Today’s post is on the effective dates of statutes.

In the California Legislature legislation that contains an urgency clause take effect immediately upon the Governor signing the bill and it being chaptered by the Secretary of State – which occurs the same day.

With the exception of measures which take immediately, tax levies and bills calling an election, bills enacted in the first year of the legislative session before the Legislature adjourns all go into effect on January 1 of the following year. This same rule applies to the second year of the legislative session as well.

A statute enacted in a special session goes into effect on the 91st day after that special session has adjourned.

A statute – now there are some exceptions – for those that establish boundaries of the legislative, congressional, or election district enacted by a bill passed by the Legislature before adjourning for joint recess and in the possession after that date go into effect on January 1 unless a copy of a referendum petition effecting the statute is submitted to the Attorney General – in accordance with Section 10(d) of Article II of the state constitution – and then the statute goes into effect the 91st day after the enactment unless the Secretary of State receives that petition for the referendum.

Note that in Section 9(c), statutes calling elections, statutes providing for tax levies or appropriations for the usual and current expenses of the state, and urgency statutes go into effect immediately upon enactment.

The exceptions to this general rule are set forth in Section 9600b of the Government Code, which again reiterates that constitutional provision that statutes calling elections, those statutes calling for tax levies or appropriations for expenses of the state, and urgency statutes go into effect immediately.

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