When a bill is passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, the last step in the legislative process is the Ministerial duty of the Secretary of State to assign a “chapter number” to that passed bill. According to the Office of the Legislative Counsel, “Once a bill has been signed into law by the governor, the Secretary of State assigns a chapter number to the bill, such as “Chapter 123, Statutes of 1998,” which can subsequently be used to designate the measure.”
Chapter numbers are assigned to bills in numerical order as they are passed into law. And chapter numbers are only used for the legislative session for one calendar year (not for the biennial session). This means that at the beginning of each calendar year, the chapter numbers begin with “1”. In the 2022 Legislative Session, there were 997 laws divided into chapters.
In addition, two of the three types of resolutions (not including those of the House of Representatives) in the California Legislature are assigned “resolution chapter” numbers in the same manner as a bill. All joint resolutions and parallel resolutions (these are the two types of resolutions that must be passed by both houses of the Legislative Assembly)
The Office of the Legislative Counsel defines a concurrent resolution as “a measure that may be introduced in either House, but must be approved by both Houses and filed with the Secretary of State to take effect. The governor’s signature is not required. These measures are usually related to the work of the Legislative Assembly (for example, the adoption of the Joint Rules).”
Joint resolutions are defined by the Legislative Council Office as “a resolution expressing an opinion on a matter relating to the federal government; submitted to Congress for information. Joint resolutions require the approval of both the Assembly and the Senate, but do not require the approval of the Governor.”
What about the constitutional amendments passed by the Legislative Assembly and presented to the voters? The Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA) or Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA), which is passed by both houses of the Legislature with a 2/3 vote, is the “head” of the Secretary of State (the governor does not take any final action on the constitutional amendment). ).
For example, in the 2022 Legislative Session, SCA 10 (Atkins) reveals its final story: “Headed by the Secretary of State. res. Chapter 97, Bylaws 2022.” Why is it written “Res”. Before the Head? Because it is not assigned a bill chapter number, rather, an ACA or SCA is assigned a “resolution chapter”. Why?
Because a constitutional amendment passed by the Legislature proposed an amendment for consideration by the People. For example, SCA 10 is “a resolution proposing to the people of the State of California to amend the State Constitution by adding Section 1.1 to its Article I relating to Fundamental Rights.” As a result, the constitutional amendment receives the chapter number of the resolution, not the chapter number of the bill.