The California Legislature works on the basis of deadlines for moving measures including bills, resolutions and constitutional amendments through the legislative process. This is in stark contrast to the US Congress that does not have similar deadlines. The Assembly Chief Clerk and the Senate Secretary each maintain information related to these legislative deadlines.
Most statutes take effect on January 1. The Legislature generally convenes the first week in January. The budget bill must be submitted by the Governor by January 10th. There’s a deadline in late January for the last day to submit bill drafting requests to the office of the Legislative Counsel. And February is the last day for bills to be introduced for that year.
In April there is the last day for policy committees to hear and report fiscal bills to fiscal committees. Two weeks thereafter will be the last day for policy committees to hear and report to the floor non-fiscal bills. There will be the last day for fiscal committees to hear and report bills to the floor, generally in late May.
The first week in June will generally be the last day to pass bills out of the house of origin. The budget bill must be passed by midnight, June the 15th. In late June or early July will be the last day for policy committees to hear and report fiscal bills for referral to the fiscal committee.
Generally, either the month of July or mid-July to mid-August in odd-numbered years will be the summer recess assuming that the budget bill has been passed. The Legislature will reconvene from the summer recess for generally four to five weeks. At that time there’ll be the last day for fiscal committees to meet and report bills to the floor. The last two weeks will be floor session only or generally no committee may meet absent a rule waiver.
The last day of session is August 31st in the even-numbered year or roughly mid-September in the odd-numbered year is the last day for any bill to be passed and the start of the interim recess upon adjournment in the odd-numbered year. The Governor will have 30 days to sign or veto bills that were passed by the Legislature to him or her at that point.
You can find a full transcript of today’s podcast here.