California legislature and US Congress
Political Issues

California legislature and US Congress

California has two legislatures housing which comprises of the assembly and the senate. The state allows the laws to be made without the participation of the legislature which is not the case with the US Congress. While considering the differences and the similarities in the process of making laws by the California legislature and the US Congress, there should be an understanding of the extent to which these factors are driven by rules adopted by the legislatures, the constitutional requirements and the requisites of the state. In real sense, the difference and the similarities are not brought about by the Constitution but rather by the rules adopted by the different legislative bodies.

The California agency state Assembly only has eighty members and also its Senate in the state has forty members, while the US house has four hundred and thirty-five members and the US Senate has a hundred members. California agency assembly members are subjected to elections every two years and can serve a maximum of three terms, while in United States House members are also elected every two years but with no limit terms. California Senate members subjected to elections every four years and can serve a maximum of two terms, but US Senators have six-year terms and have no limits on the length of service. The leadership structure is very similar to both legislatures having the speaker of the house or assembly, Senate president and minority leaders in each chamber.

The role of the speaker as a leader of the majority party in the assembly in the US House of the Representatives where the speakers have for many years been chosen nearly all along the party lines has the role which has been institutionalized. While in California, the roles have been polarized along party lines in the recent times. An important factor to the unison in the legislature is as a result of the power of the majority control.

In the US Congress, every citizen is allowed to vote as long as they are eighteen years and above except those who are in prison who are declared ineligible to vote. While in the state of California the prisoners who have served their time in prison are eligible to vote and their right to vote is restored immediately they are freed.

The overall practice of California is to try and work out matters beforehand. Members of the committee may ask for amendments and may even postpone the hearing so that they make corrections after they have consulted with the committee. The US Congress, on the other hand, uses the public hearing to gather the necessary information and revisions are not decided immediately. The bills are expected to go through the majority support whereby the committee staff go through the proposal in detail and make a decision on the appropriate changes that need to be put in place.

In California, assembly and senate rules adopted by the bodies essentially requires that whenever a bill is referred to the committee is hence entitled to the hearing and a vote unless the drafter decides contrary. While on the other side, the rules of US Senate and the House of Representatives does not need the bills referred to the committees be subjected to a hearing or a vote. For example, in the 113th session of US Congress (2013-2015), ten thousand bills were introduced. After the session, only eight thousand five hundred of them had been referred to the committees with no further action, and at the end of all proceeding, only three hundred bills reached the President’s desk for signing. This shows that in the US Congress while there are many bills introduced at the end of the year, only a small number of them get to the hearing, and many of them die in the committee with no action taken. While in California, four thousand bills were introduced and almost half of it were heard and voted.

If one is moving a bill in California legislature, you know that your bill has high chances of being heard and voted. To enhance your chances of the bill going through, one should ensure that he or she is a member of the majority party, communicate with the committee beforehand and negotiate for revision and amendment of the proposal. While in the US one can find a co-author from the majority party and even find the majority party legislator for the introduction of the proposal. Also, in the US Congress, a lot of legislation requires the majority vote so that they can pass the bills.

Similarities of the California Governor and the US presidency

The governor of California and the US President are limited to two terms in the office. The governor is elected by the voters and runs parallel to the attorney general, the secretary of the state, controller and the superintendent of the public instruction, the president of the US is also elected by the voters. In California, the governor has the power of signing the proposed bills at the county level for the proposals to be implemented county wise, and while in the US the president also has the responsibility of signing the bills that have been introduced at the county levels.

The biggest similarity comes from the power of political parties and the roles they play. Both in the US Congress and California Legislature, political parties and the leaders of these outfits order several aspects of the legislative process and also the final result of the legislation. Mainly because the majority in each chamber in a political party takes care of the committees, legislature agenda of that chamber and the leadership.

In both the US Congress and California Legislature, neither of their constitution, neither the federal statute nor the California statute asks for each of the introduced bills be entitled to a hearing in the court or to be voted.

Difference between California legislature and US Congress

The US presidency is the rules over the entire state while the California governor only rules over the county level. The presidency offers leadership over a state while the governance presides at the federal level. The governor in California is mandated to sign the proposed bills while the US president signs the bills as an ultimate person and a few of those bills are passed through.  In conclusion, the US Congress and the California legislature share a lot of similarities and a few differences. Their federal operations are nearly the same although the difference in operations makes them distinct.

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