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Office of the Chief Clerk, State Capitol, Room 3196, Sacramento CA 95814 (916) 319-2856

Office of the Chief Clerk

Glossary of Legislative Terms:


Complete Glossary Listing

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File
The agenda for the business of the House. It is printed daily. (See Daily File.)

File Notice
The announcement which must appear in the Daily File four days prior to consideration of a bill or constitutional amendment by the committee of first reference. The second committee of reference, usually a fiscal committee, requires only a two-day notice. The File notice requirement may be waived by permission of the House.

File Number
The number assigned to a measure in the Assembly or Senate Daily File. The File number changes each day as bills move on or off the Daily File. These include measures on Second and Third Reading and Unfinished Business. Legislation is taken up on the Assembly or Senate Floor in chronological order according to File number. Items considered on the Floor are frequently referred to by File number.

Final History
The publication printed at the end of every session showing the final disposition of all measures.

Finance Letter
A proposal made by the Director of Finance to the chairs of the budget committees in each House to amend the Budget Bill and the Governor's Budget from that submitted January 10, in order to reflect a revised plan of expenditure.

First Reading
The initial introduction of a bill. The clerk assigns it a number and reads its title and sends the bill to be printed. The bill is then referred by the Rules Committee to a standing committee for a future hearing.

Fiscal Bill
Any measure that contains an appropriation of funds or requires a State agency to spend money for any purpose or results in a substantial loss of revenue to the State. The Legislative Counsel determines which bills are fiscal bills, persuant to Joint Rule 10.5. The designation appears at the end of the Legislative Counsel's Digest. Fiscal bills must be heard by the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees in addition to the appropriate policy committees in each House.

Fiscal Committee
The committees in each house that consider appropriations: Appropriations and Budget Committees. All fiscal bills are referred to a fiscal committee. The budget bill is only referred to the Budget Committee. Most other fiscal bills are heard by the Appropriations Committee if they have been approved by policy committees. If the fiscal committee approves a bill, it usually then moves to the Floor.

Fiscal Deadline
The date on the legislative calendar by which all bills with fiscal implications must have been taken up and reported out of a fiscal committee. Any fiscal bill missing the deadline is considered "dead" unless it receives a rule waiver allowing further consideration.

Fiscal Year
The 12 month period on which the Budget is planned. The State fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year. The federal fiscal year begins October 1 and ends September 30 of the following year. (See current Fiscal Year.)

Floor
(1) That portion of the Assembly or Senate Chamber reserved for Members and officers the Assembly or Senate and other persons granted the privilege of the Floor. (2) The term used to describe the location of a bill or the type of session, connoting action to be taken by the House. Matters may be said to be "on the Floor."

Floor Analysis Unit
A nonpartisan unit in the Chief Clerk's office which is responsible for editing the bill analyses that are prepared by committee staff. The "packet" of analyses is then made available for reference to Members during Floor Sessions.

Floor Manager or Jockey
The legislator responsible for taking up a measure on the Floor. This is usually the bill's author in the House of origin and a Member of the other House designated by the author when the bill is considered by the other House. The name of the Floor jockey in the other House appears in parentheses after the author's name in the Second or Third Reading section of the Daily File.

Floor Pass
No visitor may observe the Assembly or Senate from the rear of the chambers without a pass. Assembly passes are issued by the Speaker's office; Senate passes are issued by the President pro Tempore's office. Passes are not required for the viewing area in the gallery above the chambers.

Foreign Amendments
The Legislative Counsel's term for amendments not drafted in his or her office.

Four-Day File Notice
Officially known as Joint Rule 62(a), the requirement that all bills for the first committee of reference be noticed in the Daily File for four days prior to committee hearings where they will be considered. The second or subsequent committees of reference only require a notice of two days.

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