Update --- May, 2013
With all of the anti-gun bills wending their way through the legislature, many people winder what the status "placed in suspense file" meant. I did a little searching and found this from the rules of the California State Senate:
The California State Assembly also has a suspense file, for which the rules in the Appropriations Committee are similar:
In each house the suspense file as a collection of bills that would cost the state more than $50,000 from the General Fund, or $150,000 from any source. At a future meeting of the Appropriation Committee, all bills in the suspense file are then voted on by the committee member one after another, quickly going through the possibly hundreds of bills in the file. typically, the suspense file is revisited after the budget is passed, so the Senate can know which funds are available to implement new programs.
So the status "suspense file" is real, and it does not mean that the bill is suspended or dead.