State Assembly, 1967-1975
Scope and Content
Title: Ray E. Johnson Papers
Collection number: LP177:148-172; LP218:54-119
Ray E. Johnson, California Legislator
4.5 cubic feet
California State Archives
Abstract: As an Assembly Member, Ray E. Johnson represented the 4th District as a Republican from 1965 to 1975. As Senator, he represented
the 1st District, which included all of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou,
Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, and Yuba Counties. Initially elected as a Republican, he switched his party affiliation to Independent
in 1983. The Ray E. Johnson Papers consist of Bills Files, 1968-1984 covering a variety of topics including public universities,
health care, and funding for handicap access on park trails.
Physical location: California State Archives
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research.
For permission to reproduce or publish, please consult California State Archives staff. Permission for reproduction or publication
is given on behalf of the California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento as the owner of the physical
items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement that may arise from reproduction or publication
of materials from the California State Archives collections.
[Identification of item], Ray E. Johnson Papers, LP[number]:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary
of State, Sacramento, California.
Acquisition and Custodial History
The California State Archives acquired the Ray E. Johnson Papers following his final term in the State Legislature.
As an Assembly Member, Ray E. Johnson represented the 4th District as a Republican from 1965 to 1975. The district included
all of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter and Yolo Counties. After redistricting in 1966, the district also included Lake County.
As Senator, he represented the 1st District, which included all of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas,
Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, and Yuba Counties. Initially elected as a Republican, he switched his
party affiliation to Independent in 1983.
Senator Johnson was born in Oroville on March 22,1911. He attended Oroville public schools and the University of California.
He married Lorraine Christian on December 28, 1935. They had two children: Mary Lou and Ray E., Jr. He worked in retail
and helped found the Christian and Johnson Garden and Nursery and the Christian and Johnson Company.
He was active in community affairs; serving as president for the Chico Rotary, the Chico Shrine, and the Arbuckle Lions.
He was an Eagle Scout and served as Chairman of the Bidwell District Boy Scouts. He belonged to the following fraternal and
service groups: the Elks, Masons, Knights of Pythias and the Ben Ali Temple of Shrine.
Before entering the California Legislature, he was a member of the Butte County Board of Education and the Butte and Colusa
County Grand Juries. He was elected to the Assembly in 1965.
According to the
California Legislature at Sacramento (Legislative Handbooks), he served on the following committees:
State Assembly, 1967-1975
- Agriculture, 1967-1975
- Commerce and Public Utilities, 1973-1975
- Conservation and Wildlife, 1965-1966
- Environmental Quality, 1972
- Governmental Efficiency and Economy, 1965-1966
- Governmental Organization, 1969-1972
- Industrial Relations, 1965-1966
- Intergovernmental Relations, 1971-1972
- Rules, 1967-1975
- *Vice Chair, 1971-1975
- Water, 1965-1968
- Rules, 1971-1975
- Legislative Audit, 1971-1973
State Senate, 1977-1984
- Agriculture and Water Resources, 1977-1984
- Business and Professions, 1983-1984
- Fire Services, 1982
- Industrial Relations, 1977-1982
- *Vice Chair, 1977-1978
- Natural Resources and Wildlife, 1981-1982
- Public Employment and Retirement, 1977-1978
- Rules, 1979-1984
- *Vice Chair, 1979-1984
- Transportation, 1977-1984
- *Vice Chair, 1979-1982
- Forest Land Issues, 1982-1984
- *Chair, 1982-1984
- Rules, 1979-1980
- Fairs Allocation and Classification Committee, 1981-1984
- *Chair, 1982-1984
In addition, as a member of the Senate, he served on the Western States Legislative Forestry Task Force, 1981.
He did not run for re-election in 1984.
He died on November 18, 1993 in Chico.
Scope and Content
The Ray E. Johnson Papers consist of Bills Files, 1968-1984. The bill files document most of his legislative activity as a
member of the California State Legislature. Assembly Member Johnson authored bills that addressed the especial concerns of
the rural counties he represented. In addition, he wrote a number of bills that reflected his dismay over the campus unrest
of the late 1960s. His HR 284 (1968) recommended that the University of California Regents and the California State University
Trustees expel all students who engaged in student protests. Concerned about unnecessary expenditures on adult students,
he drafted AB1898 (1971) that would have restricted state funding to only courses that met basic educational needs or the
betterment of an employee. He was also concerned that student leaders were allocating student fees to radical student groups.
After an unsuccessful attempt in 1972 (AB 159), his successful AB 3116 (1973-1974) provided for a new system of regulating
the expenditure of student fees at California State Universities; certain amounts would be set aside for instructionally-related
activities and then students could vote on whether additional fees would be voluntary or mandatory.
Senator Johnson continued to focus on the needs of his constituents in rural counties. For example, he supported various
measures to improve health care and to allow for employees to serve two counties. He also drafted SB1597 (1977-1978) that
would have widened the scope of the Tahoe Regional Planning Commission to include more representatives from counties in his
district. His successful measure (SB1710, 1981-1982) provided funds to makes handicapped-accessible trails along the South
Yuba River and near the Bridgeport Covered Bridge. In his last term, he shepherded SB581 (1983-1984) through both houses;
this measure provided stricter definitions of residents of California for the purpose of requiring registration of motor vehicles.
With the support of Governor George Deukmejian, he sponsored SB1695 (1983-1984) which increased penalties for those convicted
of growing or transporting large quantities of marijuana, but the bill failed to pass out of the Assembly.
The Assembly Bill Files are available on microfilm at the California State Archives.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Johnson, Ray E.