A constitutional amendment from Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, which would put an initiative on the ballot to remove constitutional protections currently enjoyed by the Public Utilities Commission, was passed in the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee earlier this week.
Wilk joined joined Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Marin County, in presenting ACA 11.
“The PUC was established when Hiram Johnson was governor and running on the Bull Moose Party ticket with Theodore Roosevelt,” Wilk said. “Clearly this agency does not reflect today’s regulatory environment and the things we need to do in a 21st Century economy. The same body responsible for regulating moving companies cannot also be expected to adequately regulate electrical power and natural gas safety – it’s time to modernize the PUC.”
ACA 11, or the Public Utility Reform Act of 2016, recognizes that when the PUC was originally drafted in the 20th Century, current regulatory challenges weren’t conceivable. ACA 11 would, if passed by Californian voters, reform the Public Utilities Code and modernize the PUC to meet recent challenges. The Legislature would then reassign a regulatory framework to appropriate state agencies to ensure Californians receive greater transparency and accountability.
In order to be placed on the November 2016 ballot, ACA 11 would need a 2/3 vote in the Assembly and Senate. Then, it would need approval from a simple majority of voters. If passed, the measure would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.
ACA 11 will be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations committee.
The 38th Assembly District encompasses Simi Valley, the northwestern section of the San Fernando Valley and most of the Santa Clarita Valley.