Fix California Challenge Finalists are Narrowed Down to the Innovative Eight

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San Mateo, CA – Today Innovate Your State announced that out of the four hundred and twenty-seven diverse ideas generated by the Fix California Challenge, eight have been selected to move on to the next phase of the contest. These “Innovative Eight” finalists will have an opportunity to win the “Fix California Challenge” and a chance to get on the 2016 California ballot.  

 

“Many people we talked to had their own ideas for how to innovate our great state so we decided to launch a contest called the ‘Fix California Challenge,’” said Silicon Valley Entrepreneur and Innovate Your State founder Tim Draper.

 

“The response has been incredible and the contest has generated some thought-provoking ideas on how to improve California”. In total, the ideas submitted to the Fix California Challenge received over 6,600 votes and 1,000 comments. “Innovate Your State has reviewed all of the ideas, great and small, and narrowed down the finalists to the ‘Innovative Eight’ for the next round of judging.” These eight ideas will receive additional examination from experts until a winner is selected.

 

The “Innovative Eight,” along with links to details of each proposal:

 Add a Law, Delete a Law

The problem: Too many laws are being enacted and there is no real review of old laws or programs.

The idea: Require a legislator proposing adoption of a new law to also repeal an old, unnecessary law.

 

Sunset All Laws

The problem: The legislature currently proposes over a thousand bills a year and very few previously enacted laws and programs are reviewed to see if they are working or still needed.

The idea: Require all future laws enacted by the legislature to expire within a certain number of years and require bi-annual review and renewal of all previously enacted laws.

 

Digital Direct Democracy

The problem: The California Constitution gives the people the right to pass laws, challenge laws and recall public officials. However, the signature process has become cumbersome and qualification of ballot measures is increasingly difficult. 

The idea: Allow electronic signatures on initiative and referendum petitions.

 

Legislative Open Records Act

The problem: The lack of transparency in California’s legislature has obstructed the balance of power and given a stronger voice to the powerful and well connected.

The idea: Implement a variety of open government reforms that will allow the public to easily access legislative information.

 

Neighborhood Legislature

The problem: Our legislators represent more than 10 times the average number of citizens of all other states, making them less accountable and less representative than is ideal.

The idea: Create thousands of new “neighborhood legislative districts” to promote more voter accountability in the legislature.

 

Six Super Counties

The problem: The state has too much control over local issues and has virtually all the power to collect and distribute revenue, even though the counties are required to deliver many of the services.

The idea: Reconfigure California’s 58 counties into fewer (perhaps 6) super counties that would have more authority over local and regional matters.

 

Local Governments Should Also Get to Place Ballot Initiatives

The problem: Presently, only voters or the legislature can place a proposed law on the ballot. Local governments have a wide variety of burdens and conditions placed on them by the state government but they cannot place items on the ballot to respond without going through the petition process.

The idea: Allow a majority of local governments to place one initiative on the ballot every two years without obtaining petition signatures.

 

Income Tax as Oversight

The problem: Most income tax is paid via withholding so taxpayers often do not know exactly how much tax they pay on income and have little incentive to follow how their money is being spent.

The idea: Prohibit employer withholding of income tax for individuals and require all individuals to pay income tax annually.

 

The Fix California Challenge called on Californians to collaborate and come up with innovative ideas that would improve the state.

 

To look at all ideas and votes submitted online, visit fixcal.org. For more information on Innovate Your State, visit www.InnovateYourState.org.

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