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              Today we’ll take a brief look at how to have effective meetings with legislators and their staff. First, note that there are basically two types of meetings you can have with elected or appointed officials, relationship-building meetings and policy meetings. Relationship building meetings are an important first step prior to meeting on a policy matter. These can consist of taking the legislator or his or her staff on…
In California’s Government Code there are a number of sections of law that prohibit specified political activities of public employees. Government Code section 3201 specifies that the Legislature makes a finding that political activities of public employees are of significant statewide concern and that the provisions of this section of the law supersede all other provisions of general law on this topic. Section 3202 specifies that this area of the law applies to all officers…
Article IV of the California Constitution deals with the Legislature, and there are several sections that are applicable to ethical conduct by members of the Legislature. These provisions are found primarily in Sections 4 and 5 of California’s Constitution. Article IV, Section 4 contains a prohibition on certain earned income. It essentially prohibits a member of the Legislature from knowingly receiving any form of income, salary, wages, or commissions from a lobbyist or lobbying firm,…
https://soundcloud.com/capimpactca/californias-separation-of-powers-doctrine What does “separation of powers” mean in the state of California? Similar to the federal government, it essentially means that the powers of government are provided to separate branches of government to operate. These powers are set forth in the California Constitution and are granted to the three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial. The separation of powers doctrine essentially provides that those who exercise power in one branch of government cannot exercise…
So, what essentially are appropriations measures? Unfortunately, while California law does not define the term, it is used frequently in the law. California’s Legislative Counsel defines an appropriation as an amount of money made available for expenditure by a specific entity for a specific purpose from the General Fund or some other designated state fund or account. California’s Constitution mentions appropriations in multiple locations. In Article IV Sections 8 and 10 there is mention of…
Title I, Division 4, Chapter 7, Article 2 of the California Government Code provides for impeachment of officials by the California Legislature. The process is spelled out through multiple sections of the California Government Code. The Code provides that state officers elected on a statewide basis, including members of the Board of Equalization and judges of state courts, are subject to impeachment for any misconduct in office and that the Senate, when sitting as the…
Every bill in the California Legislature has four keys, which are all determined by the Office of Legislative Counsel. Keys are a feature of every California bill, same as a title, a bill number, and enacting clause. The four keys to a bill – which can be found at the end of the Legislative Counsel’s Digest are: vote, appropriation, fiscal committee, and local program. Vote The vote key specifies the vote threshold the bill has…
Just like in 2019, because of the enactment of Senate Bill 3 in 2016, California’s minimum wage went up again. On January 1st, the state’s minimum was increased for all sizes of business and small employers saw their third wage hike in recent years. Under this state law the minimum wage for all industries is increasing from $10 an hour on January 1, 2016, all the way to $15 per hour. Pursuant to SB 3,…
California is the home to over 200 state agencies, departments, boards, and commissions that can make public policy through their authority to adopt regulations. California’s Office of Administrative Law (OAL) has a list of the state agencies that have adopted regulations and also provides direct access to the California Code of Regulations (CCR). The CCR is organized under 28 different subject matter titles. The authority of state agencies and departments to adopt public policy, that…
The state budget process on paper is relatively similar to the legislative process itself. However, it can certainly be different in a number of practical terms. Some of those practical differences manifest themselves in the component parts of the budget and the budget timeline. First, what are the parts of the budget? The main parts are the budget bill, the budget bill junior, trailer bills, and supplemental reports. The main budget bill contains all the…