CA Assembly Publishes Oversight Toolkit

For immediate release:

Rancho Cordova – Today, Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) announced the release of the Legislative Oversight Handbook—a joint effort between Assemblyman Cooley and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount). The handbook is meant to support state legislators as they perform their constitutional duties to monitor state agencies as those agencies implement and administer new laws. Oversight efforts play a key role in holding government accountable by making certain state programs are run in a professional and effective manner. The handbook is now available online at and is available for the public.

The Legislative Oversight Handbook offers a toolkit for Assemblymembers as they prepare and conduct oversight activities. It includes a bird’s-eye view of legislative oversight, a broad-based sampling of opinions about the vital role of oversight, an F.A.Q. on the laws and legislative rules governing oversight, how to build a resource book for each standing committee, and the history of the Assembly’s published oversight activity going back to the 1980’s. The latter shows that between 1992 and 2010, little Assembly Oversight work resulted in published reports.

“My time in the legislature has shown me that we must continue to demand that state government be held accountable – and it’s our duty to ensure they are,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said. “Assemblymember Cooley’s work in developing this handbook will assist all members conduct the stringent oversight needed to ensure tax dollars are spent wisely and government programs operate efficiently.”

 “Oversight helps ensure that the full body of California law, which the Executive Branch is charged with administering, remains apt to its intended purpose and administered soundly for the benefit of California,” said Assemblyman Cooley. “Oversight’s key premise is that it can be far more impactful than merely passing new laws as, through focused inquiry, agency priorities can be updated to reflect the Legislature’s view of intent and current priorities.”

As a co-equal branch of government, it is the constitutional role of the Legislature to conduct oversight hearings of state bureaucracy. The United States has a great democratic tradition of public servants working vigorously to ensure government institutions work for the people. As former Oklahoma Congressman Mickey Edwards has said:

“When it comes to oversight functions…over the executive branch—take off your party hat.

Put it in a drawer, and deal with this as somebody who has taken an oath of office…to carry out the mandates of the Constitution to function as the people's voice.”

Assemblyman Ken Cooley represents the 8th Assembly District which includes the communities of Arden-Arcade, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Murieta, Rosemont, Wilton and other portions of unincorporated Sacramento County.   For more information, please visit


CONTACT: Jillena Hernandez (916) 281-4832