Bills

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge) saw seven of his measures reach Gov. Jerry Brown's desk. State Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge) authored nine bills this month. (Cheryl A. Guerrero / Staff Photographer)

With the deadline for signing legislation into law upon Gov. Jerry Brown, local state lawmakers this week were able to claim early success in getting their own bills past his desk.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) had eight bills signed before the weekend, with another three still awaiting consideration as of Friday.

Three of his measures were signed in early September, well before the deadline the governor has to sign legislation, veto it or let it become law without his signature.

One of Gatto's bills that got a lot of attention requires major-league sports venues to clearly post numbers that fans can call or text for security.

Gatto said posting the contact numbers will enable incidents to be resolved more quickly, before a victim is seriously injured.

He wrote AB 2464 following violent incidents across the state, including the 2011 beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium.

But the final version of the bill changed substantially during the legislative process.

“We had to make some compromises,” Gatto said.

One provision that would have created a list of offenders banned from returning to major sports venues was dropped due to what Gatto said was a misunderstanding among lawmakers over what the program would entail.

The legislation also had a component that would have established a rewards fund to which major league teams would have had to contribute, but that too was dropped.

“The teams have powerful lobbyists,” Gatto said.

Another big piece of Gatto legislation signed into law removes barriers for the development of renewable natural gas, which will save local residents millions of dollars on their utility bills, the Assemblyman said.

He added that he likes to write legislation that affects as many people in his district as possible — and AB 1900 is a good example.

“It will affect every single one of my constituents by keeping utility rates low,” Gatto said.

The law creates an industry for producing biogas, which is a low-carbon fuel derived from landfills, sanitation facilities and agricultural operations, such as dairies.

Other pieces of Gatto's legislation that were signed by Brown were a measure that allows motorists to show proof of auto insurance on their cellphones; a bill that requires 60% of water used in new car washes come from recycled sources; and legislation that keeps seniors and others from having their checking accounts drained by making it clear that money in bank accounts with more than one signer belongs to each person based on their contributions.

Another law written by Gatto that received plenty of attention legalized the sale of homemade, “non-potentially hazardous” foods, such as breads, tortillas, dry roasted nuts, cookies, granola and fruit preserves.

State Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge) had nine bills up for Brown's signature this month, including legislation directing the California Department of Transportation to sell the 499 state-owned homes along the route of the proposed Long Beach (710) Freeway extension.

Liu's Senate Bill 204 would invest 25% of home sale proceeds into construction of sound walls along the Foothill (210) Freeway and earmark the rest for transportation improvements in the area.