Bill amendment technique challenged
April 30, 2013
A legislative practice that has outraged voters for years and allowed lawmakers to surreptitiously slip into statute a variety of controversial measures will be challenged by a new proposal in the state Assembly. (Sacramento Bee)
The Capitol tradition known as “gut-and-amend” emerges in summertime sessions when legislators, at the last minute and usually in the dark of night, rip out the guts of an existing bill and substitute entirely new wording.
Often, the gutted and newly-constructed bill pertains to an issue that is controversial, such as abortion, immigration or tax policy.
Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) introduced the constitutional amendment, ACA4, Monday with bipartisan support, and it faces its first committee test today. It would require a bill to be in print for at least three days before lawmakers can vote on it.
Similar plans have failed in the past.
Lawmakers have complained that some bills become law without their having had a chance to read the contents.