Thursday, April 24, 2014
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News Articles
Wednesday, April 23 2014

To not nix pix, California must use tax trix

Eight of the nine nominees for this year's best picture Oscar were filmed outside California. Nearly all of the live-action movies nominated in other Academy Awards categories were filmed in other states or countries as well. In the last two years, California — host of the Oscars, headquarters of the major studios and home of Hollywood itself — has barely appeared in a big-screen blockbuster.

This exodus of major film production is more than a blow to the state's ego; it's a big hit to its economy. As more states and foreign countries offer tax breaks and other financial incentives to lure films and television programs, California — and particularly Los Angeles — has hosted fewer of the high-value productions that provide local revenue and middle-class employment.


Thursday, April 17 2014

Push For Change After Skateboarder Paralyzed in Hit-And-Run

After a slew of tragic hit-and-run collisions this year, including one involving a popular skateboarder left paralyzed in Santa Monica, a recent bill has garnered recognition for its stringent cause to hunt down and hold fugitive drivers accountable.

The legislation in question, Assembly Bill 1532, seeks to add a driver’s license suspension to those convicted of hit and runs, including incidents in which injuries are deemed “minor.” Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) is the bill’s lead author and main sponsor.


Saturday, April 05 2014

California ‘X-Prize’ promotes government efficiency

While normally I pride myself in being a public official who listens to the wisdom of editorial boards, particularly one as engaged as U-T San Diego's, I think the March 30 editorial, "Here are some good ideas; no prizes needed," about my "Government X-Prize" bill was off the mark.

I fear the U-T misunderstood my legislation. The bill does not appropriate $25,000 for a mere idea. I agree, there are plenty of ideas out there for improving our government, and they are free. Instead, AB 2138 appropriates $25,000 for intellectual property.


Wednesday, April 02 2014

A Call to Action: L.A. Community Comes Together to Tackle Climate Change

It's easy to get caught up in your "average" Saturday morning in Los Angeles' Griffith Park neighborhood: a warm, spring sunshine, joggers and walkers lining its paths, families setting up the BBQ and piñatas for afternoon birthday gatherings, and residents practicing Qigong under its trees.

For those of us who grew up here, this is quintessential L.A., a visual display of diversity, well-being and community that many of us cherish – and would like to preserve for future generations.


Monday, March 31 2014

Political Landscape: Gatto has several bills approved; Schiff writes to FAA on helicopter noise

It was a busy week for Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake), who had several bills approved by various committees, including one piece of legislation aimed at better training school employees to identify and report child abuse.

AB 1432, passed by a 5-0 vote by the Assembly Education Committee, would require school employees to take mandatory training on state-developed standards for spotting abuse and neglect and taking the proper steps to report it.


Wednesday, March 26 2014

California ‘X-Prize’ Bill Clears Committee – Gatto’s Legislation Would Offer Prize for Innovative Ideas to Streamline State Government

SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — California took one small step today in what could be a giant leap for good-government advocates, passing Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s (D-Los Angeles) “X-Prize” bill through the Accountability and Administrative Review committee by a vote of 12-0. AB 2138 would create a “California Government X-Prize,” offering cash incentives for people with ideas to increase government efficiency and reduce government waste.

“This bill opens up government to the marketplace of ideas,” said Gatto. “Many people are frustrated with the inefficiencies of government and know exactly how to improve a system or process. This modest ‘California Government X-Prize’ provides the platform for creators and innovators to apply their knowledge to streamline California government.”


Wednesday, March 26 2014

School child abuse reporting bill moves out of committee

Legislation aimed at requiring annual child abuse reporting training for school employees passed through a state education committee on Wednesday.

Sparked by two years of this newspaper's reports on school employees failing to properly report child abuse, Assembly Bill 1432 would change state law from "strongly encouraging" training to "requiring annual training," including yearly proof of such education.


Tuesday, March 25 2014

Calif. 2014 Water Conservation Bill Clears First Committee as Drought Looms

SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — A key water-conservation bill introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) passed the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee today by a vote of 13-0. AB 2636 establishes CalConserve, a revolving-loan program to provide loans to home owners and businesses to help finance water-efficiency projects. The program will reduce urban, per-capita water use and help cities and counties reach their water-use reduction goals.

Conserving water has long been a goal of California policymakers, but with the state in the midst of a disastrous drought, conserving precious water resources has never been more important. For the first time in history, water exports to Central Valley farms and Southern California homes have fallen to zero. Crops are dying, cities are running out of drinking water, and streams are running dry. The drought is even forcing children in the Central Valley to leave school, as their parents are forced to abandon drought-scorched crops in search of work elsewhere.


Thursday, March 13 2014

State Assemblyman Mike Gatto uses Wiki to draft laws

In typical fashion, a local assemblyman is crafting new legislation. But in a unique experiment, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Burbank, is doing that via the Internet, turning to the public to generate the first-ever "Wiki bill." Back in December, his office built a Wiki — a Web page that allows collaborative input — where suggestions for worthy bills could be made, commented on and edited by regular Joes.

For this initial outreach, Gatto limited submissions to a specific agenda to narrow the conversation. The first topic was probate, which he feels affects virtually everyone and doesn't engender the passions of more sensitive issues such as guns or abortion.


Thursday, March 13 2014

DA touts benefits of proposed hit-and-run bill

REDDING, Calif. - A proposed California bill could have huge implications for hit-and-run drivers.

The legislation is sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles). Assembly Bill 1532 would automatically suspend the license of the involved motorist who flees the scene of a crash.

Under the proposal the law would apply no matter the severity of the victim's injuries.


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