Sifting Through California’s Legislation

February 25 2024

The bill introduction deadline passed last week on February 16th, and Californians were able to begin taking stock of what we can expect in the coming legislative session. We got our first look at what issues the legislature is prioritizing in the midst of this year’s budget turmoil. As always, we see a mix of old and new topics.

The legislative session started on January 3rd of this year, and in the intervening six weeks legislators and staff worked with advocates, subject matter experts, and constituents to develop bills that address priority issues. In total, 2,124 bills were introduced this year. Some are just placeholders for now, while others are already shaping up to have significant effects on Californians. 

Sierra Club California staff have also been hard at work during the last 6 weeks, tracking incoming bills as they were introduced. Our advocates and strategists check every single bill (all 2,124!) for potential impacts on California’s environment and communities. During this process, our staff worked diligently to research the potential effects of new legislation, consulting with partners in environmental and environmental justice groups as well as our dedicated volunteers. 

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Over the next few weeks, this information will guide us as we develop our recommendations which will be submitted to Sierra Club California’s Legislative Committee for final positions. Once we determine which bills are most important to advocate for or against, we’ll release our Priority Bill list sometime in late March.

Despite the bill introduction deadline being passed, this process is just getting started. Over the next 6 months, the bills will be heard by committees in both the Assembly and Senate. They will be analyzed by committee consultants who will dig into the details of each individual bill. Bill authors will continue to work with legislative staff, advocates (including Sierra Club California), constituents (our dedicated volunteers!), and other experts to evaluate the bills, develop amendments, and determine what the final versions of the bills will look like. If they continue to move forward, the bills will be voted on in both houses before the end of session on August 31st. From there they will move to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law or vetoed before the September 30th deadline. 

This is a long process, but Sierra Club California’s staff are dedicated to working with the legislature, our partners, and our volunteers throughout it all. Over the next 6 months, we will be fighting to support good bills that move California forward, and stop harmful bills that threaten our environment and communities. We can’t do it without your help.

If you’re interested in learning more about the details of the legislative process, check out last year’s Legislative webinar. We’ll also be kicking off this year’s in-district lobbying program later this month ahead of the Spring Recess. If you want to get involved in helping us advocate for California’s communities and environment at the state’s capitol, read more about the program in our recent Capitol Voice article and register here.


Jason John signature



Jason John
Acting Director

Sierra Club California is the Sacramento-based legislative and regulatory advocacy arm of the 13 California chapters of the Sierra Club.

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