the Suspense File in the Assembly. The remaining 41 bills were made “2-year bills” so that they can be considered in January 2022.

In terms of the bills on the Suspense File, Republicans authored 50 of the bills on Suspense, which is 9% of the total number of measures. Of those 50 bills, 19 passed out of the committee, which is a 38% pass rate. Democrats authored 487 of the bills on Suspense, which is 91% of the total number of bills on the Suspense File. Of those 487 bills, 352 passed out of the committee, which is a 65% pass rate.

In the Senate, there were 357 bills that were considered by the Appropriations Committee, 300 bills passed out of the committee, meaning that 84% of the bills on the Suspense File were passed, either as is (153 SBs – 51%) or with amendments (147 SBs – 49%). 52 SBs were held, which is 14% of the total bills on the Suspense File in the Senate. The remaining 5 bills were made “2-year bills” so that they can be considered in January 2022.

In terms of the bills on the Suspense File, Republicans authored 34 of the bills on Suspense, which is 10% of the total number of measures. Of those 34 bills, 21 passed out of the committee, which is a 62% pass rate. Democrats authored 318 of the bills on Suspense, which is 90% of the total number of bills on the Suspense File. Of those 318 bills, 279 passed out of the committee, which is an 88% pass rate.

Bills on the Floors

Turning to the bills that have already cleared their house of origin, through May 21, as we head toward the June 4 House of Origin deadline (meaning ABs have to pass out of the Assembly and SBs have to pass out of the Senate):

828 SBs have been introduced this Session (694 – 84% by Democrats and 134 – 16% by Republicans) and 279 SBs have already passed the Senate, which is 33% of the total number of SBs introduced this year. Those SBs are now in the Assembly. 28 (10%) of the 279 SBs that are in the Assembly are authored by Republicans. No SBs have failed passage on the Senate Floor so far. 12 SBs have already been signed into law so far (5 are authored by Democrats and the remainder are committee bills).

1,593 ABs have been introduced this Session (1,283 – 80% by Democrats and 310 – 19% by Republicans) and 352 ABs have already passed the Assembly, which is 22% of the total number of ABs introduced this year. Those ABs are now in the Senate. 44 (12%) of the 352 ABs that are in the Senate are authored by Republicans. 2 ABs have failed passage on the Assembly Floor so far. 7 ABs have been signed into law so far (3 are authored by Democrats and the remainder are committee bills).

Regarding total measures on the Floors for consideration by legislators this week and next prior to the June 4 deadline, as of May 21, the following were the number of bills on the Floors:

Assembly

Assembly Second Reading – 369

Assembly Third Reading – 84

Senate Third Reading – 1

Consent – 28

Total number of measures on the Assembly Floor: 482

3 ABs have been moved to the Inactive File so far

Senate

Senate Second Reading – 133

Senate Third Reading – 186

Assembly Third Reading – 5

Consent – 2

Total number of measures on the Senate Floor: 326

2 SBs have been moved to the Inactive File so far

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2 thoughts on “Update on California Legislative Statistics

  1. The CA legislature sends over 1000 bills to the governor’s desk every year. The suspense file helps streamline the fiscal review process and puts fiscal effects into a bigger perspective. Without this, it would be much easier to pass “a million here, a million there” in cost of new programs without notice to the overall effect on the state’s financial condition.

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