When Does the 12-Day Period Begin for Possible Gubernatorial Action?
When a bill is passed by the Legislature and sent to the Governor, there are three actions that can occur:
- Sign the bill into law
- Veto the bill
- Or, Allow the bill to become law without a signature (“pocket signature”)
In general, the Governor has 12 days in which to act on a bill sent to him or her from the Legislature. That 12-day period begins once the bill has been “presented” to the Governor.
The 12-day period does not begin on the day that the bill passed the Senate or Assembly. Nor does the 12-day period begin when the bill is ordered to engrossing and enrolling. So, if a reader reviews the latest bill actions and sees the information in the chart below, the 12-day period has NOT begun because, while the bill passed, it is headed to engrossing and enrolling, but the bill has not been sent to the Governor yet.
The 12-day “signing” period is applicable to all bills that are presented to the Governor twelve or more days prior to the date the Legislature adjourns for a joint recess in the first year of the two-year session, and on or before August 20th of the second year of the Session.
The 12-day period begins when the bill has been delivered to the Governor, not when the Legislature passes the bill. So, if a reader reviews the latest bill actions and sees the information in the chart below, the 12-day period has begun because the bill was “presented to the Governor” on that date, which is before August 20.
Remember to check either the “History” or “Status” of a bill at the Legislative Counsel’s website found at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/ in order to properly determine when a bill’s 12-day clock has begun.
Chris Micheli serves as an Advisor to Abstract. He is an attorney and registered lobbyist with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc. He also is an Adjunct Professor at McGeorge School of Law in their Capital Lawyering Program.