Online Poker Report – Unbeknownst to most people outside of the state legislature, California’s online poker bills are up against a deadline coming at the end of this month. The time limit is legitimate, and requires that all bills must pass their “house of origin” by May 30, according to the California legislative calendar and the California legislature’s joint rules (page 39 has the pertinent information).
The deadline was first brought to attention by Washington Internet Poker Initiative founder and OnlinePokerReport.com contributor Curtis Woodard, who pointed out several upcoming deadlines. The legislative calendar reads, “May 30 Last day to pass bills out of house of origin (J.R. 61(b)(11)).” This caught quite a few well-informed people off guard considering there hasn’t been any rush to get these bills heard in committee from the proponents of the bill or from PokerStars. So what gives?
Both the Assembly bill and the Senate bill fall under this legislative rule and would seemingly need to pass their “house of origin” prior to this deadline…or do they? Before you start getting nervous and wondering why California lawmakers haven’t shown the slightest sense of urgency in getting these bills out of committee and onto the floor for a vote, remember one thing: this is a legislative body and anything is possible if they really want to get it done.
So while the deadline is certainly real, it is more of a “soft” deadline, and passing the date does not in any way kill the bill. Sources have explained to OPR that there are multiple legislative options that can be invoked to get around it should the legislature decide to take up the bill after June 1.