Saturday, December 11th, 2004


  • Chan and Ortiz Heading Health Policy Committees
  • De La Torre and Ducheny To Lead Health Budget Subcommittees
  • New Two-Year Legislative Calendar Through 2006

Earlier this week, a new class of Assemblymembers and Senators were sworn into the California legislature. While the partisan makeup of both legislative chambers were the same, some of the faces were new, as term-limited legislators moved on.

The new session also introduces a new legislative calendar for consideration of bills and budgets, from now until the election in November 2006, which will feature a critical campaign for governor, as well as many statewide posts and legislative seats.

The legislative leadership, led by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (Los Angeles), and newly-minted Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (Oakland), announced the chairs of the committees for the upcoming session. The announcements include a blend of familiar and new names for health advocates to work with. In their speeches and statements, both leaders placed health care as a top priority for their caucuses and legislative chambers.

Senators Ortiz and Speier will continue to chair the Senate Health and Senate Insurance Committees, respectively. Consumer health advocates are pleased to see Assemblywoman Wilma Chan rise to be chair of the Assembly Health Committee, which handles both health and health insurance issues.

The budget subcommittees on health will have new leadership: Senator Denise Ducheny and the newly-elected Assemblyman Hector De La Torre. Neither have exrperience on the committee they now chair, although Senator Ducheny was previously chair of the Assembly Budget Committee when she was in that house. Senator Wes Chesbro, who chaired the subcommittee for the last several years, will continue to be the overall chair of the Senate Budget Committee, while Assemblyman John Laird is newly named to be his Assembly counterpart. Laird served on the health subcommittee for the last year and was thoughtful and knowledgeable on these issues.

BELOW is a list of the new chairs of the legislative committees of interest to health advocates, as well as a new calendar of legislative and budget hearings and deadlines, courtesy of Health Access legislative advocate Beth Capell. The calendar is available LINKED in another format as a handout at the Health Access website, at:

* Committee Chairs In the Senate:

Health Committee:
Deborah Ortiz (Sacramento)

Banking, Finance, & Insurance Committee: Jackie Speier (San Mateo/San Francisco)

Budget Committee: Wes Chesbro (Santa Rosa)

Budget Subcommittee #3 on Health and Human Services: Denise Ducheny (San Diego)Appropriations Committee: Carole Migden (San Francisco)

Human Services Committee: Joe Simitian (Palo Alto)

Government Modernization, Efficiency, and Accountability: Liz Figueroa (Fremont)

Judiciary Committee: Joe Dunn (Garden Grove)

Revenue & Taxation Committee: Mike Machado (Linden/Stockton)

Rules Committee: Don Perata (Oakland)

* Committee Chairs In the Assembly:

Health Committee: Wilma Chan (Oakland)

Budget Committee: John Laird

Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services: Hector De La Torre

Appropriations Committee: Judy Chu

Aging and Long Term Care Committee: Patty Berg

Human Services Committee: Noreen Evans

Insurance Committee: Juan VargasJudiciary Committee: Dave Jones

Labor and Employment Committee: Paul Koretz

Revenue and Taxation Committee: Johan Klehs

Rules Committee: Cindy Montanez

2005-06 Calendar

Dec. 6, 2004: Legislature convenes, adjournsJ

an. 1, 2005: Laws enacted in 2003 take effect

Jan. 3, 2005: Legislature reconvenesJ

an. 10, 2005: State Budget Announced

Jan. 21. 2005: Last day to submit bill drafts to Legislative Counsel

Feb. 18, 2005: Last day to introduce legislation

Early March 2005: Budget subcommittees begin meeting

Mid- March 2005: Policy committees begin meeting

Mar. 17-Mar. 29, 2005: Legislative Recess

April 29, 2005: Policy committee deadline, first house

May 10 (?): May Revise of Budget

May 27 (?): Budget conference committee convenes

May 27, 2005: Appropriations committee deadline, first house.

June 2, 2005: Deadline to pass first house

June 6-July 8, 2005: Policy committees, second house

July 1, 2005: Deadline to enact Budget

July 8, 2005: Policy committee deadline

July 15-Aug 15, 2005: Summer recess

Aug 2005: Initiatives for 2006 Primary circulate

Aug. 15, 2005: Legislature reconvenes

Aug. 26, 2005: Appropriations Committee deadline

Aug. 29-Sept 9, 2005: Floor Session

Sept. 9, 2005: Legislature adjourns until Jan 06 (this could be delayed until 9/15)

Oct. 9, 2005: Governor’s deadline to sign/veto (if legislature adjourns 9/9)

Nov. 8, 2005: Possible special election?

Dec. 2005: Deadline for candidates to file, deadline to file initiative signatures for June primary

Jan. 1, 2006: Legislation enacted in 2005 becomes effective

Jan. 4, 2006: Legislature reconvenes

Jan. 10, 2006: State Budget Announced

Jan. 20, 2006: Last day to submit bill drafts to Legislative Counsel

Jan. 31, 2006: Last day for bills introduced in 2005 to pass house of origin

Feb. 18, 2006: Last day to introduce legislation

Mid-March 2006: Budget subcommittees begin meeting

Late March 2006: Policy committees begin meeting

April 21, 2006: Policy committee deadline, first house

Late April, 2006: Deadline for Nov. ballot initiative signatures

May 10 (?): May Revise of Budget

May 19, 2006: Appropriations committee deadline, first house.

May 27 (?): Budget conference committee convenes

May 28, 2006: Deadline to pass first house

June 1, 2006: Policy committee, second house

June 2, 2006: Primary election

July 8, 2006: Policy committee deadline

July 1, 2006: Deadline to Enact Budget

July 3-Aug 3, 2006: Summer recess

Aug 3, 2006: Legislature reconvenes

Aug 12, 2006: Appropriations Committee deadline

Aug 12-Aug 31, 2006: Floor Session

Aug 31, 2006: Legislature adjourns until Dec 06

Sept 30, 2006: Governor’s deadline to sign/veto

Nov. 6, 2006: General election: Governor, other statewide offices, Legislature

January 1, 2007: Legislation enacted in 2006 takes effect

* 2006 dates not officially announced; there are best estimates unless set by Constitution.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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