Enacting new laws and passing a balanced budget are the primary responsibilities of the Legislature. While the budget won’t be finalized until mid-June, the final day to introduce new bills for consideration this year was February 19.
As a result, the annual bill deluge in Sacramento is well underway.
As of the 19th, 1,326 Assembly bills were introduced, compared to 1,549 last year. In the Senate, 667 bills have been introduced this year, compared to 805 last year. The total number of bills introduced in both houses this year is 1,993; the total last year was 2,354.
For the two-year session so far, the bill total is 4,347, not including special session bills, constitutional amendments or resolutions.
Many of these die quickly, often pulled by their author when they fail to generate support. Many more will create no controversy whatsoever, and will eventually pass by an overwhelming margin. Even so, most bills never become law.
Of the 2,354 bills introduced last year, Governor Brown eventually signed 808 into law and vetoed 133.
This year my bill package includes legislation aimed at increasing local water supplies, improving public safety, supporting charter schools, and assisting elder and dependent adult victims of financial crimes.
I’ll provide more details about my bills in a future article.
Obviously, some of this year’s bills will soon be generating intense debate and commanding lots of public attention. As bill numbers are assigned and the bills are referred to their respective committees, the Legislature’s work will begin in earnest.