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March 2
1938 - Great Flood of 1938 causes massive destruction and death across the greater Los Angeles region [story]
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Assemblyman Scott Wilk

Assemblyman Scott Wilk

Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, joined Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Marin County, in introducing a Constitutional Amendment which would give voters an initiative to remove constitutional protections currently enjoyed by the California Public Utilities Commission.

ACA 11, or the Public Utility Reform Act of 2016, recognizes that current regulatory challenges weren’t conceivable when this law was originally drafted in the 20th Century. If passed by the voters, ACA 11 would reform the Public Utilities Code and modernize the role of the CPUC. The Legislature would then be able to reassign a regulatory framework to appropriate state agencies ensuring Californians with greater transparency and accountability.

“The CPUC was originally created as the Railroad Commission in 1911 and transitioned into the current version of the CPUC in 1942,” said Wilk. “Recent disasters—like the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak—highlight the fact that the CPUC is unable to adequately balance the regulation of its diverse entities. The same agency that regulates moving companies cannot be expected to also effectively regulate electrical power and natural gas safety standards. It is far past time for the modernization that the Public Utility Reform Act will provide.”

In order to be placed on the November 2016 ballot, ACA 11 would need a 2/3 vote in the Assembly and Senate. It would then need approval from a simple majority of voters. If passed, the measure would go into effect on January 1, 2019.

The 38th Assembly District encompasses Simi Valley, the northwestern section of the San Fernando Valley and most of the Santa Clarita Valley.

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1 Comment

  1. jimvs says:

    R-i-i-ight. Let’s see; PUC leadership has been bought and paid for by the three big corporate electric utilities since our governor packed it in his last two or three appointments. That has been apparent for a number of years (San Bruno? Sand Onofre, anyone? Anyone?) but now y’all up there are going to fix it.

    Well, that will certainly singe Jerry’s pants. Besides, he’s done the same thing with the Coastal Commission lately although in a slightly arm’s length way (to the average eye).

    I don’t see you and Gatto agreeing on that one, but maybe he’s more mercenary than I know.

    The premise of tossing out nearly 60 years of reasonably effective protection of the interests of the people of California is questionable. Currently the Senate can vote up or down on the Governor’s appointments, and the people can respond to that in force (if they are interested).

    A more appropriate approach would be to support the current investigations widely, loudly and often to ensure public understanding that the State Legislature is on the job. Getting behind those investigations with the power of the legislature and encouraging public interest, support and participation would be even better. It is obvious that in our current culture, we need watchers to watch the watchers (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?).

    Unfortunately, Gatto’s plan would make the legislature in charge of moving all of the current work the PUC does and spreading it out across multiple agencies, no doubt governed/overseen by state legislative committees. Lots of Members will have the opportunities to provide oversight, as well as to receive campaign contributions from the “interested” people, companies, corporations (and their PACs) affected by the work of these agencies under this proposal.

    How is that better?

    The argument for undoing the PUC is a worthwhile discussion, but this proposed solution will be even worse than the problem.

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