There's nothing ambiguous about Article IV, Section 8a of the California Constitution:
"At regular sessions no bill other than the budget bill may be heard or acted upon by committee or either (legislative) house until the 31st day after the bill has been introduced unless the house dispenses with this requirement by roll-call vote entered into the journal, three-fourths of the membership concurring."
In the world of con artistry, it's known as bait and switch. The con man promotes one thing and delivers an unexpected something else.
In Sacramento, the same trick is known as gut and amend. It's a legislative sleight of hand that can turn a bill into a law without any meaningful public scrutiny -- and occasionally even without some lawmakers' scrutiny.
Three California legislators have teamed up to try to stop their colleagues from stripping the text out of legislation and replacing it with unrelated verbiage, preventing any real scrutiny.
This story is taken from Sacbee / -- Root
Editorial: Stop disgrace of 'gut and amend' in Legislature
Published Wednesday, May. 01, 2013
At the last minute in the last hour of the California legislative session, lawmakers resort to a stealth maneuver called "gut and amend." They strip out the original language of a bill and insert wholly new, unrelated language.
Of all the objectionable practices in Sacramento, perhaps the most cynical and obnoxious is the “gut-and-amend” maneuver, in which a bill is completely rewritten at the last second and rushed to passage by legislative leaders.
EDITORIAL: Stop Sacramento from passing dubious last-minute bills
Legislators should back proposals that would ban the practice of passing hastily created bills with little time for scrutiny.
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April 30, 2013; 05:36 PM
Good law does not grow from secrecy and speed. The Legislature’s habit of pushing hastily amended bills with little time for scrutiny only enables special-interest deals, political favors and flawed policy. Legislators should instead back a bipartisan effort to end the practice of passing last-minute bills without real analysis.
Assemblymember Kristin Olsen’s 72-Hours in Print Bill Sent to Suspense File Before Bill Hearing Began
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 05:08
Sierra Sun Times
April 30, 2013 - Sacramento – Today, Assemblymember Kristin Olsen’s (R- Modesto) ACA 4 was sent to the suspense file by Budget Subcommittee No. 6 before testimony was given on the bill, effectively preventing the committee members from taking a vote for or against increasing transparency in state government. ACA 4 would require that legislation be in print for 72 hours before a vote can be taken.
Riggs Report: Stillborn reform at the Capitol
Lawmakers bury transparency measured
Published 4:13 PM PDT May 01, 2013
Modesto Assemblymember Kristin Olsen is not naïve about the political process. But even she was taken aback by how quickly her Capitol colleagues squashed her efforts this week to promote transparency and stop unsavory dead-of-night deal-making.
Students support the joint efforts of three California State Assembly members to freeze tuition throughout the UC and CSU systems.
Assembly Bill 67, authored by Assembly members Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto), Rocky Chávez (R-Oceanside) and Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) would freeze tuition at the rate of the 2011-2012 academic year if there is an increase in funding to UC and CSU schools by 5 percent in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 academic years.
Members of the Assembly Higher Education Committee have approved a bill by a local legislator that he says would give more flexibility to community colleges to spend money on academic support staff such as counselors and librarians.
Committee members voted Tuesday to approve Assembly Bill 806, which was introduced by Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita.