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

Using Letters to the Daily Journals for Determining Legislative Intent

2021 Session Update of Assembly and Senate Letters from Bill Authors

By Chris Micheli, December 7, 2021 6:12 pm

One method to help ascertain the legislative intent behind a specified measure is a letter that is published in the Assembly Daily Journal or the Senate Daily Journal by the bill’s author. These letters, for which there are many each year, may be used by the bill’s author to explain an ambiguity in the bill or explain the purpose of particular changes in the law as done by the bill.

The courts in this state can utilize these letters as extrinsic aids in determining the intent of the Legislature. Different versions of the bill, committee and floor analyses, and other items are generally given greater weight than these letters. Nonetheless, a Journal letter may be the best indicator available regarding the intent of the bill’s author and so they should be consulted.

In an effort to assist those conducting legislative history and intent research, in Fall 2018, I reviewed 23 years’ worth of Assembly Daily Journals and 16 years’ worth of Senate Daily Journals in order to compile these records. Below are the updated for the 2021 California Legislative Session.

The charts below list the bill number, bill author, subject matter of the bill, and page number from the respective Daily Journal where the letter can be found and cited.

2021 Legislative Session – Senate Bills

Bill Number

Author

Date

Page Number

Topic

SB 41

Umberg

Sept. 9

2570

Privacy: genetic testing companies

SB 60

Glazer

Sept. 1

2305

Residential short-term rental ordinances: health or safety infractions: maximum fines

SB 81

Skinner

Sept. 10

2638

Sentencing: dismissal of enhancements

SB 226

Pan

Sept. 7

2427

Medi-Cal: County of Sacramento

SB 311

Hueso

Sept. 10

2641

Compassionate Access to Medical Cannabis Act or Ryan’s Law

SB 343

Allen

Sept. 10

2640

Environmental advertising: recycling symbol: recyclability: products and packaging

SB 378

Gonzalez

Sept. 2

2323

Local government: broadband infrastructure development project permit processing: microtrenching permit processing ordinance

SB 409

Caballero

Sept. 10

2640

Pharmacy practice: testing

SB 423

Stern

Sept. 10

2637

Energy: firm zero-carbon resources

SB 524

Skinner

Sept. 10

2639

Health care coverage: patient steering

SB 538

Rubio

Sept. 10

2629

Domestic violence and gun violence restraining orders

SB 552

Hertzberg

Sept. 9

2559

Drought planning: small water suppliers: nontransient noncommunity water systems

2021 Legislative Session – Assembly Bills

Bill Number

Author

Date

Page Number

Topic

AB 7

Rodriquez

Sept. 7

2805

Emergency ambulance employees: multithreat body protective gear

AB 9

Wood

Sept. 10

3167

Fire safety and prevention: wildfires: fire adapted communities: Office of the State Fire Marshal: community wildfire preparedness and mitigation

AB 70

Salas

Sept. 10

3168

Gene synthesis providers

AB 130

Reyes

July 8

2276

Education finance: education omnibus budget trailer bill

AB 335

Boerner Horvath

Sept. 10

3168

California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018: vessel information

AB 379

Gallagher

Sept. 10

3169

Wildlife conservation

AB 389

Grayson

Sept. 10

3169

Ambulance services

AB 450

Gonzalez

Sept. 10

3170

Paramedic Disciplinary Review Board

AB 457

Santiago

Sept. 10

3170

Protection of Patient Choice in Telehealth Provider Act

AB 680

Burke

Sept. 10

3171

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: California Jobs Plan Act of 2021

AB 707

Quirk

Sept. 10

3172

Mercury Thermostat Collection Act of 2021

AB 824

Bennett

Sept. 7

2805

Local educational agencies: county boards of education: governing boards of school districts: governing bodies of charter schools: pupil members

AB 1094

Arambula

Sept. 10

3172

Sexual orientation and gender identity data collection pilot project

AB 1201

Ting

Sept. 10

3173

Solid waste: products: labeling: compostability and biodegradability

SB 129

Budget

July 15

2346

Budget Act of 2021

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One thought on “Using Letters to the Daily Journals for Determining Legislative Intent

  1. I see no comments here from the usual close-minded Trumptards.
    This kind of stuff is too complicated for their feeble minds to understand.

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