The Micheli Files: California legislation and the single subject rule

Chris Micheli photo by Scott Duncan

ANALYSIS – Many Capitol observers are aware of the single subject rule. Some know that the California Constitution, in Article II, Section 8(d), provides that “an initiative measure embracing more than one subject may not be submitted to the electors or have any effect.” But does a similar rule exist for bills considered by the California Legislature?


The Micheli Files: Is there a difference between intent and policy statements in statutes?

Public policy, image by AlexLMX

ANALYSIS – Readers of bills and statutes will regularly come across statements of legislative intent, such as paragraphs that usually begin with either “It is the intent of the Legislature to …” or “The Legislature finds and declares that …” On other occasions, readers may come across statements that “it is the policy of the state.” Both are expressed opinions or state desires of the Legislature.


The Micheli Files: committee bill volume in the 2023 session

California bill volume, image by create jobs 51

The California Legislature has a combined 55 standing committees, with 33 in the Assembly and 22 in the Senate. There were 2,661 bills introduced during the 2023 Legislative Session. Those standing committees, and their hardworking consultants (along with their minority party counterparts), reviewed and analyzed thousands of bills during the past two years.

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The Micheli Files: California statutes are being modernized, including gender neutral drafting

California law, image by Yuriy K

ANALYSIS – Even though the 29 California Codes, in which there are over 155,000 sections, contain guidance on interpreting their provisions, the attorneys in California’s Office of Legislative Counsel (OLC) continue to modernize our state’s statutes. This important work includes the use of gender-neutral drafting of legislation for bills, resolutions, and constitutional amendments.


The Micheli Files: “Chaptering out” or “double-jointing” amendments – which one is it?

Seal of the State of California, image by Aaron Kohr

ANALYSIS – At the end of a California Legislative Session, Capitol observers will hear about the need to have “chaptering out amendments” adopted. However, that is not the correct term to use. “Chaptering out” is the problem that needs to be addressed by amendments, and “double-jointing amendments” are the solution to that problem.


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.


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.


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.

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