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Modernizing California Statutes

This is an ongoing effort throughout California bills

By Chris Micheli, March 6, 2022 8:20 am

As new legislation is considered in the California Legislature, it is incumbent on the attorneys in the Office of Legislative Counsel to update and modernize state statutes. There are examples of this ongoing effort throughout California bills and is an important aspect of the work of these legislative lawyers.

A recent example of these efforts to modernize state statutes include eliminating the use of telegraphs and telegrams, as well as teletype and even telegraph messenger calls (something I did not had existed). The following are several instances of eliminating these provisions from existing state laws:

by telephone, telegraphletter, or any other reasonable means

cancel the contract by mail, telegram, mail or delivery as required

sent by telegraph, teletype, or any other any electronic devices,

telephone, telegraph, telephone or telegraph messenger call,  

Despite updating these statutory provisions, a fax is still considered an acceptable means of communication (although I have not sent or received a fax in years):

any other written notice, including facsimile, telegramfacsimile or other electronic

It is important for the attorneys at the Office of Legislative Counsel to continuously update California statutes to reflect modern technological changes or how we express our written language. On this latter point, for example, California statutes utilize gender neutral language. This also means eliminating references to “his” or “her” as well as changing terms that only reflect the masculine noun.

Recent examples of these changes in state statutes being made by attorneys at Legislative Counsel include the following:

his or her their employees

 he or she is they are employed

he or she the commissioner 

fireman, firefighter

All of these examples are of the important work being done to modernize and update California’s over half a million statutes.

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One thought on “Modernizing California Statutes

  1. Hopefully they are not updating the statutes to succumb to the radical post-modernist nonsense. Unfortunately, the CACI jury instructions now read, “his/her/nonbinary pronoun”.

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