McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli outside the California State Capitol

Today I’ll consider the question of whether legislative intent language can overcome statutory language. I’ve seen instances in the California Legislature where a bill contains both statutory changes – language that adds, amends, or repeals Code Sections – as well as legislative intent statements – usually in the form of findings and declarations.

In

McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli outside the California State Capitol

As capitol observers watch the floor sessions, and sometimes even committee hearings, of the California State Assembly and State Senate they come across some commonly used phrases. Let’s take a look at what those phrases mean.

Parliamentary Inquiry

This is used by a member of the Senate or the Assembly during a legislative proceeding

McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli outside the California State Capitol

When the California Legislature adjourned its 2020 session in the early morning hours of September 1st, many observers mistakenly called it adjournment sine die. However, it is worth noting that there is a distinction between adjournment and adjournment sine die.

The Legislative Counsel’s Glossary of Terms defines adjournment as “terminating a meeting

McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli outside the California State Capitol

California’s Law Revision Commission was established almost 70 years ago as an independent state agency, and its purpose is to assist the Legislature and the Governor in reviewing and making suggested reforms to state statutes. Beginning this year, there is also a Committee on the Revision of the Penal Code.

The Commission is comprised

McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli outside the California State Capitol

The California Transportation Commission, also known by its acronym, the CTC, was established in state government by legislation enacted in 1977.

The CTC began operations the following year. Its purpose is to ensure the implementation of a single transportation policy here in the State of California. When it began operations in 1978, it actually

McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli outside the California State Capitol

The California Energy Commission, or CEC as it is often referred to as, was established in 1974 by the Warren-Alquist Act in response to the nation’s energy crisis in the early 1970’s. The CEC is charged with leading the state to a 100% clean energy future. It is the state’s primary energy policy and

McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli outside the California State Capitol

The California Coastal Commission was created by voters in 1972 and made permanent by the Legislature when the California Coastal Act was enacted in 1976. The Coastal Commission is charged with protecting and enhancing California’s coast and ocean for all generations.

It is an independent, quasi-judicial state agency. It is quasi-judicial because it has

McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli outside the California State Capitol

Similar to how the LAO serves the California Legislature, the Department of Finance – DOF or Finance for short – serves as the chief fiscal policy advisor to the Governor. Its closest federal counterpart is the Office of Management and Budget, OMB, which serves as the President’s chief fiscal policy advisor.

The DOF engages

McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli outside the California State Capitol

The Legislative Analyst’s Office, LAO, is similar to the federal Congressional Budget Office. It is a nonpartisan fiscal and policy advisor and has performed this duty admirably for 75 years.

The LAO is known for its fiscal and programmatic expertise and for providing very important and nonpartisan analyses of the California state budget to

McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli outside the California State Capitol

The judicial branch of California government engages in policymaking through the Judicial Council.

The Judicial Council is chaired by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court. It pursues a number of different goals, including: providing access, fairness, and diversity in our court system; ensuring independence and accountability of the judiciary; modernizing the management