Recently, our Justia friend (and my Law Librarian-Hero) Mary Minow mentioned that she traveled to Sacramento to testify in front of the California State Senate on Senate Bill (“SB”) 445. The proposed bill seeks to amend the California Public Records Act by updating privacy protections for public library patrons as it pertains to the use of computers and online resources.
While I’ve been able to spend some more time reading up on the Bill, and I encourage you to all to do the same, I actually wanted to focus this post on citizen (i.e., not lobbyist) participation as it applies to the drafting of state and federal laws. The reason Mary was up in Sacramento voicing her support for SB 445 is because she won a “There Oughta to be a Bill” contest, sponsored by California State Senator Joe Simitian. Senator Simitian has sponsored this contest since 2001 and, to date, 16 winning ideas proposed by California residents have been signed into law.