Drafting rules for specific types of bills

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The purpose of this article is to provide specific recommendations for the drafting of certain types of bills in California. This article covers appropriation bills, emergency bills, special bills, state-mandated local program bills, levy bills, and tax amendments. double articulation. The standardized language and the recommendations below are not formal rules. And, the language is sometimes revised or stated differently depending on the particular circumstances of the bill being drafted in that state.

Credit invoices

There are three main requirements for drafting bills that make an allocation of funds.

First, in the Relationship Clause, the following wording should be included: “and make an appropriation therefor. “

Second, in the Legislative Counsel Digest, language similar to the following will be included (there must be a clear statement in the Digest that the bill contains a credit): The bill would appropriate __ (sum of money) from __ (identify source of funds) to __ (identify recipient fund) for the purpose of __ (specify use of funds).

Third, these summary keys will indicate: Ownership: yes Tax commission: yes

In addition, according to the California Constitution, three statements must be included in the current wording of the law: First, authorization to spend is given to a state official (this could be a program instead of agency or state entity). Second, there is a verifiable amount of funding (this usually includes where the money comes from). Third, the funds are earmarked for a particular purpose (this usually includes the destination of the money).

Emergency invoices

To draft an emergency bill, there are four main requirements:

First, in the Relationship Clause, the following wording will be included: “and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately”.

Second, in the Legislative Counsel Digest, the following wording will be used, generally at the end of the Digest: “This bill would state that it is to come into force immediately as emergency law.” “

Third, this voting key after the Digest will read: Vote: 2/3

Fourth, there will be a stand-alone section at the end of the bill (called the “plus” section) which will include the following language:

“This law is an emergency law necessary for the immediate preservation of public peace, health or security within the meaning of article IV of the Constitution and will enter into force immediately. The facts constituting the necessity are:

In order to __ (specify the urgency) as quickly as possible, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.

Special bill

There are two main requirements for drafting a bill that proposes special rather than general law:

First, in the Legislative Counsel Digest, the following language is included:

“This bill would make legislative conclusions and statements as to the need for special law for __ (a brief description).”

Second, there will be a stand-alone section at the end of the bill (called the “plus” section) which will include the following language:

“The Legislature concludes and declares that a special law is necessary and that a general law cannot be made applicable within the meaning of section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution due to the unique circumstances __ (describes the unique nature and necessity of the bill). ”

State-mandated local program bill

There are four main requirements (two included in the Digest) for drafting a bill that creates a state-mandated local agenda:

First, in the Legislative Counsel Digest, it is clearly stated that the state-mandated local program is linked to the context in which the program is mandated. For example, the reader may see language such as, “By requiring local governments to do __ (specify activity), this bill would impose a state-mandated local agenda.” Similar language that could be read could be, “By expanding the crime of __ (specify type of crime), this bill would impose a state-mandated local agenda.” “

Second, in the Digest as well, language similar to the following is included:

“The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain state-mandated costs. The legal provisions establish the terms of this reimbursement.

“This bill would provide that, if the State Mandates Commission determines that the bill contains state mandated fees, the reimbursement of those fees will be made in accordance with the aforementioned legal provisions. “

Note that this language is not always the same as it depends on reimbursement from the state mandated local program. The language shown above is the default refund language. However, there is another form language used depending on the type of program.

Third, these Digest Keys will say: Tax Committee: yes Local Program: yes

Fourth, there will be a stand-alone section at the end of the bill (called the “plus” section) which will include language similar to the following: “If the State Mandates Commission determines that this law contains state mandated costs, reimbursement of those costs to local agencies and school districts will be made in accordance with Part 7 (beginning with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code. . “

Note here also that the type of forms language used in the plus section varies depending on the type of state-mandated local program contained in the bill.

Tax levy invoices

There are five main requirements for drafting a bill that is a tax levy:

First, in the relationship clause, the following wording will be included: “to take effect immediately, withholding tax”.

Second, in the Legislative Counsel Digest, the following language will be used, generally at the end of the Digest: “This bill would come into effect immediately as a tax levy. “

Third, these Digest Keys will say: Vote: majority or 2/3 Tax Commission: yes

Fourth, if the bill creates a new tax expenditure program, there will be a stand-alone section at the end of the bill (called the “plus” section) that will include wording similar to the following: “This is the ‘Intention of the Legislative Assembly to comply with section 41 of the Revenue and Tax Code by __ (outlining the objectives and criteria for evaluating this new tax expenditure program).

Fifth, there will be a stand-alone section at the end of the bill (referred to as the “plus” section) which will include the following wording: “This law provides for a tax levy within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and come into effect. effective immediately.

Joint modifications

There are three main requirements for drafting a bill that requires double-joined amendments (more commonly – and incorrectly – referred to as “chapter amendments”):

First, in the Legislative Counsel Digest, language similar to the following will be used, generally at the end of the Digest: “This bill incorporate additional changes to section 2783 of the Labor Code proposed by AB 1506 so that they are applicable only if this bill and AB 1506 are enacted and this bill is enacted last.

Second, in the text of the bill there will be a section .5 that combines the changes to a section of code that are in the two bills that have different language for the same section of code.

Third, there will be a stand-alone section at the end of the bill (referred to as the “plus” section) which will include wording similar to the following: this bill and Assembly bill 1506. This section of this bill only comes into force if (1) the two bills are adopted and come into force on January 1, 2022 at the latest, (2) each bill amends article 2783 of the Labor Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after the Assembly’s Bill 1506, in which case section 4 of this bill does not come into force.

Note that this language is not always the same as it depends on specific circumstances. The language shown above is the default double-joined language. In addition, there could be multiple sections of code and multiple bills requiring more than one double-joined amendment in bills.

There are other types of California bills that have unique drafting principles, but the examples of legislation above are the most common for bill drafters.


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