Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) had a novel idea last winter: a “wiki-bill” that would let California citizens write their own bill and edit it online, then submit it to the California Assembly for approval. Now the California Assembly has approved the publicly-written bill, which provides the right for the courts to appoint a guardian to manage funds left by the deceased owner for care of their pets.
Gatto expounded on his handiwork, the Los Angeles Times reports, saying he is “committed to the public I would introduce what they came up with.” He added:
This is an issue I don’t know much about — it’s not a burning issue of the day, I’m the first to admit it, but I think the process is the burning issue of the day. Typically the public perceives that bills are drafted by special-interest groups in a smoke-filled backroom. But this was a bill that was drafted entirely on the Internet with maximum transparency, and anybody could participate as long as they had an Internet connection.
The bill did not attract much attention because it dealt primarily with the probate code, but Gatto wants to explore wider territory. He said, “A controversial bill would actually benefit the process because it would draw more attention to the fact that the bill had been proposed by the public.”