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California State Assembly nearly empty except for a few folks in the balcony.
California State Assembly. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Frequently Asked Questions About Vetoed Bills

How long does the Legislature have to consider a gubernatorial veto?

By Chris Micheli, November 14, 2023 6:37 am

How is a bill vetoed? The Governor may veto a bill by returning the bill unsigned with any objections to the house of origin.

What does the house of origin do with the veto? It is required to enter the objections (i.e., the veto message) in the Daily Journal.

Can a vetoed bill be overridden? Yes, it requires each house to pass the bill by rollcall vote entered in the Daily Journal, two-thirds of the Members concurring.

What happens if both houses override the Governor’s veto? The bill becomes a statute.

When does the vetoed bill take effect if the veto is overridden? If it is one of four types of bills that take effect immediately, then it would be the day the bill gets a chapter number after both houses vote to override the veto. If it is a regular bill, then the following January 1. The state Constitution provides that “a statute enacted at a regular session shall go into effect on January 1 next following a 90-day period from the date of enactment of the statute.”

What is the process to override a veto? In either house, the vetoed bills are placed in the “Unfinished Business” section in their respective Daily File. The house of origin would take up the vetoed bill and, if the minimum 2/3 of its Members vote to override the veto, then the bill would proceed to the other house for the same type of floor vote.

How long does the Legislature have to consider a gubernatorial veto? The Legislature has 60 calendar days, with days in joint recess excluded, to act upon the vetoed bill. This means the 60-day clock begins when the Legislature reconvenes from its interim recess (first year) or final recess (second year).

What happens if the Legislature does not act on the vetoed measure within those 60 days? If no action has been taken during this time, then the measure is removed from the file and the veto is effective.

What happens if the Legislature successfully overrides a Governor’s veto? Then the bill is authenticated as having become law by a certificate. The authenticated bill is then delivered to the Governor, and by the Governor is deposited with the laws in the office of the Secretary of State, and then the bill is given a chapter number in the same manner as bills approved by the Governor.

Could new legislators vote on a veto override? Yes, if the bill was vetoed in the second year of the Session and the new legislator took office thereafter.

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