California Assembly’s New Rules Have Led To Legislative Censorship

Legislators from both parties introduce bills that reflect their priorities. These bills may respond to issues that have occurred in a district, be constituent ideas, bill proposals from advocacy groups, or author-sponsored legislation.

Regardless of a bill’s origin, it seems reasonable to expect that each would be heard in a committee, supported or opposed by the public, and voted on by the committee members.

However, with the new house rules adopted by the California Assembly, that is unfortunately no longer the case.

Previously, Assembly rules required that every bill be set for a committee hearing. That rule was fair and reasonable. It ensured that members were not discriminated against based on their party or their standing within their caucus.

The rule prevented powerful special interest groups from silencing unfavorable legislation and kept controversial bills from being shelved because committee members simply did not want to cast a politically difficult vote.

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