BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                       AB 2761|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520    Fax: (916)      |                              |
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                                    THIRD READING

          Bill No:  AB 2761
          Author:   Low (D)
          Amended:  6/16/16 in Senate
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:  7-0, 6/14/16
           AYES: Jackson, Moorlach, Anderson, Hertzberg, Leno, Monning,  

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  78-0, 5/9/16 (Consent) - See last page for  

           SUBJECT:   Marriage

          SOURCE:    Author

          DIGEST:  This bill authorizes former Members of the Legislature  
          and constitutional officers of this state, former Members of  
          Congress of the United States who represented a district within  
          this state, and current and former elected officials of a city,  
          county, or city and county, to solemnize a marriage. This bill  
          removes the requirement that county supervisors, city clerks,  
          and elected mayors obtain and review all available instructions  
          for marriage solemnization before first solemnizing a marriage. 


          Existing law: 

          1)Provides that the county clerk is designated as a commissioner  


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            of civil marriages for each county.  The commissioner of civil  
            marriages may appoint deputy commissioners of civil marriages  
            who may solemnize marriages under the direction of the  
            commissioner of civil marriages and shall perform other duties  
            directed by the commissioner.  (Fam. Code Sec. 401.)

          2)Provides that a marriage may be solemnized by authorized  
            persons of any religious denomination, by specified  
            Legislators, constitutional officers, and California members  
            of Congress, while those persons are currently holding that  
            office, and by specified justices, judges, and magistrates,  
            both current and retired.  (Fam. Code Sec. 400.)

          3)Provides that an elected mayor, county supervisor, or city  
            clerk may solemnize marriage ceremonies while he or she holds  
            office.  Existing law requires such a mayor or county  
            supervisor to obtain and review from the county clerk all  
            available instructions for marriage solemnization before he or  
            she first solemnizes a marriage.  (Fam. Code Sec. 400.1.)

          This bill: 

          1)Authorizes a former member of the Legislature, constitutional  
            officer of this state or a former member of Congress from this  
            state to solemnize a marriage.

          2)Authorizes a person who holds or formerly held a city or  
            county elected office to solemnize a marriage.

          3)Eliminates the requirement that before a county supervisor,  
            mayor or city clerk of a charter city, as provided, may  
            solemnize a marriage he or she must first obtain and review  
            from the county clerk all available instructions for marriage  


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          4)Prohibits any of the elected persons from accepting  
            compensation for solemnizing a marriage and prohibits those  
            individuals from solemnizing a marriage if they have been  
            removed from office due to committing an offense or have been  
            convicted of a crime that involves moral turpitude,  
            dishonesty, or fraud.


          A marriage is not valid unless it is solemnized by an authorized  
          individual.  Under existing law, marriages may be solemnized by  
          authorized persons of any religious denomination, judges,  
          commissioners, and magistrates.  In 1998, this list was expanded  
          to include California Legislators, constitutional officers, and  
          members of Congress from California, during the time period that  
          those individuals are holding office.  (AB 1094, Committee on  
          Judiciary, Chapter 932, Statutes of 1998).  Subsequently,  
          elected mayors, county supervisors, and city clerks were also  
          authorized to solemnize marriage ceremonies, as long as they  
          first receive training from the county clerk.  (AB 2600, Ma &  
          Lieu, Chapter 268, Statutes of 2010; SB 991, Runner, Chapter 63,  
          Statutes of 2012; and Lowenthal Chapter 450, Statutes of 2014.)   

          Additionally, the county clerk, who is statutorily designated as  
          a commissioner of civil marriages in the county, may appoint  
          deputy commissioners of civil marriage, who may solemnize  
          marriages under the direction of the county clerk.  Deputy  
          commissioners of civil marriage are authorized to perform one  
          marriage ceremony for one specified couple.  The deputizing  
          process varies slightly from county to county, but generally an  
          individual must receive instruction from the county clerk, pay a  
          small fee, and be sworn in as a deputy commissioner of marriage  
          before performing a ceremony.  Seeking to create consistency  
          among how those authorized to solemnize marriages are governed,  
          this bill would expand the authority to perform marriages to all  
          city and county elected officials and constitutional officers,  
          and would eliminate the requirement that any elected official  
          authorized to solemnize marriages first receive instruction from  


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          the county clerk.

          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:NoLocal:    No

          SUPPORT:   (Verified6/17/16)

          None received

          OPPOSITION:   (Verified6/17/16)

          None received

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:     The author writes: 

            Not only do legislators have the opportunity to enact policies  
            to improve our state, they also have the opportunity to  
            solemnize weddings.  It's a unique opportunity that only a  
            select few are able to perform.  However, legislators are only  
            able to do this while they are in office.  Should a sitting  
            member of the Legislature wish to officiate a wedding after  
            his or her term in office, one would have to register with a  
            county office to become a "deputy for the day," pay a fee to  
            the county office, and in some cases, attend a class.  

            The law is inconsistent as it allows a retired California  
            judge or commissioner and a retired US judge or magistrate to  
            solemnize a wedding even after they've left their judgeship. 

            This bill simply brings uniformity to the Family Code,  
            allowing a former member of the California Legislature or  
            constitutional officer, or former Member of Congress to  
            officiate a wedding.


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           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  78-0, 5/9/16
           AYES: Achadjian, Alejo, Travis Allen, Arambula, Atkins, Baker,  
            Bigelow, Bloom, Bonilla, Bonta, Brough, Brown, Burke,  
            Calderon, Campos, Chang, Chau, Chávez, Chiu, Chu, Cooley,  
            Cooper, Dababneh, Dahle, Daly, Dodd, Eggman, Frazier,  
            Gallagher, Cristina Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez,  
            Gordon, Gray, Grove, Hadley, Harper, Roger Hernández, Holden,  
            Irwin, Jones, Jones-Sawyer, Kim, Lackey, Levine, Linder,  
            Lopez, Low, Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina,  
            Melendez, Mullin, Nazarian, Obernolte, O'Donnell, Olsen,  
            Patterson, Quirk, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago,  
            Steinorth, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Wagner, Waldron, Weber,  
            Wilk, Williams, Wood, Rendon
           NO VOTE RECORDED: Beth Gaines, Eduardo Garcia

          Prepared by:  Nichole Rapier / JUD. / (916) 651-4113
          6/17/16 15:03:55

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