Senate Appropriations Committee sends AB 1181 to Senate floor without a hearing.

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The draft bill to essentially change one phrase of an AICPA audit guide on valuation of donated pharmaceuticals is on its way to the floor of the Senate without a hearing in the Appropriations committee.

On August 19, 2019, the following comment was posted on Assembly Bill 1181:

From committee: Be ordered to second reading pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8

That raises two questions. What is Senate Rule 28.8? What is the next step?

Doing this blogging thing is a delightful educational opportunity. Let me share what I’ve learned today.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has a FAQs page which provides an explanation of this rule:

What does 28.8 mean?

Under the provisions of Senate Rule 28.8, if the Chair determines that any state costs of a bill are not significant, the measure will be sent directly to the Senate Floor for Second Reading without a hearing in the committee. There is no public analysis prepared for bills that are approved by the Chair pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, because there is no public hearing.

So the chair has concluded the costs of AB 1181 are “not significant” which means there will be no hearing on the bill. On authority of the Chair, the bill now goes to the floor of the full Senate.

A few days ago I noticed AB 1181 was not listed on the agenda for the hearing on 8/19. At the time I did not know what that meant. Now I realize the Chair had already decided the costs were not significant and thus rule 28.8 would be invoked.

There will not be an analysis prepared by the committee staff. The previous staff reports have been helpful. You can read them here.

Where does the bill go now?

The legislature has provided an Overview of Legislative Process for our edification.

Second and Third Reading

Bills passed by committees are read a second time on the floor in the house of origin and then assigned to third reading. Bill analyses are also prepared prior to third reading. When a bill is read the third time it is explained by the author, discussed by the Members and voted on by a roll call vote. Bills that require an appropriation or that take effect immediately, generally require 27 votes in the Senate and 54 votes in the Assembly to be passed. Other bills generally require 21 votes in the Senate and 41 votes in the Assembly. If a bill is defeated, the Member may seek reconsideration and another vote.

The bill will now be ‘read’ a second time on the Senate floor.  Then it will be voted on during the third reading.

In the Assembly, the bill was approved by the Appropriations committee on May 8, read the second time on May 9, then read the third time on May 13 at which point it passed by 69-1 vote.

So the bill might move really fast now. I’m guessing the few day delay between second and third read is so that everyone is on notice a vote is pending and the lobbyists can go into overdrive.

Assuming the bill passes the Senate, the two houses need to reconcile the bill as passed in each house.

From the same page mentioned earlier:

Resolution of Differences

If a bill is amended in the second house, it must go back to the house of origin for concurrence, which is agreement on the amendments. If agreement cannot be reached, the bill is referred to a two house conference committee to resolve differences. Three members of the committee are from the Senate and three are from the Assembly. If a compromise is reached, the bill is returned to both houses for a vote.

The changes made by the Senate are quite minor. You can compare the Senate’s bill to the version passed by the Assembly here. By the way, that page allows you to compare a current bill to any previous version that has been approved.

Those changes are so small that I cannot imagine that anyone who voted for the bill in the Assembly would have any objection to the Senate’s version.

Since I’m making wild guesses, I’ll guess the bill will be approved by the Assembly quite easily, assuming it is approved by the Senate.

Assuming the bill is approved by both houses, the bill will go to the Governor for consideration. He can sign it, let it become law without signature, or veto it.

Bills usually go into effect on January 1 of the year following a bill getting through the entire process.

Anyone care to guess on the outcome of the next few steps?

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