McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli

Like bills, resolutions and concurrent resolutions are mentioned several times in Article IV of California’s Constitution but are not defined in either the California Constitution or California Government Code. Unlike bills, there is no Schoolhouse Rock definition for resolutions.

The traditional definition of a resolution is a written motion that’s considered for adoption by a legislative body. Fundamentally, a resolution is a written measure that expresses the will of the Legislature. As opposed to a bill, once adopted a resolution does not have the force or effect of law. In California, there are several types of resolutions. Two are defined by the California Legislative Counsel.

Legislative Counsel gives definitions for concurrent and joint resolutions. A concurrent resolution is a measure that’s introduced in one house that if it’s approved must be sent to the other house for approval as well. Concurrent resolutions require action or state the Legislature’s position on a particular issue. The Governor’s signature is not required. These measures usually involve the internal business of the Legislature.

The Assembly version of a concurrent resolution uses the acronym ACR. The Senate version uses the acronym SCR.

Joint resolutions are defined as a resolution expressing the Legislature’s opinion about a matter within the jurisdiction of the federal government. Once adopted the resolution is forwarded to Congress for its information. A joint resolution requires the approval of both the Assembly and the Senate, but it does not require signature by the Governor.

The Senate version uses the acronym SJR, while the Assembly version uses the acronym AJR.

The third and final major type of resolution is a house resolution. It’s used to adopt rules for the individual house. These types of resolutions involve the internal business of a single house of the Legislature, and they only require passage in that one house. The Assembly version uses the acronym HR, while the Senate version uses the acronym SR.

You can find a full transcript of today’s podcast here.

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