Enrolled Bill Reports and Gubernatorial Actions on Bills (transcript)

Today’s podcast on enrolled bill reports and gubernatorial actions on bills.


Once an enrolled bill reaches the Governor’s desk for final action, enrolled bill reports, or EBRs are produced for the Governor and his senior staff to consider the merits of the bill pending on the Governor’s desk. An enrolled bill is the final version of the bill that has passed both houses of the Legislature and is pending final action by the Governor.

California’s Governor has three choices with a bill that reaches his or her desk: sign the bill, veto the bill, or allow the bill to become law without his or her signature. The enrolled bill report, or again most often referred to as an EBR, is the analysis of a bill with information and a recommendation for action by the Governor written by staff.

EBRs are prepared for bills but not for constitutional amendments or resolutions because these measures are not acted upon by the Governor. Generally, there are at least three EBRs that are prepared for the Governor’s review with each bill that reaches his or her desk. The first is from the Department of Finance, the second is the relevant agency that has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the bill, and the third is by the Legislative Counsel.

The Governor’s bill file normally contains letters from outside parties that are urging the Governor to sign or veto the particular bill. They’re often submitted by interest groups that have supported or opposed the bill as the measure traveled through the legislative process. The Governor’s staff may have their own notes from meetings they’ve held with proponents and opponents of the bill.

All of these documents are clearly intended to provide the Governor and his or her staff with the information that they need to make an educated decision about whether to sign or veto the bill. Depending on the bill and how the particular Governor approaches decisions on pending legislation, these EBRs can be the critical basis for whether the bill gets signed or vetoed that year.

Thank you for joining today.