My first book on drafting legislation in California is titled, Introduction to Drafting Legislation in California. When I wrote that book, and then had it published in early 2020, I knew that there were many other drafting topics to eventually cover.
That belief was strengthened with co-teaching the course “Legislative Drafting” at the University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law the past two years. As a result, this book contains 290 chapters and I hope for it to be a handbook for those involved or interested in drafting legislation in this state.
California is one of about twenty states that do not publish their drafting manual, so this handbook is the next best option.
About the Author
Overview of Legislative Drafting in California
Chapter 1 Legislative Drafting—An Introduction
Chapter 2 The Role of the Legislative Counsel
Chapter 3 The Job of the California Bill Drafter
Chapter 4 Modernizing California Statutes
Chapter 5 Eliminating Legalese in California Statutes
Chapter 6 Judges Should Better Appreciate the Legislative Process and Bill Drafting Principles
Chapter 7 Federal Constitutional Limitations on the California Legislature
Chapter 8 Is Plagiarism Allowed in Bill Drafting?
Chapter 9 How Complicated Can Bill Drafting Become?
Chapter 10 Active Versus Passive Voice in Legislation
Chapter 11 What Are All the Legislative Measures?
Chapter 12 Does the Legislature Enact Invalid Statutes?
California Legislature and Legislative Process
Chapter 13 Overview of the California Legislature
Chapter 14 Overview of the California Legislative Process
Chapter 15 Key Differences between the Assembly and Senate in the Legislative Process
Chapter 16 Different Vote Requirements for California Legislative Actions and Bills
Chapter 17 Overview of California’s Budget Process
Chapter 18 What Happens in the First Part of the Legislative Session?
Chapter 19 What Happens in the Middle Part of the Legislative Session?
Chapter 20 What Happens in the Last Part of the Legislative Session?
Chapter 21 Delegation of Authority by the Legislature
Chapter 22 A Look at the 72-Hour in Print Rule
Chapter 23 How Is a Bill “In Print” When It Will Be Amended Days Later?
Chapter 24 The Legislative Privilege
Chapter 25 Limits on Certain Types of Legislative Measures
Chapter 26 Legislature Telling Agencies How to Act
Chapter 27 What Are Committee Bills?
Chapter 28 Joint Rule 26.5 Explained
Chapter 29 Two Types of Author’s Amendments
Chapter 30 What Is Being Amended by Bill Amendments?
Chapter 31 Rules That Apply and Do Not Apply to Special Session Bills
Chapter 32 Named Legislative Acts
Chapter 33 The Second Bill Introduction Deadline than in the Constitution
Chapter 34 Higher Vote Threshold
Chapter 35 Legislative Terms Compared
California Legislative Publications
Chapter 36 Overview of California’s Legislative Publications
Chapter 37 What is the Legislative Index?
Chapter 38 What is the Table of Sections Affected?
Chapter 39 What is the Statutory Record?
Chapter 40 What is the New Laws Report?
Chapter 41 Role of Mason’s Manual
Chapter 42 Flagging Items for Bill Searches
Overview of California Laws
Chapter 43 Where to Find California Laws
Chapter 44 Codified Versus Uncodified Laws
Chapter 45 General Provisions of California Codes
Chapter 46 What Are the Component Parts of Codes?
Chapter 47 California’s “Plain English” Statutes
Chapter 48 Researching the Legislative History of an Enacted California Statute
Chapter 49 The Enrolled Bill Rule in California
Chapter 50 California Law and Its “Maxims of Jurisprudence”
Chapter 51 Effective Versus Operative Dates of Statutes
Chapter 52 Retroactivity of California Statutes
Chapter 53 Types of Legislative Measures
Chapter 54 Statutes Other than Codes
Chapter 55 Headings in California Law
Chapter 56 Forms Used in Statutes
Chapter 57 Grants of Rulemaking Authority
Chapter 58 Why Do California Codes Have General Provisions?
Chapter 59 Misspellings Found in California Statutes?
Chapter 60 What Is a Substantive Change in the Law?
Chapter 61 Are the Following Bills Substantive or Nonsubstantive?
