McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli

California’s Constitution grants the Governor, subject to approval by the Legislature, the authority to assign and reorganize functions among the executive officers and agencies as well as their employees. This reorganization of the executive branch of government is called a Governor’s Reorganization Plan or more commonly referred to as a GRP.

As such, a GRP is a bill that is submitted to the Legislature for approval after its consideration by the Little Hoover Commission, which must occur at least 30 days prior to the GRP’s submission to the California Legislature. Following a review and one or more public hearings of the proposed GRP, the Little Hoover Commission offers a recommendation to the Legislature to either allow the GRP to go into effect or to reject the GRP.

Then each house of the Legislature has 60 calendar days to act on the GRP. If they don’t act, the GRP takes effect on the 61st day after submission to the Legislature. Otherwise, a resolution that rejects the GRP must be adopted by both the Senate and the Assembly by a majority vote of each house of the Legislature.

Government Code Section 8523 subdivision(a) requires the governor to submit to the Little Hoover Commission for study and recommendation any reorganization plan which he intends to submit to the Legislature. This must occur at least 30 days prior to submission of the GRP to the Legislature.

Prior to transmittal of a GRP to the LHC, the governor must submit each GRP to the Legislative Counsel in order for it to be drafted and submitted to the Legislature in the form and using the language suitable for enactment as a statute. The Legislative Counsel also prepares a Legislative Counsel’s Digest of the GRP.

Under Section 8523 subdivision(c) of the Government Code, the Governor may submit a GRP directly to the Legislature if that GRP is substantially identical to a plan that was previously submitted to the Little Hoover Commission during the same legislative session.

The GRP may be delivered to the Legislature at any time during a regular session of the Legislature provided that the Legislature has at least 60 calendar days of continuous session remaining to consider that GRP. The Governor’s reorganization process is an important one for the Governor to assign any new duties or to change existing duties of state agencies and departments.

The last GRP was done in 2012, under then‑Governor Jerry Brown, to restructure various agencies and departments under his authority and control.

You can find the transcript of today’s podcast here.

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