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Melissa Griffin: Return Of Legislature Sets Up Flurry Of California Lawmaking

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California State Capitol in Sacramento (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

California State Capitol in Sacramento (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS 5) – The calm is ending; the storm is here. The California state legislature is back in session  and they are going to be very, very busy because they only have until January 25 to submit all the bills they are going to hear this session.

That’s right. In the state legislature every law has to be proposed at the beginning of the session. They submit all their ideas by January 25 and the legislative counsel has until February 22 to draft all the laws.

Each member legislature is only allowed to introduce up to 40 bills in each session. What’s amazing about this rule is indicates someone tried to introduce more that that one year. In the last session, 1,422 bills were introduced.

In fact, the Texas government only meets every other year and is considering meeting more frequently. Texans opposed to meeting every year point to California as an example of too much lawmaking.

Michael Quinn Sullivan, the president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility told the New York Times,“The California Legislature meets, I think, 30 hours a day, 9 days a week, 412 days a year, and they seem to invent new ways to cause problems for their citizens.”

In fact, the one person who has the power to keep the legislature at bay is Governor Jerry Brown. And even though Jerry Brown is a democrat, Republicans and moderate democrats are relying on him to veto some bills and take the lead on other issues to make sure the superiority of democrats don’t go off the rails.

This Thursday, the governor will unveil his proposed budget, for fiscal year 2013-2014 which will indicate his priorities and he’ll be giving a State of the State speech soon, where he’ll give his roadmap for this session. Expect to see him talk about high speed rail, irrigation, and regulatory reform.

The bottom line, despite being treated for prostate cancer, Brown is riding high right now after his prop 30 victory and many Californians are hoping he’ll remain a strong governor even as the legislature starts proposing hundreds of laws.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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