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Legislative Committee Room. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

What Committee Actions Can Occur Without a Quorum?

There are several types of committee actions that can take place without a quorum

By Chris Micheli, October 12, 2022 3:22 pm

Before any official legislative business can be conducted in a policy or fiscal committee, or on either Floor of the Assembly or Senate, a quorum must be established, which means over half of the legislators are present and answer to a roll call.

Nonetheless, there are several types of committee actions that can take place without a quorum. What are those official actions? They are found in Joint Rule 62(c) and are listed as follows:

This subdivision does not apply to:

(1) Procedural motions that do not have the effect of disposing of a bill.

(2) Withdrawal of a bill from a committee calendar at the request of an author.

(3) Return of a bill to the house where the bill has not been voted on by the committee.

(4) The assignment of a bill to committee.

As a result, a bill’s author can request that his or her bill not be heard at the scheduled committee hearing. This request does not require formal committee action. In addition, a bill can be returned to the Assembly Chief Clerk or Senate Secretary because it was not voted on by the committee prior to the deadline. This does not require formal committee action. And, a bill can be referred to committee without any action of the receiving committee.

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