California Legislators Back In Session
By Assemblymember Marie Waldron
On January 3rd, 120 California Legislators will reconvene to begin the second half of the 2017-2018 session. Over 2,000 bills are likely to be introduced in the next few weeks. Some bills will be controversial, though many will pass with wide bi-partisan support.
Bills that didn’t pass their house of origin, either Assembly or Senate, before adjournment last September must pass by January 31 in order to move forward. With some exceptions, all new legislation must be submitted to the Office of Legislative Counsel by January 19 with the final submission date of February 16 for the completed bill. Generally, these bills will go through numerous amendments as they move through the committee process. There are legislative and committee deadlines throughout the spring and into the summer. Legislation with a fiscal impact greater than $50,000 for Senate bills or $150,000 for Assembly bills will be referred to their respective Appropriations Committee’s “Suspense Files.” That simply means these bills require more detailed scrutiny before they go to the floor for a final vote.
All bills must pass through their committees and house of origin by June 1; final passage by both houses is required by the time we adjourn August 31st.
This final floor vote is often the only time members not assigned to a bill’s specific committees actually see the bill. Since this is the final year of the current two-year session, any bill that doesn’t pass by adjournment dies.
Even though the partisan makeup in Sacramento is lopsided, with 55 Democrats and 25 Republicans in the Assembly, and 27 Democrats and 13 Republicans in the Senate, I remain optimistic that we will be able to work together on many issues. I’m looking forward to a productive New Year.
Minority Floor Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.