I try to seek bill ideas from regular Californians. I have gotten some great ideas from sources as varied as local cops, utility ratepayers, and even my father. For example, my friends in the Glendale Police Department came to me a couple years ago, and asked me to change an unsafe state regulation that forced cities to round up speed limits, if a given street had lots of speeders. Last year, local utility ratepayers made me aware of an executive-branch action that would have resulted in higher utility rates by forcing local utilities to undo their contracts for certain biofuels.
And over the holidays last year, my father came to me with an idea for ensuring that carwashes conserve water — enough water for tens of thousands of households.
This year, I thought I would broaden the net, and write pieces in respected local papers like the Burbank Leader, to let even more people know that my office door, and my mind, are open. A couple of my colleagues have “There Ought to Be a Law” contests. This is not a contest. If I receive multiple good ideas, it is possible that there will be multiple “winners.” Because I believe the real winners will be all Californians, when bill ideas come from regular folks and not just the traditional interests that dominate the process.
So unleash your creative spirits, your common-sense ideas, and even your anger. Do you have an idea for improving California’s business climate or our local quality of life? Is there a cause of which you are particularly passionate and knowledgeable? Is there a law or regulation that has been outdated, that you think should be repealed?
Editor’s note: Gatto (D-Silver Lake) is the chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the state Assembly. He represents Burbank, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Atwater Village, and portions of the Hollywood Hills and East Hollywood in the 43rd Assembly District.