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Amendment Deadline Quickly Approaching

September 4, 2013
With just a mere six working days before the Legislature adjourns for the year, the Assembly and Senate face one last key session milestone this week—the legislative amendment deadline.
 
This deadline is arguably one of the most important, albeit controversial, session deadlines given the onslaught of last minute bill gut-and-amends typically introduced during this time. After Sept. 6 Legislators will no longer be allowed to amend legislation this year.
 
In these final days legislators tend to reveal eleventh hour gut-and-amend bills that could have significant impacts on California cities. This practice has been consistently criticized over the years for its disregard of the legislative process and questionable procedural maneuvers. 
 
Rather than going through the usual committee process, gut-and-amend bills bypass legislative review and are immediately eligible for a floor vote. Typically newly gut-and-amended bills bear no resemblance to the bill’s original intent and frequently feature language transplanted from previously defeated or stalled legislation. League-supported constitutional amendment SCA 10 (Wolk) was introduced earlier this year to address the issue; however, it has remained in the Senate Rules Committee since January. The bill seeks to improve legislative transparency by requiring all bills be in print and available for review at least 72 hours prior to a final passage vote in either house.
 
The League will be monitoring all bill amendments until Friday’s deadline to ensure members are up-to-date on the latest Capitol happenings.


 
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