Effort to curb 'gut and amend' bills — stripping contents of a proposed legislation and inserting all-new language — is going nowhere.
When you think of the work the California Legislature does, you think of eloquent statements of the rights of man, of soaring language that sets forth the highest principles of political philosophy and calls citizens to action - right?
George Cross was the first to cross the finish line in the inaugural running of the half-marathon event at Rina’s Run on May 10.
The Tracy runner conquered the 13.1-mile flat and fast course consisting of Caswell Sate Park in 1 hour, 22 minutes. Ripon’s Jeff Qualle, who created the course, was the top local finisher in the men’s division at 1:28.
LOU CORREA, Senator, 34th District; MARK DESAULNIER, Senator, 7th District and BOB HUFF, Senator, 29th District
The California Legislature must stop the practice of last-minute amendments that are adopted before anyone — policymakers or the public — has a chance to review them. We would hope that through house rules this practice could be constrained. But that hope has not stopped this practice that undermines both the trust within the Legislature, and the public’s trust of the Legislature.
‘Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman,” Associate Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in 1913.
A century later, the California Legislature will once again leave its constituents in the dark.
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.
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.