An Introduction to Drafting Legislation in California

Author(s): Chris Micheli

Edition: 1

Copyright: 2021

Pages: 288. LSI page count does not change


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The purpose of this book is to assist persons who have had little or no drafting experience as well as to provide a reference and explanatory material to more sophisticated legislative drafters. The purpose of a legislative drafting manual is to promote uniformity in drafting style and to make statutes clear, simple, and easy to understand and use.

An introductory book such as this cannot cover all of the aspects of legislative drafting. Like many other forms of legislative work, good drafting comes with experience and knowledge, and a successful bill drafter will pursue both throughout his or her career.

About the Author

Chapter 1 Legislative Drafting—An Introduction 

Chapter 2 Overview of the California Legislature 

Chapter 3 The Role of the Legislative Counsel 

Chapter 4 The Job of the California Bill Drafter 

Chapter 5 Overview of the California Legislative Process 

Chapter 6 Key Differences Between the Assembly and Senate in the California Legislative Process

Chapter 7 Overview of California’s Legislative Publications

Chapter 8 Different Vote Requirements for California Legislative Actions and Bills

Chapter 9 Overview of California’s Budget Process

Chapter 10 What Happens in the First Part of the Legislative Session?

Chapter 11 What Happens in the Middle Part of the Legislative Session?

Chapter 12 What Happens in the Last Part of the Legislative Session?

Chapter 13 Where Do We Find California Laws

Chapter 14 Codified Versus Uncodified Laws

Chapter 15 General Provisions of California Codes

Chapter 16 California’s “Plain English” Statutes

Chapter 17 California’s Use of Statutory Construction in Statutes

Chapter 18 Researching the Legislative History of an Enacted California Statute

Chapter 19 The Enrolled Bill Rule in California

Chapter 20 California Law and Its “Maxims of Jurisprudence”

Chapter 21 Basic Guidelines for Statutory Construction

Chapter 22 Legislative Intent and California Courts

Chapter 23 The Connection Between Judges and Bill Drafters

Chapter 24 Publishing Letters to the Journal for Determining Legislative Intent

Chapter 25 Does Legislative Intent Language Trump Statutory Language?

Chapter 26 Are Legislative Findings and Declarations Necessary in Legislation?

Chapter 27 California’s Reenactment Rule

Chapter 28 Legislative Statutes and Cases Interpreting Them

Chapter 29 A Look at the 72-Hours in Print Rule

Chapter 30 Delegation of Authority by the Legislature

Chapter 31 Effective versus Operative Dates of Statutes

Chapter 32 Retroactivity of California Statutes

Chapter 33 Types of Legislative Measures

Chapter 34 Some Differences in Drafting Types of Legislative Measures

Chapter 35 Bills

Chapter 36 The Anatomy a California Bill

Chapter 37 What is an ‘Appropriations Measure?’

Chapter 38 Joint Rule 10.5 and California Fiscal Bills

Chapter 39 Types of Bills

Chapter 40 Provisions of a Bill

Chapter 41 The Legislative Counsel’s Digest

Chapter 42 A Bill’s “Keys”—What Are They?

Chapter 43 Drafting a Bill’s Title

Chapter 44 Amendments to Bills

Chapter 45 What to Look for in a Bill

Chapter 46 Types of Bill Amendments in the California Legislature

Chapter 47 California Legislation and the Single Subject Rule

Chapter 48 ‘Spot Bills’ in the California Legislature

Chapter 49 “Gut-and-Amend Bills” in the California Legislature

Chapter 50 General Versus Special Statutes

Chapter 51 Urgency Clause Statutes in California Legislation

Chapter 52 Determining Whether Amendments are Germane

Chapter 53 Severability or Savings Clauses in California Bills

Chapter 54 The Use of Sunset Dates in California Legislation

Chapter 55 State-Mandated Local Programs in California Legislation

Chapter 56 Making Sense of Technical Amendments

Chapter 57 Resolutions

Chapter 58 The Anatomy of a California Legislative Resolution

Chapter 59 Drafting Considerations for a California Legislative Resolution

Chapter 60 Constitutional Amendments

Chapter 61 The Anatomy of a California Legislative Constitutional Amendment

Chapter 62 Amending or Revising the California Constitution

Chapter 63 Drafting Considerations for a California Legislative Constitutional Amendment

Chapter 64 The Seven Cs of Basic Legislative Drafting

Chapter 65 Drafting Bills and Amendments

Chapter 66 California Bill Drafting Considerations

Chapter 67 References for Bill Drafting Rules

Chapter 68 Senate Rules Applicable to the Drafting of Legislation

Chapter 69 Assembly Rules Applicable to the Drafting of Legislation

Chapter 70 Key Reminders in Drafting Legislation

Chapter 71 Considerations in Drafting California Legislation

Chapter 72 Special Rules for California Bill Drafting

Chapter 73 Making Legislation More Readable

Chapter 74 Guidelines for Forming Legislative Sentences

Chapter 75 Punctuation in California Legislation

Chapter 76 The Use of Definitions in Legislation

Chapter 77 Gender-Neutral Legislative Drafting

Chapter 78 Drafting a Bill to Regulate a Profession

Chapter 79 Additional Bill Drafting Guidelines

Chapter 80 General Bill Drafting Examples

Chapter 81 Example of Bill from Introduction to Chaptering

Chapter 82 Governor’s Reorganization Plans

Chapter 83 Standard Features of Initiative Measures

Chapter 84 Single-Subject Rule and the Ballot Initiative

Chapter 85 Why Might a Bill Be Declared Unconstitutional?

Index of Topics

Chris Micheli

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.


The book lays out in simple terms all of the main rules for drafting legislation in California. It is a concise handbook and, as a reference source, it should be on the desks of legislators, staff, and lobbyists working at the State Capitol.
Kevin Pedrotti
JK Pedrotti Government Relations

Chris Micheli is an icon in Sacramento, and for good reason.  His experience with the drafting of legislation and the legislative process is legendary, and even experienced lobbyists commonly reach out to him with questions.  With this book, anyone looking to draft legislation or weigh in on the process will be better equipped to make policy in California’s legislature.
Rob Moutrie
Sacramento Attorney and Lobbyist

Chris is my go-to source for information on developing California legislation. He is not only an expert on the legislative process, his knowledge about what is happening (or not happening) in Sacramento at any given time is invaluable.
Renee Rodda, JD | Vice President
Spidell Publishing, Inc.


Related ISBN's: 9781792452802, 9781792458187




ISBN 9781792452802

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