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Senate Bill 252 (Grunsky 1969)

Chapter 1608, Statutes of 1969 - SB 252

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Numerous sections from the Civil Code, Code of Civil Procedure, Government Code, Health and Safety Code and the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to domestic relations, were affected in 1969 following legislative passage of Senate Bill 252, which enacted “The Family Law Act.”  (See Exhibit A, #1h and #6, document PE-1)  Senator Donald L. Grunsky, as lead author, introduced Senate Bill 252 on February 5, 1969.  (See Exhibit A, #1a, #1b and #1e)  At this time, Senator Grunsky served as chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, which was the first legislative committee to review Senate Bill 252.  (See Exhibit A, #2 and #6, document PE-19)

 The Senate and Assembly Committees on Judiciary considered the policy issues raised by the bill.  (See Exhibit A, #2 and #3)  Senate Bill 252 was amended on five occasions, twice in the Senate and three times in the Assembly.  (See Exhibit A, #1b through #1f and #2) 

However, when the bill was returned to the Senate, the Assembly’s amendments were reviewed and rejected.  Consequently, Senate Bill 252 was assigned to a Conference Committee.  (See Exhibit A, #2) The purpose of a Conference Committee is to bring together six legislators, three from each House, in an attempt to reach a compromise on a bill’s language that is acceptable to both Houses.

The Conference Committee made amendments to Senate Bill 252 in a Conference Report, which were accepted by the Assembly on July 24, 1969 and the Senate on July 28, 1969.  (See Exhibit A, #1g and #2)  Senate Bill 252 was thereafter approved by the Legislature on July 28, 1969, signed by Governor Ronald Reagan on September 4, 1969, and recorded on that date as Chapter 1608 of the Statutes of 1969.  (See Exhibit A, #1h and #2)

The Legislative Counsel’s Digest analysis of the bill as it was last amended in conference provided the following description, in part, of Senate Bill 252:

   Enacts “[the Family Law Act],” and revises laws relating to marriage, divorce, annulment, and separate maintenance.  Eliminates fault as basis for divorce and separation, and with respect to property disposition.  Creates procedures for the parties and court to consider and determine whether the marriage should be continued.

(See Exhibit A, #1g, page 1)