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California Government General Information

What are the parts of the California Government?

Just like the federal government, California has a state constitution and a three-branch system.

  • The Executive Branch comprises the Governor and other constitutional officers.
  • The State Assembly and Senate make up the Legislative Branch.
  • The Judicial Branch includes all of the state courts.

These three branches work together to govern California.

How does a bill become a law?

In order to create a new law in California, a state assemblymember or senator must introduce the idea by writing a bill. The bill goes through a series of readings and discussions before the Assembly and Senate vote on it. If both houses pass the bill, it is sent to the Governor.

The Governor has the option of signing the bill, rejecting it with a veto or allowing it to become law without his or her signature. If vetoed, the Legislature may override the Governor’s decision with a two-thirds vote in both houses. Bills that are passed by the Legislature and approved by the Governor are assigned a chapter number and go into effect on the first day of the next year.

Interested in more details on how a bill becomes a law? The Legislative Process diagram that illustrates how a bill becomes a law, and is from the State Capitol Museum Tour Office.

How can I get involved?

YOU can influence California laws and policies. Join the Planned Parenthood Action Network TODAY and make your voice heard on legislation affecting women’s health.

The web site is a collaborative project of:
Community Action Fund of Planned Parenthood Orange and San Bernardino Counties
Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest
Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific Action Fund
Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo Counties
Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte
Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California

A project of Planned Parenthood Action Funds in California, 501(c)(4) organizations. Copyright 2013,
Paid for by the local Planned Parenthood 501(c)4 organization PAC and local Planned Parenthood 501(c)4 organization. (
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.