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The California Legislative Process -

From Proposed law to Enacted Legislation

A bill is Introduced in either the Assembly or Senate by a member of that House. It gets a number, is printed and made available to members and the public.

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The Rules Committee assigns the bill to  relevant committee

for hearings. If there are funds associated with a bill it also goes to Appropriations Committees . While in Committees a bill can be amended many times. It must be approved by majority of committee members to be passed out of committee.

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Bills passed out of committee(s) are again read on the floor of  the House of Origin. An analysis of the bill is also provided.  The  author  presents and explains the bill. It is discussed and voted on. If approved, the bill is sent to the other House  and the process is repeated.

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If a bill is amended in the Second House, it is sent back to the House of Origin for agreement to amendments. If amendments are not accepted the bill goes to a *Conference Committee with members  from both houses.  If amendments are accepted, the bill is sent to the Governor. 

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The Governor can sign a bill into law  or can choose to not sign the bill. Either way the bill will become law. He or she can also veto a bill.  A veto can be overridden by a 2/3  vote in both the Senate and the Assembly.  Most bills become law on January 1 of the following year.

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*A Conference Committee works to create compromise language that is acceptable to its members.  If no agreement is reached the bill, proposed legislation  'dies.' If agreement is reached the bill is sent to the Governor. 

In Steps 2 and 3 of the process, members of the public, organizations and any interested parties can appear at committee meetings and provide input to legislators, either written or oral. Depending on interest in a bill, legislators in both Houses may limit the time for individual testimony.

*copyright 2020 Randall Hagar, reprint use with attribution

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