Printed and Made Available
The Legislature may make no law except by statute and may enact no statute except by bill…. No bill may be passed … unless the bill with any amendments has been printed [and] distributed to the members…. – Article IV, Section 8, California State Constitution
As Article 4, Section 8(b) of the California Constitution shows, bills are the foundation of California laws. In the spirit of democracy, the Constitution requires that any bill introduced into the Legislature must be printed and made available before any action is taken.
The Legislative Bill Room, located next to the basement rotunda, serves as the liaison between the Office of State Printing, the Legislature, and the public. Here you can get copies of all bills and resolutions within the past two legislative sessions, or four years. You can receive up to 100 copies per year free of charge.
The amount of paper generated through the Bill Room is tremendous. For every proposed bill, at least 2000 copies are made. Multiply that amount by the number of bills proposed each legislative session, which can be more than 6000, and you’ll get an idea of just how much paper that is! This figure doesn’t even take into account the re-printing of a bill when it’s amended. Nor does it take into account other documents that are generated by the Legislature.
If you’re interested in learning about the day-to-day activities of the Legislature, the Bill Room also makes these documents available to the general public:
The Daily Journals: You can read details of the Legislature’s activities in each house’s Daily Journal. These are the certified, official records of each day’s proceedings.
The Daily Files: These files, one for each house, contain the daily agenda or calendar of business. They provide a day-by-day record of all actions taken on any given piece of legislation.
The Legislative Index and Table of Sections Affected: Used together, these two documents form a “bill finder.” The Legislative Index provides an alphabetical index, by subject matter, of all legislation that has been introduced. The Table of Sections Affected lists alphabetically, by code, all sections that are added to, deleted from, or amended in proposed legislation.
The Analysis of the Budget Bill: The Legislative Analyst prepares this document, which contains a detailed critique of the Administration’s proposed budget.
Together, these documents provide an up-to-date record of legislation for the current session.