Chapter 62 Use of Parentheticals in California Statutes
Chapter 63 Statutes, State Agencies, and the Administrative Procedure Act
Chapter 64 Classification of Counties and Statutes
Chapter 65 Named Acts, but No Tombstones in Legislation
Statutory Construction in California
Chapter 66 California’s Use of Statutory Construction in Statutes
Chapter 67 Some Commonly Codified Statutory Interpretation Principles
Chapter 68 Basic Guidelines for Statutory Construction
Chapter 69 Legislative Intent and California Courts
Chapter 70 The Connection Between Judges and Bill Drafters
Chapter 71 Should Legislative Intent Statements Be Codified?
Chapter 72 Publishing Letters to the Journal for Determining Legislative Intent
Chapter 73 Does Legislative Intent Language Trump Statutory Language?
Chapter 74 Are Legislative Findings and Declarations Necessary in Legislation?
Chapter 75 California’s Reenactment Rule
Chapter 76 Legislative Statutes and Cases Interpreting Them
Chapter 77 Some Differences in Drafting Types of Legislative Measures
Chapter 78 Why Might a Bill Be Declared Unconstitutional?
Chapter 79 Is There a Difference Between Vagueness and Ambiguity?
Chapter 80 Should There Be a Distinction Among Types of Legislative History?
Chapter 81 Legislative History and Intent – What Is the Difference?
Chapter 82 Canon of Statutory Construction – Last Antecedent
Chapter 83 Canon of Statutory Construction – Noscitur a Sociis
Chapter 84 Canon of Statutory Construction – Ejusdem Generis
Chapter 85 Canon of Statutory Construction – Expressio Unius
Chapter 86 Canon of Statutory Construction – Rule Against Surplusage
Chapter 87 Canon of Statutory Construction – Whole Act Rule
Chapter 88 Canon of Statutory Construction – In Pari Materia
Chapter 89 Canon of Statutory Construction – Rule of Lenity
Chapter 90 Canon of Statutory Construction – Constitutional Avoidance
Chapter 91 Liberally Construing Statutes
Chapter 92 Statutes Codifying Court Decisions
Chapter 93 Declarations of Existing Law
Chapter 94 Interpreting Statutes Using Legislative Guidance
Chapter 95 Bills Citing Statutes and Court Decisions
Chapter 96 Courts Determining Severability
Chapter 97 Courts Delving into Legislative Intent
Chapter 98 Can Legislation Affect Pending Litigation?
Chapter 99 Intent and Policy Statements in Bills
Chapter 100 Interesting Statements of Intent
Chapter 101 Include a Policy or Intent Statement with Legislative Findings?
Chapter 102 Legislative Findings in Lottery Act Bills
Chapter 103 Legislature’s Intent Instructions
Chapter 104 Legislative Findings in CCPA Bills
Chapter 105 Findings Versus Intent Statements
Chapter 106 Express Versus Implied Repeals
Chapter 107 Numerous California Statutes Have Been Invalidated by the Courts
California Bill Drafting Rules
Chapter 108 Drafting Rules from the Constitution
Chapter 109 Drafting Rules from the Government Code
Chapter 110 Drafting Rules from the Legislature’s Joint Rules
Chapter 111 Drafting Rules from the Legislature’s House Rules
Chapter 112 Preparing to Amend or Repeal Laws
Chapter 113 Four Stages of Preparing Legislation
Chapter 114 Transitional Versus Saving Provisions: What Is the Difference?
Chapter 115 The Seven Cs of Basic Legislative Drafting
Chapter 116 Drafting Bills and Amendments
Chapter 117 California Bill Drafting Considerations
Chapter 118 Senate Rules Applicable to the Drafting of Legislation
Chapter 119 Assembly Rules Applicable to the Drafting of Legislation
Chapter 120 Key Reminders in Drafting Legislation
Chapter 121 Considerations in Drafting California Legislation
Chapter 122 Special Rules for California Bill Drafting
Chapter 123 Additional Bill Drafting Guidelines
Chapter 124 Making Legislation More Readable
Chapter 125 Guidelines for Forming Legislative Sentences
Chapter 126 Punctuation in California Legislation
Chapter 127 The Use of Definitions in Legislation
Chapter 128 Gender-Neutral Legislative Drafting
Chapter 129 Affirmative Voice in Legislation
Chapter 130 Specific Bill Drafting Guidance
Chapter 131 Conflict in California Legislation
Chapter 132 “That” Versus “Which”
Chapter 133 “Shall” Versus “May”
Chapter 134 More on Drafting Definitions
Chapter 135 Intriguing Timing Definitions in Statute
Chapter 136 Is “Encouragement” Sufficient in Legislation?
