McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli

The general business affairs of each house of the California Legislature are conducted by each house’s respective Committee on Rules. While the roles of the Senate and Assembly Committee on Rules are largely similar, they are different in several aspects.

As far as similarities are concerned, both committees:

  • Consider substantive legislation
  • Continue in existence during any recess of the Legislature, after final adjournment, and until the convening of the next regular session
  • Refer all bills and resolutions to the appropriate standing committee(s)

As to differences, one of the key ones is that the powers vested in the Speaker of the Assembly are the same powers vested in the Senate Committee on Rules. Some other differences between the two committees include:

  • The Assembly Rules Committee has a Chair, a Vice Chair, nine other members and two alternates, all of whom are appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly. The Senate Rules Committee has a Chair – the Senate President Pro Tem – and four other members who are elected by the entire Senate via a resolution.
  • The Senate Rules Committee confirms gubernatorial appointees whereas the Assembly Rules Committee does not.

It is also worth noting some other specific duties of each house’s Rules Committee. For example, in the Senate,  at each regular session the Rules Committee appoints a member of the Senate to Judicial Council and has the ultimate authority to fill a vacancy in that position during a joint recess of the Legislature.

This is not an exhaustive list, and more similarities are covered in the audio included in this blog post.

You can find the full transcript of today’s audio here.