Legislators Beat One Key Deadline in August as Second One Looms
On the legislative schedule, Friday,
August 15, is listed as the last day for state Senate and Assembly fiscal
committees to meet and send measures to the floor of their respective houses.
This year, lawmakers wrapped up that duty a day early.
Facing long agendas, the two key “money”
committees – the Assembly Appropriations Committee and its Senate counterpart,
the Senate Appropriations Committee -- reviewed and winnowed down the number of
bills in their suspense files.
By the deadline, the panels had to
assess how much of the legislation before them – including bills they had
approved in concept but placed in their “hold or suspense” file-- the state would
be able to afford. As they prioritized
and calculated, the panels voted out a host of bills for full house action.
Both houses will have only until August
31 to complete action on bills that the legislators want to send to the
governor. At the end of that day, both
houses are slated to being their “final recess.” The new legislative session will start in
December, after the November election reshapes the Legislature.
Because of the large flow of bills that
will go to the governor as the legislative year ends, the law provides him with
more than the usual 10 days to deliberate on a measure. In fact, he will have a full 30 days – until
September 30 – to complete his review of and action on the hundreds of bills
expected to head his way.
A number of important CTA position measures
were in that crush of bills that cleared the fiscal panels, including AB 1444,
the CTA-sponsored measure to ensure that students benefit from kindergarten
before starting first grade. That measure is expected to come before the full
Senate next week.