Drafting Bills in California
Chapter 137 Bills
Chapter 138 The Anatomy of a Bill
Chapter 139 General Outline of a California Bill
Chapter 140 Reading a Bill to Understand What It Proposes to Do
Chapter 141 Correct Version of a Bill
Chapter 142 Can a Bill Take Just Three Actions?
Chapter 143 Amend Repeal Add Bills
Chapter 144 Order of Bill Authors
Chapter 145 Main Actions a Bill Takes
Chapter 146 Which Phrase to Use
Chapter 147 Provisos in California Law
Chapter 148 Types of Bills
Chapter 149 Provisions of a Bill
Chapter 150 The Legislative Counsel’s Digest
Chapter 151 Drafting Legislative Counsel Digests
Chapter 152 A Bill’s “Keys” – What Are They?
Chapter 153 Drafting a Bill’s Title
Chapter 154 Order of Items in a Bill Title
Chapter 155 Order of Enumeration
Chapter 156 Drafting Definitions in California Statutes
Chapter 157 Amendments to Bills
Chapter 158 What to Look for in a Bill
Chapter 159 Types of Bill Amendments in the California Legislature
Chapter 160 Legislation and the Single Subject Rule
Chapter 161 “Spot Bills”’ in the California Legislature
Chapter 162 Spot Bills Versus Intent Bills
Chapter 163 How to Draft a Spot Bill
Chapter 164 Is There More Detailed Spot Bill Language in Digests?
Chapter 165 How to Draft an Intent Bill
Chapter 166 Are Findings and Declarations Bills Substantive
Chapter 167 Combining Legislative Findings and Intent Statements
Chapter 168 “Gut-and-Amend Bills” in the Legislature
Chapter 169 Retroactive Versus Prospective Bills
Chapter 170 General Versus Special Statutes
Chapter 171 Urgency Clause Statutes in Legislation
Chapter 172 Determining Whether Amendments Are Germane
Chapter 173 Severability or Saving Clauses in Bills
Chapter 174 The Use of Sunset Dates in Legislation
Chapter 175 State Mandated Local Programs
Chapter 176 Making Sense of Technical Amendments
Chapter 177 Guidelines for Drafting Bill Titles
Chapter 178 Guidelines for Drafting Bill Summaries
Chapter 179 Guidelines for Drafting Legislative Statements
Chapter 180 Guidelines for Drafting Uniform Acts
Chapter 181 Layering of Penalties and Remedies
Chapter 182 Using Cross References
Chapter 183 Using Acronyms in Statutes
Chapter 184 Using “Includes” Versus “Means” in Bills
Chapter 185 Using the Term “Construe” in Statutes
Chapter 186 Using the Term “Abrogate”
Chapter 187 Using Correct References in Bills and Statutes
Chapter 188 Bills Contain Two Sections and Two Amendments
Chapter 189 What Happens to Technical Law Changes in a Vetoed Bill?
Chapter 190 Companion Bills
Chapter 191 Use of Display Bills
Chapter 192 Bill Drafting Checklists
Specialized Provisions of Bills
Chapter 193 Why Bills Have Certain Provisions?
Chapter 194 Special Statute Statements in Bills
Chapter 195 Should a Special Statute Rely Upon Findings and Declarations?
