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

What Is a Code Maintenance Bill?

What is that and what is its purpose?

By Chris Micheli, October 4, 2022 7:16 am

Several times per year, the Office of Legislative Counsel drafts a “code maintenance bill.” What is that and what is its purpose?

A floor analysis described this type of bill as follows:

This bill is the annual maintenance of the codes bill. A condition for inclusion in the annual code maintenance bill is that the change must be nonsubstantive. Consequently, any provision that is identified as making a substantive change will be deleted from this bill.

A committee analysis described this type of bill as follows:

Makes non-substantive changes to the codes by recommendation of the Legislative Counsel’s office. Specifically, this bill makes various grammatical and other technical changes suggested by the Office of Legislative Counsel in order to correct non-substantive errors that exist in the text of current statutes.

Hence, the code maintenance bill, or maintenance of the codes bill, is used to make technical changes to a series of statutes that only require minor changes, rather than substantive changes. During the just-concluded two-year session, there have been two code maintenance bills chaptered.

The first one was AB 938 (Davies) and the subject is “Maintenance of the codes.” The Legislative Counsel’s Digest explains:

Existing law directs the Legislative Counsel to advise the Legislature from time to time as to legislation necessary to maintain the codes. This bill would make nonsubstantive changes in various provisions of law as recommended by the Legislative Counsel to the Legislature.

Specifically, AB 938, as Chapter 124, makes the following changes to California Codes:

An act to amend Sections 2837.103 and 17525 of the Business and Professions Code, to amend Sections 1689.7, 1788.102, and 1788.105 of, and to amend and renumber Section 1179.04.5 of, the Civil Code, to amend Sections 488.375, 488.405, 492.010, 703.140, 704.060, 708.310, 917.7, 1010.6, and 2031.060 of the Code of Civil Procedure, to amend Sections 8209, 17463.7, 43505, 47612.7, 47653, 52064, 56345, 56836.06, and 56836.142 of the Education Code, to amend Section 2700 of the Elections Code, to amend Sections 3044, 3118, and 7630 of the Family Code, to amend Section 78002 of the Food and Agricultural Code, to amend Section 12893.1 of, and to amend and renumber Section 13975.2 of, the Government Code, to amend Section 105206 of the Health and Safety Code, to amend Section 1205 of the Labor Code, to amend Sections 236.1 and 851.7 of the Penal Code, to amend Sections 1825 and 3420 of the Public Utilities Code, to amend Section 17020.12 of, and to amend and renumber the heading of Article 26 (commencing with Section 18914) of Chapter 3 of Part 10.2 of Division 2 of, the Revenue and Taxation Code, to amend Sections 10202, 10203, 10205, and 10206 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to amend Section 1 of Chapter 115 of the Statutes of 2020, and to amend Section 26 of Chapter 264 of the Statutes of 2020, relating to the maintenance of the codes.

These code maintenance bills serve the important role of making changes to numerous codes to ensure that changes are made to various provisions of existing law and they are done in one, large bill a few times per session.

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