BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                          
                               SENATE RULES COMMITTEE
                          Senator Darrell Steinberg, Chair
                             2013-2014 Regular Session



          
          BILL NO:  SCA 17

          AUTHOR:  Steinberg
          HEARING:  May 14, 2014

          VERSION:  As Introduced

          FISCAL:  Yes

          URGENCY:  No

          CONSULTANT:  Sandy Wood
          
          BILL SUMMARY:  This measure would require that, to suspend a  
          Member of either house of the Legislature, a motion or  
          resolution to that effect shall be adopted by a vote of the  
          majority of the membership of the house.  The measure would  
          also authorize the salary and benefits of the Member to be  
          forfeited for all or part of the period of the suspension by  
          express provision of the motion or resolution.

          ANALYSIS:  The power to discipline and expel members of the  
          Legislature is inherent to a legislative body.  Punishments  
          within legislative authority include withdrawal of privileges,  
          fine, imprisonment, reprimand, censure, suspension and  
          expulsion.

          On February 25, 2014 Legislative Counsel issued an opinion  
          confirming the Senate may suspend the authority of a Senator to  
          exercise the privileges of the office so long as the suspension  
          is for a fixed, limited period of time and the Senate  
          reasonably determines the suspension to be necessary to  
          preserve the honor, dignity, and efficiency of the Senate.   
          However, the opinion further stated that the Senate may not  
          suspend the salary or benefits of the Senator for the duration  
          of the suspension given the Constitution vests the California  
          Citizens Compensation Commission with the responsibility and  










                                                                  Page | 2

          
          the authority to establish the annual salary and benefits of  
          Members of the Legislature.

          On March 28, 2014, the Senate approved Senate Resolution 38  
          (Steinberg) relating to the suspension of Senators Calderon,  
          Wright and Yee.  

          COMMENTS:  According to the author:  When exercising its  
          inherent and expressed authority to impose a range of  
          sanctions, each house of the Legislature should be empowered to  
          suspend its members without pay should the circumstances  
          warrant such an action.

          This bill gives each house of the Legislature express authority  
          in the California State Constitution to suspend a member of  
          that house without pay.

          PROPOSED AMENDMENTS:   The author intends to submit amendments  
          to SCA 17 that do the following:
          
             1.    A motion or resolution to suspend a member shall be  
               deemed adopted by a vote of two-thirds of the membership.
             2.   A motion or resolution to suspend a Member shall  
               contain justification for the suspension as findings and  
               declarations.
             3.   Add a provision specifying that while under suspension,  
               a Member may not exercise any rights, privileges, duties,  
               or powers of office nor shall the Member utilize any  
               resources of the Legislature.
             4.   Add an additional provision stipulating that the  
               suspension remains in effect until the date specified in  
               the resolution, or if no date is specified, until such  
               time as a subsequent motion or resolution to rescind the  
               suspension is adopted by two-thirds vote of the  
               membership. 

          SUPPORT:  None received.

          OPPOSE:  None received.













                                                                  Page | 3