State senator introduces bills based on constituents' ideas

Jerry Hill uses ideas from 'Oughta Be a Law ... Or Not' contest

California state Sen. Jerry Hill, whose district includes the Almanac area, said of nine bills he's introduced in the new year, three are based on ideas from constituents who participated in the senator's "Oughta Be a Law ... Or Not" contest in 2015.

Senate Bill 678 was proposed by a nun, Sister Christina Heltsley of the Saint Francis Center, a nonprofit organization in Redwood City that works to help low-income families. The bill would reduce the amount of property taxes that nonprofit providers of low-income housing would pay for land used for affordable housing.

Senate Bill 814, proposed by a San Mateo resident, would require water districts to fine households that use excessive amounts of water each month.

Senate Bill 681, proposed by John Dillon of San Bruno, would cut in half the base fine amount for right-turn-on-red traffic violations. The fine would be about $250. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, less than 0.04 percent of crashes nationwide involve right- -on-red turns, yet the offense is currently fined at the same level as more dangerous driving offenses, like driving 25 mph over the speed limit or not yielding to an emergency vehicle.

Other bills that Sen. Hill introduced would:

● Improve state inspections of tour buses.

● Prohibit state Board of Equalization members from accepting monetary contributions from companies that have businesses on the board.

● Require schools and local governments to consider alternatives to recycled tire when making new artificial fields.

● Increase transparency at the Public Utilities Commission.

● Increase oversight at underground utility excavation sites.

● Finalize a Joint Powers Authority between San Mateo, Foster City and Belmont that would allow fire service providers in those cities to retain their benefits packages in the new agency.

Sen. Hill plans to introduce legislation requiring all DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles, according to his spokesperson, Leslie Guevarra.

The submission period for the 2016 "Oughta Be a Law ... Or Not" contest ends Friday, Jan. 15. Go to Sen. Hill's website for more information.

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