School is Back in Session

Wow, that went by fast! Interim is officially over as the Legislature reconvenes today to swear-in all of the members for the new legislative session. But, they won’t be here long. After today, members will return to their districts for the remainder of December and will return to Sacramento the first week of January. Gavin Newson will be inaugurated as the new governor on January 7, 2019.

Even though they are only here for a day, there will undoubtedly be legislation already introduced today for the new session. Introducing bills on the first day has some advantages: (1) bills must be in print for at least 30 days before any action can be taken on them, such as being heard in policy committee, and so bills introduced in December will be the first bills eligible for action; and (2) it can identify a legislator’s intent or priority for the session to lead the discussion on a certain policy.

One of the bills we expect to see introduced today is an intent bill dealing with the Dynamex decision. An “intent bill” as opposed to a regular bill does not have any proposed substantive statutory language or amendments. Rather, it simply sets forth the intent of the author to ultimately amend the bill at a later point in the legislative session into substantive legislation on that specific policy or issue. As predicted, Dynamex will likely be a significant priority this year as well as several other major issues including wildfires, housing, and consumer privacy.

The newly elected legislators between both the Senate and the Assembly, however, will likely be trying to hire staff, complete new member orientation to learn the rules and procedures of the house floor and figure out where their office is located or even the code for the bathrooms in the Capitol. In order to be ready to go in January, these new members have a lot of preparation and organization in December.

Welcome back everyone, at least for today!

Jennifer Barrera, Senior Vice President, Policy