SACRAMENTO – 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, ACA 11, which would place before Californian voters an initiative in November of 2016 to remove constitutional protections currently enjoyed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
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.