Assemblyman Gatto addresses CAA at Sacramento dinner

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SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Mike Gatto joined the California Apartment Association for dinner Wednesday, Oct. 23, before making a presentation on his political philosophy, the 2013 legislative session and what to expect next year.

“If there’s ever a bill that really, really hurts one person, chances are it’s not a good piece of legislation,” he said.

Gatto, D-Burbank, spoke for about a half-hour during the dinner, held at Mulvaney’s B&L in Midtown on the eve of the CAA Board of Directors Meeting.

An apartment owner himself in Southern California, Gatto shared one litmus test he uses to evaluate legislation.

“If there’s ever a bill that really, really hurts one person, chances are it’s not a good piece of legislation,” he said.

Gatto also discussed one of his successful bills from the past session, the CAA-supported AB 227, which revises Proposition 65 so that it’s more fair to business owners while continuing to alert employees and the public of the possible presence of cancer-causing toxins.

Under current law, a business owner violating the proposition’s warning-sign requirement would face fines up to $2,500 for each day the violation remains unfixed. The owner also could face exorbitant lawsuits.

But Under AB 227, which takes effect Jan. 1, a business will have two weeks after being notified of the violation to correct the problem. Under this scenario, the business owner would pay a $500 fine and not have to worry about future penalties or litigation.

Gatto recalled how some of his constituents faced unscrupulous lawsuits based on minor violations.

“There were a number of property owners in my district, a number of restaurants, that got sued because their signs were supposed to be 11 inches and it was 10 1/2,” Gatto said. “It really just reached a ridiculous degree, and I’m very happy we were able to solve that.”

Tagged: Sacramento Valley