Chapter 196 Technical Changes Made to Existing Statutes by Legislative Counsel
Chapter 197 Unusual Sections of California Bills
Chapter 198 Notwithstanding Clauses
Chapter 199 Double-Jointing Amendments
Chapter 200 Saving Clauses
Chapter 201 Deferral Clauses
Chapter 202 Enacting Clauses in Legislation
Chapter 203 Right of Public Access Disclaimers
Chapter 204 A Better Approach on Public Right of Access Findings
Chapter 205 Legislative Findings in Political Reform Act Bills
Chapter 206 Municipal Affair Bills
Chapter 207 Legislative Declarations Regarding Non-Municipal Affairs
Chapter 208 Drafting Sunset Clauses
Chapter 209 Order of Plus Sections
Chapter 210 The Value of Explanations in Bill Plus Sections
Chapter 211 Bill Corrections
Chapter 212 Bills with yet-to-be-determined Provisions
Chapter 213 Contingencies in Legislation
Chapter 214 Preemption Legislation
Chapter 215 Private Rights of Action in California Legislation
Chapter 216 Section 2230 Disclaimers in Bills
Chapter 217 Gift of Public Funds Disclaimer
Chapter 218 Automatic Repeal of Reporting Requirements in Bills
Chapter 219 Legislative Findings in Lottery Act Bills
Chapter 220 Why California Bills Do Not Use the Term “and/or”
Chapter 221 Intriguing Timing Definitions in Bills
Chapter 222 Bill with Numerous Notwithstanding Clauses
Chapter 223 Different Type of Contingent Enactment Amendments
Chapter 224 Unique Severability Clause
Chapter 225 Are Severability Clauses Needed?
Chapter 226 Expressions of Limitation
Chapter 227 What Is a Tax Levy in California Legislation?
Chapter 228 Section 2229 Waivers in Bills
Chapter 229 Prop. 63 Legislative Findings
Chapter 230 Saving Versus Grandfathering Clauses
Chapter 231 Types of Penalties in Statute
Chapter 232 Layering Penalties or Remedies
Chapter 233 Common Plus Sections in Legislation
Fiscal and Budget Bills in California
Chapter 234 What is an “Appropriations Measure?”
Chapter 235 Joint Rule 10.5 and Fiscal Bills
Chapter 236 Closer Look at Appropriations Bills
Chapter 237 Unique Provisions of California’s Budget Bill – Part I
Chapter 238 Unique Provisions of California’s Budget Bill – Part II
Chapter 239 Unique Provisions of California’s Budget Bill – Part III
Chapter 240 Unique Provisions of California’s Budget Bill – Part IV
Chapter 241 Unique Provisions of California’s Budget Bill – Part V
Chapter 242 Unique Provisions of California’s Budget Bill – Part VI
Chapter 243 Unique Provisions of California’s Budget Bill – Part VII
Chapter 244 Unique Provisions of California’s Budget Bill – Part VIII
Chapter 245 Constitutional Rules for the State Budget
Chapter 246 Standard Sections in a Budget Bill
Chapter 247 Continuous Appropriation Bills
Chapter 248 Do Continuous Appropriations Bind a Future Legislature?
Chapter 249 Drafting Bond Bills
Chapter 250 Appropriating Funds
Chapter 251 Bills that Contain Intent for Future Appropriations
Chapter 252 Appropriations Limit Disclaimer
Chapter 253 Drafting Claims Bills
Chapter 254 Public Assistance Appropriations Bills
Chapter 255 Reversion Clauses
Chapter 256 Possible New Approach for Appropriations Bills?
Specific Types of Drafting in California
Chapter 257 Bill Drafting Rules for Specific Types of Bills
Chapter 258 Drafting a Bill to Regulate a Profession
Chapter 259 Drafting Criminal or Penal Statutes
Chapter 260 Checklist for Drafting Criminal Laws
Chapter 261 Drafting Tax Statutes
Chapter 262 Additional Rules for Drafting Tax Bills
Chapter 263 Using Model or Uniform Acts for Bill Drafting
Chapter 264 Bills Affecting the University of California System
Chapter 265 Validation Bills
Chapter 266 Drafting Memorandum of Understanding Bills
Chapter 267 Joint Powers Authority Bills
Chapter 268 Williamson Act Bills
Chapter 269 Drafting Tribal Compact Legislation
Chapter 270 Drafting Local Government Finance Measures
Chapter 271 Drafting Special Statutes
Chapter 272 Drafting a Bill Calling an Election
Chapter 273 Bills Going to Voters
Chapter 274 Drafting a New Program
Chapter 275 2011 Realignment Bills
Chapter 276 Tied-house Restriction Exception Bills
Chapter 277 Drafting a State Holiday Bill
Chapter 278 Interstate Compacts
Chapter 279 Bills Apportioning Revenues among Political Entities
Chapter 280 Code Maintenance Bills
Chapter 281 Successor Entities in Legislation
Chapter 282 Legislation to Lease or Acquire State Property
Chapter 283 Governor’s Reorganization Plans
Chapter 284 Drafting Checklist for New Commission
Chapter 285 Why Do California Tax Contain “Section 41” Provisions?
