California Assembly
Republican Assembly members Don Wagner, of Irvine, Beth Gaines, of Roseville, center, and Shannon Grove, of Bakersfield, in September 2015 as the legislative year came to a close. The current two-year legislative session ends Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

By Jim Miller
August 25, 2016 – 7:07 PM

There’s nothing like a deadline to focus the mind.

That chestnut of time management holds particularly true for the California Legislature. In session for about eight months each year, the Legislature goes into overdrive in the days leading up to committee and floor deadlines.

No deadline is bigger than the one marking the end of the two-year legislative session on Aug. 31 of even-numbered years. After that, most of the 3,100 bills, constitutional amendments, and other measures introduced this session that haven’t cleared the Legislature are officially kaput.

With that day looming on Wednesday, lawmakers have been voting fast and furious, rushing between floor sessions and committees. Through midweek, there had been more than 1,200 votes on the floor and almost 1,800 votes in committee in the weeks since lawmakers returned from their summer recess Aug. 1, according to legislative data.

In August 2014, there were about 1,800 votes on the floors of both houses and more than 900 in committee as the 2013-14 session wrapped up.

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