Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Suspenseful Legislative Return

The Legislature returned from its summer recess Monday (August 15), and immediately got down to the business of deciding which of hundreds of bills deemed to have fiscal impact should move forward - and mostly which should be held on the Suspense File maintained by each of the Appropriations Committees of the two houses.

The Suspense File is the repository for all bills deemed to have a fiscal impact in excess of $50,000 to the General Fund or private funds, or $150,000 from any other funds.  Bills are placed on the Suspense File over several hearings, so that their aggregate costs can be compared to available revenues.  Then the committee leadership and staff identify which bills should be moved off Suspense and which should be held - a decision that is almost invariably confirmed at the committee's last regularly-scheduled hearing before the deadline for considering fiscal bills.

Even though a bill is earmarked for Suspense does not mean it won't be the subject of extensive and passionate testimony, however, as authors and proponents try to make the case for their bills to be one of the fortunate few that ultimately come off Suspense.  That was the case this week for several bills sponsored or supported by the CCBA.

On Monday (August 15), the Legislature's first day back from its summer recess, the Senate Appropriations Committee considered (see video at 1:25:00) AB 308 (Ammiano), a CCBA-co-sponsored bill to require the development of new protocols and procedures for law enforcement to use in eyewitness identification.  The committee also heard testimony on AB 52 (Feuer), which would require insurers to obtain the approval of proposed rate increases by either the Department of Managed Health Care or the Department of Insurance.

John K. Van de Kamp
On Wednesday (August 17), the Assembly Appropriations Committee considered SB 490, Senator Loni Hancock's measure to ask California's voters to repeal the death penalty, given its massive costs and almost total non-application.  Former Attorney General (and frequent CCBA delegate) John Van de Kamp testified in favor of the bill, which is supported by the CCBA.  The hearing can be viewed here (beginning at the 26:00 mark).


All three bills mentioned (and hundreds of others) will be voted on next week, before the August 26 deadline for bills to be heard and reported by fiscal committee.

1 comment:

  1. Super blog and nice writings

    Thanks for all posts

    Thanks in advance for coming posts...

    Keep writing...............

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    Biz and Legis
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