McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli

Today we’ll take a look at how bills land on the consent calendar, and some of the different consent calendar processes in the Assembly and Senate. All bills on the Consent Calendar are dispensed with by a single vote of a committee or the full house in either the Assembly or the Senate.

Per the Joint Rules of the Assembly and Senate, an uncontested bill:

  • Receives a pass or do pass as amended recommendation from the committee to which it has been referred, by a unanimous vote of the members present;
  • Has no opposition expressed by any person at the committee hearing with respect to the final version of the bill as it was approved by the committee; and
  • Prior to final action by the committee, it has been requested by the author to be placed on consent.

Also under the Joint Rules, each standing committee may report an uncontested bill out of committee with the recommendation that it be placed on the consent calendar of their respective house and either the Senate Secretary or the Chief Clerk of the Assembly will provide the committee chair with the appropriate forms for the report of bills recommended for consent. The list of bills recommended for consent shall be made available to the public.

If a Senate Bill or Assembly Bill is amended to rewrite the bill, a standing committee may not place that bill on consent. If any member of either house objects to a bill on consent at any time before final passage, then it is returned to the third reading file and will be presented by author.

The Senate floor has two consent calendars, the consent calendar and the special consent calendar. The processes are essentially automatic, but which calendar a bill lands on is determined by specified procedures. A measure is placed on the consent calendar when the policy or fiscal committee reports the measure to the Senate floor with the recommendation that the bill be placed on consent.

A measure placed on the special consent calendar is done so by Senate Desk staff and can be placed on this list if the bill received zero no votes in Senate committees and no more than three no votes on the Assembly floor. This list of bills is then sent to all policy and fiscal committees as well as the Democratic and Republic caucuses for review, which takes one day, after which, they’re eligible for a Senate vote.

Any bill that’s amended on the floor shall cease to be on consent.

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