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Monday, April 25, 2011

Local Elected Officials' Legislative Programs

The local elections are done, and the lull of “no campaigns to report on” has set in.  So now’s an ideal time to report on the work that the people we actually elected are doing.  With that in mind, as a public-service to our readers, here is an update on our local California representatives’ legislation. 

State Senator Carol Liu
has an education-focused agenda again this year.  The hallmark of her legislative package appears to be a measure that would not allow fee hikes in the UC or CSU system to take effect until three months have elapsed, giving students more time to plan and the public more time to weigh in on the increase.  (SB 181).

Liu’s SB 204 would change the governance of the state board of education.  It would require board appointees to represent, and reside in, different geographical areas of the state, reflect the ethnic and gender diversity of the state's population, and represent the various disciplines active in the public education system.

Finally, Liu’s SBs 121 and 123 would improve the way the state deals with, educates, and tracks troubled youth, which have garnered her applause from education advocates.

State Assemblyman Mike Gatto
has a government reform agenda this year.  The hallmark of his legislative package appear to be several measures designed to address the longstanding systemic problems in our system of governance. 

Gatto’s ACA 6 would prohibit initiatives from establishing new programs without first identifying how the heck the state is going to pay for them.  AB 49 would require disclosure, of the top five contributors for or against a ballot initiative, in the ballot pamphlet itself. 

Assemblyman Gatto’s ACA 11, the “Constitution Protection Act” would bring California’s constitution (a document that is far less sacred than it should be) more in line with the US Constitution, by requiring constitutional amendments to pass by a margin of 2/3 of voters (or a majority of voters if placed on the ballot by a 2/3 vote of the Legislature).  It would preserves the ability to repeal the crap that is already in there by a simple majority vote.

The other very intriguing bill by Gatto is one to harness the energy lost as tires travel over pavement.  It sounds pretty sci-fi, but then again, capturing sunbeams (solar energy) and the energy lost when a car brakes (hybrid automobiles) were both pretty sci-fi a few years ago too.

You can read more about Senator Liu’s bill ideas at and more about Assemblyman Gatto’s at

1 comment:

  1. Good to see Mike keeping his campaign promises. What I have always liked about Mike is that his bills are centrist, sensible, and not catered to special interests. The initiative process needs reform badly. These are a good start. Just my $0.02.