Sacramento in January

By Loretta Macktal, Executive Assistant to the Vice President, Government Relations

Capitol Update, Jan. 9, 2004 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

During the month of January in the second year of a two-year legislative session, the flurry of activity to move two-year bills becomes frantic. All bills that haven't moved out of their house of origin by the end of the month are dead. There are also two other deadlines of importance that a "two-year" bill must meet. This year they must be referred out of the policy committees to their respective appropriations committee by January 16th (if they have a fiscal impact) and then must be reported to the floor of their house by the end of the day on January 23rd.

In 2003, there were 2,867 bills introduced between both houses. Of those, 967 were enrolled (or sent to the Governor) and Governor Davis signed 909 of those. 1,539 bills have now been sent to the “other” house. This leaves 361 bills that must meet the deadlines mentioned above to survive. Legislators and lobbyists are trying to expedite their bills and amendments to gain support and/or reduce opposition. Hearings and meetings on these bills abound.

This does not mean 1,539 bills that have reached the other side of the aisle sit idle in January. Their development is also proceeding, but generally on a more methodical pace.

New 2004 bills will be introduced starting this month. Their numbers are traditionally significantly less than in the first year of the session, to some degree due to limitations on the number of bills a legislator can introduce (40 per two-year session). The 2004 deadline for the introduction of new bills is February 20th.
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