Inventory of the James L. Ellis Papers

Archives Staff
California State Archives
1020 "O" Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: (916) 653-2246
Fax: (916) 653-7363
© 2005
California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the James L. Ellis Papers

Collection number: See series description

California State Archives

Office of the Secretary of State

Sacramento, California
Processed by:
Archives Staff
Date Completed:
November 2004
Encoded by:
Lola Aguilar
© 2005 California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: James L. Ellis papers
Dates: 1977-1988
Collection number: See series description
Creator: Ellis, James L.
Collection Size: 5.25 cubic feet.
Repository: California State Archives
Sacramento, California
Abstract: James "Jim" L Ellis, Republican, was a State Assembly Member, 1977-1980, and a State Senator, 1981-1988. The James L. Ellis Papers consist of 5.25 cubic feet of records reflecting Ellis's activities during his time as both an Assembly Member and a Senator.
Physical location: California State Archives
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], James L. Ellis papers, LP[number]:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

Acquisition Information

California State Archives acquired the James L. Ellis Papers following his final term in the California State Legislature.


James "Jim" L Ellis, Republican, was a State Assembly Member, 1977-1980, and a State Senator, 1981-1988. He represented El Cajon, La Mesa, Santee, and parts of the City of San Diego within San Diego County in the 77th Assembly District and in the 39th Senate District.
Ellis was born on October 28, 1928 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During World War II, he moved with his family to Colorado, where he completed high school and attended Western State College and Colorado AM College. He received a B.A. in Political Science. In 1949, Ellis was accepted into the Naval Aviation Cadet Flight Training program, receiving his wings and commission at Pensacola, Florida in 1950. He served as a carrier pilot until his retirement with the rank of Commander in 1970. He holds two Distinguished Flying Cross Medals, a Bronze Star, eleven Air Medals, and three Navy Commendation Medals. During his naval career, Ellis attended the United States Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, and the United States Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California.
Ellis married Barbara Gilligan on December 31, 1955 with whom he had four children: Jim, Gay, Jon, and Merrilee. He first moved to San Diego in 1957. After his retirement from the Navy in 1970, Ellis established two family-owned and operated businesses.
In 1973, Ellis successfully ran for the San Diego City Council and served until his election to the State Assembly in 1976. He was also a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Quiet Birdmen, the Military Order of World Wars, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Daedalians.
James L. Ellis won election to the State Assembly in 1976 and served through 1980. He was then elected to the State Senate, where he served until 1988.
According to the California Legislature at Sacramento (Handbooks), Ellis served on the following committees:

California State Assembly, 1977-1980

  • Standing Committees
  • Finance, Insurance, and Commerce, 1979-1980
  • Labor, Employment, and Consumer Affairs, 1977-1980
  • Local Government, 1977-1978
  • Resources, Land Use, and Energy, 1977-1978
  • Ways and Means, 1979-1980
  • Subcommittees
  • Unemployment-Disability Insurance, 1979-1980
  • Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education, 1979-80
  • Select Committees
  • Veterans Affairs, 1979-80

California State Senate, 1981-1988

  • Standing Committees
  • Banking and Commerce, 1981-1982
  • *Vice Chair, 1981-1982
  • Budget and Fiscal Review, 1987-1988
  • Business and Professions, 1981-1982
  • Constitutional Amendments, 1983-1987
  • *Chair, 1983-1987
  • Elections, 1985-1988
  • Elections and Reapportionment, 1981-1984
  • Governmental Organization, 1981-1982
  • Housing and Urban Affairs, 1983-1986
  • Revenue and Taxation, 1985-1987
  • *Vice Chair, 1985-1987
  • Rules, 1987-1988
  • Transportation, 1981-1988
  • *Vice Chair, 1981-1988
  • Senate Subcommittees
  • Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Education, 1987-1988
  • 1992 California Quincentennial, 1988
  • Select Committees
  • Border Issues, Drug Trafficking, and Contraband, 1987-1988
  • *Vice Chair
  • California's Wine Industry, 1987-1988
  • Small Business Enterprises, 1984-1988
  • Southern California Transportation Problems, 1981-1983
  • State Procurement and Expenditure Practices, 1983-1988
  • Tourism and Aviation, 1987-1988
  • Joint Committees
  • Campaign and Election Reform, 1985-1986
  • State's Economy, 1983-1988
  • Rules, 1988
Senator Ellis did not seek reelection after completing his term of office in 1988. As of 2004, he continues to serve the public; for example, he serves as an advisor to the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation.

Scope and Content

The James L. Ellis Papers consist of 5.25 cubic feet of records reflecting Ellis's activities during his time as both an Assembly Member and a Senator. The records contain Assembly and Senate bill files, 1977-1988. The bill files document his legislative activity during his term as a member of the California State Legislature. The bills introduced by James L. Ellis include a wide array of subjects. He authored bills concerning transportation, border issues, education, law enforcement, campaign reform, and coastal development.


Bill files are arranged chronologically by legislative session and numerically by bill number.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Ellis, James L.
Border issues and public policy
Gun control

Series Description

File folders: LP257, LP258

Series 1. Bill Files 1977-1988

Physical Description: 97 file folders


Arranged chronologically by legislative session and numerically by bill number.

Scope and Content Note

Bill files created by James L. Ellis may include bill analyses, amendments, conflict statements, correspondence, position statements, author's statements, press releases, newspaper clippings, background information, and reports.
1977-1978: AB389-AB3829; ACA61-ACA81; ACR56-ACR97 (2ff) LP257:217-218
1979-1980: AB176-AB3458; ACA76; ACR38; HR12; HR33 (2ff) LP257:219-220
1981-1982: SB146-SB1706 LP257:221-236
1981-1982: SB1884-SB2056; SCA11; SCR12-SCR46; SJR3-SJR47 (24ff) LP258:1-8
1983-1984: SB24-SB2334; SCA4-SCA5; SCR32; SJR17-SJR52 SB21X (29ff) LP258:9-37
1985-1986: SB212-SB2535; SCA13; SCA28; SCR103; SJR1; SJR4 (23ff) LP258:38-60
1987-1988: SB95-SB2795; SCA5; SCR17; SCR101; SJR1 (17ff) LP258:61-77