Established in 1913, the Office of Legislative Counsel has continuously operated in state government for more than a century to assist the Legislature, the Governor, and other state officers by providing nonpartisan legal services relating to the legislative process.
Attorneys in the office, with the assistance of highly trained support staff:
- Draft bills, constitutional amendments, resolutions, and proposed amendments to those measures
- Render legal opinions on issues of constitutionality, statutory interpretation, and other legal matters
- Provide counsel to the Members and committees of the Legislature
- Represent the Senate and Assembly in litigation
- Prepare contracts for services to the Senate and Assembly
- Provide various legal services to the Governor
- Assist in the preparation of an initiative measure when requested to do so by 25 or more electors, and assist judges in the drafting of legislation
The Office of Legislative Counsel also prepares amended bills for printing, and compiles and indexes the California statutes and codes. Other legislative support services provided by the office include the following:
- During each legislative session, preparation of an index of pending bills (the Legislative Index), and tables identifying sections of existing law affected by pending measures.
- At the end of each legislative session, the office's Indexing Unit compiles and indexes the state publication of the session laws, including the "Summary Digest of Statutes Enacted," a compilation, for the bills that were enacted into law, of the Legislative Counsel's Digests, an analysis and index of the bills, and a table of the sections of law affected by the bills.
- Preparation and publication for various state agencies of specific code compilations.
The Legislative Counsel operates the Legislative Data Center, which maintains the legislative information systems [Information Services] and processes legislative measures. In addition, since 1994 the Legislative Counsel has maintained an Internet site for public information on legislation that includes information regarding pending legislation and existing law, through http://www.leginfo.ca.gov.