California extends citizen legislation contest
Bay City News Service
November 12, 2006
A contest encouraging Californians to become more involved in
the state Legislature, with the prize being the possibility of
seeing their own ideas enacted into law, is having its deadline
extended until Dec. 1, state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, announced.
Simitian's "There Oughta Be A Law'' contest, originally
scheduled to end on Friday but extended to give more people a
chance to participate, asks citizens to come up with problems
that might be resolved legislatively and to draft a bill that
addresses the issue.
In addition, participants are asked to consider the possible
financial impacts of the bill and its potential supporters and
opponents in the Legislature, governor's office and local government
Since the contest's inception in 2002, "an eclectic mix
of proposals'' has been received, Simitian said, including 10
ideas that have been signed into law.
According to Simitian, recent success stories include a law protecting
seniors against predatory lending practices and a law requiring
motorists to move over or slow down when approaching emergency
vehicles on the side of the road.
Contest winners have their bill ideas introduced as legislation
and get the chance to testify at a hearing on the bill at the
"Too often the public gets disenchanted with government,''
Simitian said. "It's important that people know, through
an effort like this, that they can be heard and they can make
To receive a contest entry form, call (650) 688-6384 or (831)
425-0401 or visit http://www.senate.ca.gov/simitian.
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