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State Capitol Building. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

What Is Being Amended When a Bill Gets Amended Multiple Times?

Strikeout and italics show only the difference between the bill as amended and the last previous version of the bill

By Chris Micheli, October 19, 2022 2:48 am

When a bill is introduced and it adds a new code section, that new law is in regular font. When a bill is introduced and it amends an existing code section, the amended language is in italics. When a bill is introduced and it repeals an existing code section, the repealed language is in strikeout. As a result, the introduced bill shows the proposed changes that would be made in the LAW by the bill.

But what happens when the language of the introduced bill is changed? Or, what happens when the bill is amended a second, third, or even fourth time? Those additional amendments to the BILL are based upon the last amended version of the bill. What does that mean?

When the bill above is first amended, all of the section that was in strikeout as introduced is not deleted from the bill. All of the section that was in italics in the bill as introduced is now in regular font. As a result, when a bill is amended, future additions to the law (either being added or amended in the earlier version of the bill) or future repeals of the law are between the bill as amended and the last previous version of the bill.

Therefore, the strikeout and italics show only the difference between the bill as amended and the last previous version of the bill, when the bill has been amended after its introduced version. An amended bill, in other words, does not show the strikeout and italics that the changes which the bill would make in the LAW, but only the changes which are made in the last previous version of the BILL.

Nonetheless, when reviewing a bill that has been amended one or multiple times, and you are viewing the bill on the California Legislative Information website (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/), click on the tab titled, “Today’s Law As Amended,” and it will show in italics and strikeout what is being changed from existing law.

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