Joint Resolutions propose legislation to the Congress of the United States.
A Joint Resolution is used when the people of the State of California (and their legislators) wish to recommend changes to Federal law. A Joint Resolution is not binding on the Congress of the United States, and only they may alter or add laws which affect us as a nation. However, most Congressmen and Senators respect a Joint Resolution as indicative of the interests of the people of that state, and in a State such as California, with a large number of Representatives, this can be quite powerful.
Most Joint Resolutions have three parts:
(2) WHEREAS Clauses, and
(3) Resolving Clauses.
(1 ) The title is worded as follows:
"Assembly (Senate) Joint Resolution, No. ______ relating to…" and then a very brief statement (a few words) of facts.
(2) A WHEREAS Clause is titled as follows:
“WHEREAS,...” followed by a reason for the Joint Resolution.
WHEREAS clauses, although not mandatory, are used when the author of a Joint Resolution wishes to outline the reasons for the Resolution. Sometimes the WHEREAS Clauses are deleted (often in the case of a well known or simple proposal), and the author moves immediately to the resolving clause(s).
(3) The Resolving Clause is worded as follows:
“Resolved By the (House of Origin) and (Other House) of the State of California, jointly, That the legislature of the State of California respectfully memorializes the Congress of the United States to…” followed by a concise statement of what action is desired. More resolving clauses may follow to outline in more detail the proposed action.
The Joint Resolution is closed with a Resolving Clause stating:
“Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro‑Tempore of the United States Senate, and to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States, and to the Chief Clerk of the Legislature in each of the other forty‑nine states.”
WHEREAS is always written in capital letters, and Resolved is always italicized.
Requires simple majority in both houses. Governor does not sign and may not veto, but can express approval or disapproval of measure.