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
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.
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.
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.