Wilk measure to reform Public Utilities Commission passes policy committee

SACRAMENTO –Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, joined Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Marin County, in presenting a Constitutional Amendment, ACA 11, which would place before California voters an initiative in November of 2016 to remove constitutional protections currently enjoyed by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). ACA 11 passed the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee.

“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 January 1, 2019.

ACA 11 will be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations committee.