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Harbor v. Deukmejian

Supreme Court of California

October 13, 1987

S. F. No. 24837


 [*1082]  [**1290]  [***569]    In this case, we consider two issues of constitutional significance. The [****2]  first relates to the limitation imposed by article IV, section 10 of the California Constitution on the Governor's power to veto legislation, 1 [****3]  and the second to the limitations  [**1291]   [***570]  placed on the Legislature by California Constitution, article IV, section 9, which provides that a "statute shall embrace but one subject, which shall be expressed in its title." 2

On June 15, 1984, the Legislature enacted a budget for the 1984-1985 fiscal year (Budget Act). (Stats. 1984, ch. 258, p. 874 et seq.) One item of the budget (5180-101-001(a), sched. 10.04.005) was an appropriation for aid to families with dependent children (AFDC) for over $ 1.5 billion.

Ten days later, the Legislature passed Senate Bill No. 1379 (Stats. 1984, ch. 268, p. 1302 et seq.; hereinafter Bill 1379). Bill 1379, according to its title, related to "fiscal affairs, making an appropriation therefor." It was not to become operative unless the Budget Act was also passed (id., § 70, p. 1407) and it was declared to be an urgency measure because it would  [*1083]  provide "necessary statutory adjustments to implement" the Budget Act (id., § 71, p. 1407).

Bill 1379 contains 71 sections enacting, amending, and repealing numerous provisions in numerous codes. Among these is section 45.5 of Bill 1379 (hereafter section 45.5), which amends [****4]  section 11056 of the Welfare and Institutions Code to allow AFDC benefits to be paid under certain circumstances from the time application for such benefits is made rather than from the date the application is processed by the State Department of Social Services (department), as was the case before the amendment. The director of the department is required by the section to adopt regulations to implement its provisions within 30 days after enactment of Bill 1379. (Stats 1984, ch. 268, § 45.5, p. 1383.)

In approving the budget, the Governor reduced the item containing the AFDC allotment by $ 9,776,000. (Stats. 1984, ch. 258, item. 5180-101-001, sched. 10.04.005, p. 847.) In his message relating to the reduction, the Governor stated that this sum was an "augmentation" to the item for AFDC "that would have reversed current State policy and regulations regarding the effective date of the first . . . [AFDC] aid payment." (Id.) 3

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43 Cal. 3d 1078 *; 742 P.2d 1290 **; 240 Cal. Rptr. 569 ***; 1987 Cal. LEXIS 426 ****

JOYCE HARBOR et al., Petitioners, v. GEORGE DEUKMEJIAN, as Governor, etc., et al., Respondents

Subsequent History:  [****1]  As Modified October 20, 1987. The petitions of all the parties for a rehearing were denied November 25, 1987, and the opinion was modified to read as printed above on October 29, 1987.

Disposition: The judgment of the Court of Appeal is affirmed insofar as it denies the petition for a peremptory writ of mandate. The cause is transferred to the Court of Appeal with instructions to award reasonable attorney fees to petitioners.


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Governments, Legislation, Enactment, Courts, Judicial Precedent