December 1, 2022

Volume XII, Number 335

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The Legislature Has Recessed But Can It Still Pass Bills?

Because this is the second year of California's current legislative biennium, the legislature went into final recess on August 31.  J.R. 51(b)(3).  This does not mean, however, that the legislature has adjourned.  A recess is a temporary suspension of legislative proceedings while an adjournment sine die (without a day) ends the proceedings.  See Motions To Adjourn - Do They End Or Continue A Meeting?  In even-numbered years, the legislature adjourns sine die on November 30.   Cal. Const. Art. IV, § 3(a).  

If the legislature is in recess but has not yet adjourned, can reconvene and continue to pass bills?  The California Constitution prohibits either the Senate or the Assembly from passing bills after September 1 of even numbered years.  Cal. Const. Art. IV, § 10(c) & J.R. 61(b)(17).   The Constitution does allow for the following exceptions, however:

  • Statutes calling for elections;

  • Statutes providing for tax levies or appropriations for the usual and current expenses of the state;

  • Urgency statutes; and

  • Bills passed after being vetoed by the Governor.

However, the Constitution prohibits the legislature from presenting any bill to the Governor after November 15.   Cal. Const. Art. IV, § 10(d).

© 2010-2022 Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 271
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About this Author

Keith Paul Bishop, Corporate Transactions Lawyer, finance securities attorney, Allen Matkins Law Firm
Partner

Keith Bishop works with privately held and publicly traded companies on federal and state corporate and securities transactions, compliance, and governance matters. He is highly-regarded for his in-depth knowledge of the distinctive corporate and regulatory requirements faced by corporations in the state of California.

While many law firms have a great deal of expertise in federal or Delaware corporate law, Keith’s specific focus on California corporate and securities law is uncommon. A former California state regulator of securities and financial institutions, Keith has decades of...

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