CAP·impact

A Resource for Understanding and Shaping California Law and Policy

The Legislative Analyst’s Office, LAO, is similar to the federal Congressional Budget Office. It is a nonpartisan fiscal and policy advisor and has performed this duty admirably for 75 years. The LAO is known for its fiscal and programmatic expertise and for providing very important and nonpartisan analyses of the California state budget to the Legislature. The office often acts as the eyes and the ears of the Legislature to ensure that the executive branch…
The judicial branch of California government engages in policymaking through the Judicial Council. The Judicial Council is chaired by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court. It pursues a number of different goals, including: providing access, fairness, and diversity in our court system; ensuring independence and accountability of the judiciary; modernizing the management and administration of the state’s court system; ensuring quality of justice and service to the public; and providing adequate, stable, and…
The final weeks of the legislative session are the proverbial sprint to the finish line. Policy committees have finished the bulk of their work, but many bills get significant amendments that require the policy committees to hear additional bills as the session winds down. The main focus then becomes the fiscal committees and their votes on measures that are pending on the respective suspense files in the appropriations committees of the Senate and Assembly. Then,…
The California State Assembly is poised to adopt a new rule to allow proxy voting. On July 27th, the first day back from its extended recess, Assembly Majority Floor Leader Ian Calderon introduced House Resolution 100 which would adopt a rule to allow proxy voting during the COVID‑19 state of emergency. HR-100 notes that the pandemic has affected members of the Legislature and their ability to participate in official legislative proceedings to the point that…
Since the California State Senate has authorized the use of remote voting, let’s take a look at how the process in the Senate works. Note, at this time, that the Assembly has not authorized remote voting yet. First, remote voting is limited to only policy and fiscal committees. It is not currently authorized for floor votes. If a Senator wants to be able to vote remotely, they must obtain approval for that accommodation request, and…
California’s judicial branch is supported by several important entities that assist the judiciary in operating efficiently. These include the Commission on Judicial Appointments and the Commission on Judicial Performance. Let’s take a look at what they do, and who make up the memberships of these Commissions. Commission on Judicial Appointments The Commission on Judicial Appointments, CJA, is charged with reviewing gubernatorial appointments to the appellate courts or Supreme Court in our state. When an attorney…
The twin goals of the APA at the federal and state levels are to ensure for purposes of any proposed rulemaking that there’s notice to the public and an opportunity for the public to be heard. With that in mind, there are a few items of interest for those who participate in rulemaking activities of California state agencies. Also keep in mind that the defined purpose of a regulation is to “implement, interpret, and make…
Urgency statutes are found in Article IV, Section 8 of the California Constitution. Bills signed into law by the Governor that contain an urgency clause become urgency statutes. Article IV, Section 8(c)(3) of the Constitution lays out the major difference between a regular bill and an urgency bill. A regular statute goes into effect on January 1 of the year following its passage and signature, or later. Urgency statutes take effect immediately upon being chaptered…
There’s often confusion in the California legislative process regarding effective versus operative dates. The most common effective date, basically the so-called default effective date, is January 1 following the year a bill was enacted. As for operative dates, in 1956 the Attorney General declared that a statute may be worded to provide for an operative other than the effective date. While the operative date may be the same as the effective date, it may also…
As one would imagine, the organization and structure of the California Legislature is found in Article IV, and there are half a dozen sections in Article IV that relate to the organization and structure of the Legislature. What are in these sections? I’ve included a sampling of some of the more comprehensive sections in the text today and cover more in the audio in today’s blog post. Section 2 includes: The composition of the Legislature…