The state Capitol i9n Sacramento. (Photo: Susanne Pommer, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: The California Legislature is currently more progressive than ever before, and the business community is adjusting its strategy in Sacramento accordingly. California has long been home to an extraordinarily active Legislature that routinely passes laws with significant and far-reaching impacts on businesses throughout the state, as well as national and international businesses, most of which have an economic interest in the world’s fifth-largest economy.
The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Adonis Villanueva, via Shutterstock)
Lobbyists at the state Capitol have noticed a trend developing over the use of letters to the Daily Journals in the Assembly and Senate as a substitute for making bill amendments. It’s a development little noticed by the public, but it is being closely watched by those with business before the Legislature.
The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Rigucci, via Shutterstock)
With the recently concluded 2017-18 legislative session, it is valuable to look at some of the key data, including bill introductions, the fate of those bills, the work of the committees, the lawmakers’ legislation and the actions of the governor. So let’s crunch some numbers: We’ll look at the Senate first.
The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo SchnepfDesign, via Shutterstock)
Clearly, Washington, D.C., and Sacramento share many things in common — including such negatives as a hyper-heated political culture, insularity and a pervasive sense of entitlement. And California’s Legislature is obviously based upon the federal legislative model. Nonetheless, their legislative rules are different, so let’s take a look at some of the major distinctions.
The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Kris Wiktor)
The burning question of the day: Should Joint Rule 10.5 be changed? If you, like most normal people, have little interest in the Capitol’s battles, then this question prompts a big yawn. But if you engage in the interminable wars over legislation, then this issue is a very, very big deal. So pay attention, you may be tested on this later.
The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: N.F. Photography)
ANALYSIS: Influencing legislation is a complicated business. There is no high-tech computer model that can predict whether a bill introduced in the California Legislature will become a law and, if so, the form it will take. However, there are many, knowable influences that regularly shape state legislation in California.
The state Capitol in Sacramento at night. (Photo: Susanne Pommer)
Cutting deals is part of the Capitol culture — it’s how laws are made. But does this deal-making come close to the legal line, or even cross it? Let’s continue our review of California criminal statutes that might apply to the wheeling and dealing of the Legislature.
The Assembly chamber in the state Capitol, Sacramento. (Photo: Felix Lipov, Shutterstock)
We often read about the “wheeling and dealing” among elected officials that occurs in state capitols across this country, including Sacramento. While some Capitol observers refer to it as lawful deal-making, others characterize it as improper, or even unlawful, vote trading. So which is it?
The state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Adonis Villanueva)
Capitol observers often complain about certain procedural aspects of California lawmaking. So I took an informal poll: I asked some of my lobbying colleagues, as well as staff in the Legislature from both houses and both political parties, for suggestions on how to make things more efficient.
The Assembly chamber in the state Capitol, Sacramento. (Photo: Felix Lipov)
ANALYSIS: During the budget negotiations in September, there was talk in the Capitol about whether it was proper – or even legal – for California lawmakers to pass two measures amending the state budget that had been adopted three months earlier. These two bills, known as “junior” budget bills, were approved along with a half-dozen budget trailer bills making numerous policy changes in state law for the 2017-18 fiscal year. Gov. Brown signed them all.