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What’s behind Sacramento’s 'gut and amend' season?

The State Capitol in Sacramento
The State Capitol in Sacramento
Craig Miller/KQED

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As California’s legislature wraps up its biennial session, important bills are going through final processes towards passage.

These logistical funnels are intended to deal with the fiscal aspects of legislature, but what really goes on is more complicated: the final stages of analysis become a battleground over policy in the bills. Some bills proceed with amendments not known to the public, while others have been put “on suspense” — effectively a death sentence.

Sacramento is flush with entirely new bills as well, and now provisions added to older legislature. What’s happening behind closed doors? Is the “gut and amend” process a way for politicians to tweak legislature with less transparency? How could this process change?


Dan Walters, political columnist for the Sacramento Bee

Melanie Mason, covers state government and politics in Sacramento for the Los Angeles Times