How Budget Morass Could Spring One Bill From Limbo

The Assembly and Senate both passed a bill on the last day of the legislative session, but it ended up being put on hold after Republicans closed ranks and refused to approve it on concurrence.

According to the state’s Chief Clerk, E. Dotson Wilson, it is currently the only bill that could get a re-vote when the Legislature gathers to decide on the budget. AB 1542 by Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) would encourage establishment of patient-centered medical homes.

“Because it has an urgency clause, it is eligible to be taken up again when the legislature votes on the budget,” Wilson said. “There is a window there.”

Wilson said that, in the Senate, bills are granted same-day reconsideration, but in the Assembly, it will be a two-step process. “The Assembly would take a vote on reconsideration,” he said, “and then they would have to vote on the bill itself.”

It was a bill originally approved by the Assembly Committee on Health (and included Republican support at the time). Jones said he started shepherding the bill through the Legislature so that it wouldn’t get lost by the wayside in the crush of bills that get heard at the end of session.

And now, it actually might be the lone measure to be heard one more time, after the official end of session, to overcome the last concurrence vote. Wilson said there are a few bills that might try to come out of committee and be heard in the window when the budget is taken up. But none of them have already gone through affirmative votes in the Assembly and Senate the way this one has.

“That’s the only one on file,” Wilson said. “It’s the only one right now that’s exempt from the Aug. 31 midnight deadline.”

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