Chapter 286 Drafting Checklist for Creating a New Entity
Bill Drafting Examples
Chapter 287 General Bill Drafting Examples
Chapter 288 Example of Bill from Introduction to Chaptering
Chapter 289 Examples of Common Provisions Found in Bills
Chapter 290 Examples of Proper Legislative Drafting Principles
Chapter 291 Interesting Provisions from AB 587
Chapter 292 AB 2406 Interesting Provisions
Chapter 293 Bill of Only Repeals
Chapter 294 Possibly the Shortest Bill
Drafting Resolutions in California
Chapter 295 Resolutions
Chapter 296 The Anatomy of a Resolution
Chapter 297 Drafting Considerations for a Resolution
Chapter 298 Does a Legislative Resolution Prevail Over a Statute?
Chapter 299 Resolutions Drafting Checklists
Drafting Constitutional Amendments in California
Chapter 300 Constitutional Amendments
Chapter 301 The Anatomy of a Constitutional Amendment
Chapter 302 Amending or Revising the California Constitution
Chapter 303 Drafting Considerations for a Constitutional Amendment
Chapter 304 Constitutional Amendments Have Resolution Chapters
Chapter 305 Constitutional Amendment Drafting Checklist
Drafting Ballot Measures in California
Chapter 306 Standard Features of Initiative Measures
Chapter 307 Single Subject Rule and the Ballot Initiative
Chapter 308 Special Rules for Bills Amending Ballot Measures
Index of Topics
Chris Micheli is a founding partner of the Sacramento governmental relations and advocacy firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc. As a legislative advocate, Micheli frequently testifies before policy and fiscal committees of the California Legislature, as well as a number of administrative agencies, departments, boards, and commissions. He regularly drafts legislative and regulatory language and is considered a leading authority on state tax law developments, California's knife laws, and the state legislative process. The Wall Street Journal called him "one of the top three business tax lobbyists in the state" and the Los Angeles Times described him as an "elite lobbyist."
Over the last twenty years, he has published hundreds of articles and editorials in professional journals, newspapers, and trade magazines, whose diverse subjects range from tax incentives to transportation funding. He wrote a bi-monthly column on civil justice reform for five years for The Daily Recorder, Sacramento's daily legal newspaper. He has served on the editorial advisory board for CCH's State Income Tax Alert, a nationwide publication, as well as State Income Tax Monitor, another national newsletter, and Sacramento Lawyer, a monthly legal journal.
Micheli has been an attorney of record in several key cases, having argued before the Supreme Court of California (just two years out of law school), as well as the Court of Appeal several times. He has filed more than fifteen amicus curiae briefs in California courts and is admitted to practice law before all of the state and federal courts in the state.
He has published six peer-reviewed law review articles and is the co-editor and co-author of the book “A Practitioner’s Guide to Lobbying and Advocacy in California,” as well as the author of “Understanding the California Legislative Process,” both published in 2020 by Kendall-Hunt Publishing Company. His most recently-published books released in 2021 are “Introduction to California Government” and “An Introduction to Legislative Drafting in California.” He is also the co-author of “Guide to Executive Branch Agency Rulemaking.” He also published two law school casebooks entitled “The California Legislature and Its Legislative Process – Cases and Materials” and “Cases and Materials on Direct Democracy in California.”
He is a graduate of the University of California, Davis with a B.A. in Political Science – Public Service and the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law with a J.D. degree. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at McGeorge where he co-teaches the course Lawmaking in California, as well as a Lecturer in Law at the University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law where he co-teaches the course Legislative Drafting. He resides in Sacramento, California with his wife, Liza, two daughters, Morgan and Francesca, and son, Vincenzo.