Analysis

The Micheli Files: Bills considered on the Assembly and Senate Floors

The California Assembly floor, image by Kit Leong

ANALYSIS – As a general matter, bills are taken up on the California Assembly or Senate Floors in file item order, unless some special reason exists to do otherwise. There are five main procedural items to keep in mind when a bill is pending on either Floor.

Analysis

The Micheli Files: California Legislature end-of-session reminders

Seal of the State of California, image by Aaron Kohr

Analysis – With the final weeks of Session upon us, several procedural items that regularly occur on the Floors of the California Legislature may be in order, from how many times a bill can be reconsidered to how many times it can be placed on call.

Analysis

The Micheli Files: Consent, special consent, and batching in the California Legislature

The rules of consent, image by anabaraulia

ANALYSIS – For those tuning into the Senate and Assembly Floor Sessions during deadline weeks, you are likely to hear the terms “consent,” (both floors), “special consent” (Senate Floor), and “batching” (Assembly Floor). What do those terms mean? How does batching differ from the consent calendar? What is the difference between consent and special consent? Chris Micheli explains it all for you.

Analysis

The Micheli Files: Items on concurrence in the California Legislature

The California seal, photo by Cheri Alguire via Shutterstock

ANALYSIS – We are at the time of the California Legislative Session where bills are returning for a concurrence vote in their house of origin. Concurrence is the method by which the house of origin agrees to the amendments that were made to a bill by the other house.

Analysis

The Micheli Files: “Gut-and-Amend Bills” in the California Legislature

California law, image by Vitalii Vodolazskyi

ANALYSIS – One of the controversial occurrences during the annual California Legislative Session is so-called “gut-and-amend” bills, or replacing the bill’s contents with a subject which is entirely unrelated to the original contents of the bill. Such amendments raise the legislative issue of “germaneness,” which refers to whether a proposed amendment is relevant to the subject matter currently contained in the measure.

Analysis

The Micheli Files: Rules of decorum in the California Legislature

Seal of the State of California, image by Aaron Kohr

ANALYSIS – Both the Assembly and Senate of the California Legislature, like other legislative bodies, utilize several rules, as well as customs and practices, for the purpose of ensuring that legislative deliberations and debate operate in a civil and orderly way. The individual house rules, as well as Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure, provide guidance in this regard.

Analysis

The Micheli Files: Should legislative intent statements be codified?

California law, image by Vitalii Vodolazskyi

ANALYSIS – On occasion, California legislators include statements of intent, or make findings and declarations, in their bills. When reviewing these bills, readers will see that, in most instances, these statements are “uncodified,” meaning that they are not codified (i.e., placed in a Code). In more limited cases, these statements are codified along with the other, substantive statutory provisions. This raises the question whether these legislative statements should be codified or not.

Analysis

A different approach for California’s enrolled bill rule

California law, image by Vitalii Vodolazskyi

ANALYSIS – The Enrolled Bill Rule is based upon the separation of powers doctrine. However, the EBR should not be used anymore to prevent a challenge that constitutional provisions or state statutes were allegedly violated when the Legislature enacted a bill.

Analysis

The reenactment rule in California

California's lady justice, image by BreizhAtao

ANALYSIS – According to the courts, the purpose of the constitutional reenactment rule, which prohibits amending a section of statute unless the section is reenacted as amended, is “to avoid enactment of statutes in terms so blind that legislators themselves are deceived in regard to their effect.”

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