Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
April 29, 2013

A bipartisan handful of legislators is trying to stop the Sacramento tradition known as the “gut-and-amend” bill — the last-minute, late-night law-making that has become the summertime norm in the Capitol.

Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, a Modesto Republican, and two Democratic senators – Lois Wolk of Davis and Mark DeSaulnier of Concord – have introduced constitutional amendments that would require bills be in print for at least three days before lawmakers can vote on them. Similar measures have failed in the past.

“The halls of the state Capitol are desperate for governance reforms that will increase transparency, facilitate good decision making and strengthen the ability of citizens to actively participate in their state government,” Olsen said today during a news conference to promote her ACA 4.

The proposal, she said, “would allow legislators to thoroughly analyze measures before voting and end the midnight votes on backroom deals.”

In past years, Olsen said, lawmakers have passed budget deals that were written just 15 minutes earlier. Legislators have also used the gut-and-amend process to write bills about abortion, immigration, tax policy, and union organizing for child care workers.

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