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

What Bill Drafting Guidance Do We Have from the Legislature’s House Rules?

The fourth source of guidance is the Legislature’s individual house rules

By Chris Micheli, September 27, 2022 6:21 am

When drafting legislation in California, there are several sources of guidance in drafting bills and other forms of legislation (resolutions and constitutional amendments). The fourth source is the Legislature’s individual house rules. What legislation drafting guidance is contained in the Assembly Rules and the Senate Rules?

Assembly Rule 22.5 concerns the Assembly Legislative Ethics Committee and directs the Legislative Counsel to provide an advisory opinion to Assembly Members, which the Committee may secure from the Legislative Counsel.

Assembly Rule 67 concerns committee amendments and coauthors of measures and requires committee amendments to bills are to be prepared or approved as to form by the Legislative Counsel.

Assembly Rule 69(a) concerns amendments and requires amendments offered from the floor during a bill’s second or third reading are to be prepared or approved as to form by the Legislative Counsel.

Assembly Rule 77.1 concerns the Digest of bills amended in the Senate and requires the Legislative Counsel, whenever the Senate amends and passes an Assembly Bill, to prepare and transmit a brief digest within one day after the bill has passed the Senate. The brief digest must be sent to the Assembly Chief Clerk and the Assembly Speaker.

Senate Rule 28.9 concerns state-mandated local program bills and requires the Legislative Counsel’s Digest of Assembly amendments to reflect whether the bill imposes state-mandated local costs without providing adequate reimbursement, or contains a complete disclaimer.

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