California has a full-time Legislature. Very little gets done by the Legislature so I am not sure why it needs to run full time, but it does.
One thing that a full time Legislature does do is draft new laws, and a lot of them. A California politician’s apparent claim to fame is the ability to get new laws enacted. With the arrival of every new year hundreds of laws are enacted. I would offer that it is impossible to track them all without sophisticated computer technology, and legal savvy.
Family law is fertile ground for our lawmakers. 2012 knocks down several trees for new law paper. The one piece of legislation that I think breaks new ground is SB 651. It provides that if a couple got married in California and subsequently lives in a state that won’t grant them a divorce (which is presumed if the state doesn’t recognize their marriage), the California court will have jurisdiction to grant them a dissolution. The divorce case will be filed in the county where the couple got married, and the dissolution is supposed to be adjudicated in accordance with California law.
The new law went into effect in January 2012. The full text can be read here.
This new law creates as many questions as it answers — thus it becomes the tip of the iceberg. For example, what will it mean to adjudicate a divorce in accordance with California law if the spouses are not actually residents of California? Will the state that the parties actually reside in enforce the California divorce? This will all have to pay out over time.